Recently, I’ve become starkly aware of how demanding our culture has become. One day last week, within the span of a just a few short minutes, I was randomly assaulted by literally dozens of phone calls and text messages.
I will certainly admit that that exact scenario is very uncommon. But since I was desperately trying to get something accomplished at the time, and since some of those texts and phone calls were from people who had made repeated attempts at reaching me already, I became particularly frustrated. (Let’s just say it’s a good thing there weren’t any sledgehammers, ponds or toilets close by… because my phone might not have survived.)
This isn’t to mention the daily onslaught of emails, Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, instant messages and face-to-face interruptions that bombard so many of us today.
In my business, large uninterrupted blocks of time are required to produce the kind of output it takes for our work to get done. I’m increasingly cognizant of the fact that this doesn’t mix well with a culture that expects a response within a matter of seconds, minutes or hours from any given interaction. It’s forcing me to recognize that two of my most valuable assets—time and attention—require bigger and better defense systems today.
Coincidentally, just as these thoughts were taking shape in my brain, I bumped into two very insightful posts today: one on “Pest Control” from Seth Godin, and the other on our “Culture of Distraction” from Matt Mullenweg. These are two of my favorite authors these days, and these posts don’t disappoint.
Matt Mullenweg actually shared a poignant 15-minute video clip featuring a talk from Joe Kraus on this topic. I’m including it here for you to enjoy.