Watch the following 1 minute and 20 seconds video before continuing this article. It is crucial to the information presented in this article.
If you did not watch the video, or if you watched it after you read the rest of the article, you may spoil or miss a phenomenal demonstration.
This video demonstrates how when our attention is focused on one thing in particular, we become blind to everything else. But how does recognizing mind blindness help us to eliminate the problem of being overwhelmed.
Today’s society is filled with so many distractions – emails, phone calls, movie stars, people coming to us for help, and the list goes on. These distractions often pull us away from what is really essential to us. They grab our attention, and we are unable to see a gorilla beating its chest in front of our face, as demonstrated powerfully in the video.
We must therefore use strategies to keep us focused on our primary objectives or goals. For example, my goal is to do an abridged version of one lesson of Napoleon’s Hill’s Law of Success each week. This last week I was feeling particularly overwhelmed, as I have other things competing for my time, such as learning Adobe CS5, answering my emails, responding to those who come to me for some sort of assistance, and so on and so on. Each one of these things cause my mind to go blind and I lose track of time.
So how do we stay focused? Martha Beck in her article Wait! Stop! It’s All Too Much!, at Oprah.com, provide some great advise, on page 3 of the article. Most important to me is the advise of doing those important things in small chunks, so that I have less chance of being railroaded by distractions, and I also get a sense of accomplishment and control over the things that are essential.
I have also learned to schedule even the smallest, seemingly non-essential, things. Having a specific time for checking emails and answering calls can save a lot of time. Even when planning schedule, I integrate time for those inevitable distractions.
It is not easy to get those distractions under control, for we are creatures of habit, and habits do not change easily. Still, making the effort to focus and direct our attention on the essential, if only for small chunks of time, will save us from the inevitable frustration of being overwhelmed.
If you have some strategies that you have used to avert mind blindness and keep from being overwhelmed, please share.