Results tagged “distractions”

Manage the temptation of publishing yourself.

By Michael Mulvey on July 26, 2011 8:53 AM

I came across a refreshing talk to the students of Berklee College of Music by John Mayer. While I'm not a musician and not all of his advice is relevant to me, what he said was great and can be useful to people in other artistic endeavors.

We read a lot about the importance of developing your personal brand and taking advantage of online tools and platforms but Mayer thinks otherwise. At least for when you're still honing your craft:

This time is a really important time for you guys because nobody knows who you are, and nobody should. This is not a time to promote yourself. It doesn't matter. This is the time to get your stuff together. Promotion can be like that. You can have promotion in 30 seconds if your stuff is good. Good music is its own promotion.

and:

You got the distraction of being able to publish yourself immediately, and it is a distraction if you're not done producing what the product is going to be that you're going to someday use the promotion to sell...I had to go through the same thing I'm talking to you about - what you have to go through - which is to completely manage all the distraction. Manage the temptation of publishing yourself
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All Too Familiar

By Michael Mulvey on July 14, 2011 8:17 AM

Wishingful Thinking gives us 10 Ways the Workplace Crushes Creativity.

One study found that office distractions eat an average 2.1 hours a day. Another study, published in October 2005, found that employees spent an average of 11 minutes on a project before being distracted. After an interruption it takes them 25 minutes to return to the original task, if they do at all. People switch activities every three minutes, either making a call, speaking with someone in their cubicle, or working on a document.

Distractions are not just frustrating; they can be exhausting. By the time you get back to where you were, your ability to stay focused goes down even further as you have even less glucose available now. Change focus ten times an hour (one study showed people in offices did so as much as 20 times an hour), and your productive thinking time is only a fraction of what's possible.

When I read this, my immediate thought was all the external distractions I get (managers, clients), but there's just as many, if not more, self-imposed distractions to get rid of.

Checking Facebook, checking RSS feeds, checking Twitter, seeing if anyone new and cool is on Google Plus, responding to instant messages - these are all potential distractions (not everyone finds them irresistible to check) we have the ability to remove.

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