Tuesday, March 4, 2014
I recently read a Forbes magazine article, "7 Habits of Insanely Productive People," by Ekaterina Walter in which she addresses infobesity, a new chronic disorder stemming from our being bombarded with so much information that we can't consume it, store it or use it properly. We live in a time when we can barely leave our desktops without coming back to 20 emails or more, many of which requiring our attention. To make matters worse (or better, depending on your perspective), we carry devices with us around the clock that allow us to access this deluge of information, requests and demands at all times. There is little opportunity to turn away from the barrage of messages. Or is there? I have made it a habit of turning off my cell phone more than I have it turned on. I watch less television than I used to. I am selective in my reading material. I drive in the car without the radio on, just to enjoy the silence or to sort out things that have been weighing on my mind. For those who thrive on the rapid flow of information coming to us around the clock, they may say that there's a fat chance that it will get any slower. But as Ms. Walter suggests, infobesity is cutting into our productivity. I would add that it is cutting into our peace of mind. At some point, we need to give ourselves a break, if only for a bit, to enjoy a time to be quiet, time to think, time to be present to others without distraction, and oh yes, time to be.