Overstimulated and undernourished?

Overstimulated and undernourished?

Here’s an epiphany for you.

When was the last time you actually sat in silence for a whole hour? A half hour? What about…5 minutes?calm_quiet environment

The truth is, we as 21st century humans have been conditioned to stimulus. We have the TV playing in the background when we’re home. We have cell phones ringing, texting and pinging and “dinging” for every little thing. I bet you can’t even drive in your car without music! And we’re conditioned to respond instantly to every single little distraction. We joke about people with ADD, saying “oh, look, there’s a shiny object.” But the truth is, we’ve all become victims to it. According to statistics, we are distracted every 3 minutes. And it takes 11 minutes to get back in the zone.

I submit to you: We are overstimulated. We have multi-tasked ourselves into distraction addition which results in unproductivity.

The sad thing is, we’ve even conditioned ourselves to “look for” distractions – even if no outside force is distracting us. We check email. We check our phones. We check what’s going on on Facebook. We can’t focus. We can’t be quiet and think without distracting ourselves. Our creativity has been handicapped because we’ve lost the ability to think deeply without distractions.

Because we can’t think deeply, we can’t address important life and business issues. We can’t even hear from God. And we’re unknowingly doing it to ourselves.

That’s why we have such long “to do” lists – some of which are important projects that affect our lives, sales, growth or spiritual lives – but we never seem to find time to do it. We find ourselves at the end of a very busy day realizing that we “have nothing to show for it”! Sound familiar? There are lots of activities and distractions, but nothing productive. How sad. How unproductive.

This week, I challenge you to turn it off. Turn off the radio, Pandora, tv, phone, close Outlook, turn off notifications and popups, and even turn off your computer…everything. Start with one hour. It might feel like an eternity at first. You might want to count how many times you are tempted to check something, or reach for an “on” button. But instead, spend that time thinking about something you want to address, meditating, praying or just staying quiet.

If you’re in marketing, think deeply about what your prospects and clients really want and need, and how you can help them reach their goals. Really think about it from their perspective. It’s about what they need and what they want to talk about – not about you and your products.

If you’re in sales, think deeply about how to communicate in a way to reach your prospects where they are at, how to initiate meaningful conversations, and how to differentiate yourself from everyone else. Your job in sales is to help guide people, not annoy them. How can you do that genuinely?

If you’re in operations or support, how can you support your clients better than anyone else? What can you do differently that would be meaningful and unique? What would you want or appreciate if you were on the other side? Your job is to serve your clients. How can you provide levels of world class service that no one else is doing?

Think about that in silence. Battle overstimulation with focus. Train yourself to think again. Imagine what you could accomplish!