I went out to dinner the other night and saw a couple next to me, a young married couple, totally oblivious to each other. Buried in their iPhone’s. This wasn’t a fast food joint, I was at a nice restaurant and there was some great food, drink and conversation to be had.

This couple was busy updating their status, checking mail, texting or doing some other nonsense. I know this for a fact, as I glanced over at their phone and caught a glimpse of “Facebook Blue”. It went on this way most of the evening.

Don’t go through your days, letting interruptions rob your time and ruin your quality of life.

Attention is your most precious resource and some choose to squander it away on such meaningless things. Some people allow interruptions to take root instead of sticking to what really matters. A life that is totally and completely driven by interruption can never be fulfilling.

Forget about fulfilling, interruptions are down-right annoying. Technology has the potential to mitigate or amplify the interruptions depending on how you use it. I am very much pro-technology but also recognize that it takes great self-control and self-awareness to apply it in the proper way.

15 signs that interruptions are ruining your life:

  1. Always worrying about what others think about you
  2. Constantly thinking about what you are going to do next
  3. Not being able to remember people’s names
  4. Checking social media and e-mail first thing in the morning and constantly throughout the day
  5. Not remembering what people say to you moments after they do so
  6. Going to bed and not feeling that you had a fulfilling day
  7. Feeling exhausted all the time
  8. Impatience towards others (or even with yourself)
  9. Never having time to do what you really want to do
  10. Going on “binges” or extreme behavior (having an on/off switch but no middle ground)
  11. Not keeping in touch with the people you care (yet having 1000 friends on Facebook)
  12. Missing important deadlines, but responding to all kinds of other texts, notifications
  13. Weight gain due to lack of time and effort towards physical activity
  14. Health ailments that get worse due to not taking the time to fix the issue when it started
  15. Projects that get started but not finished

Attention is the most precious resource you have. You are in complete control of it. An interrupt driven lifestyle – one where you constantly need to check social media and respond to people – robs you of this precious resource.

When all is said and done will you reflect on your life and be proud of having sent 20 tweets a day or responded to every email? Will you be more proud of the big creative works and projects that you started AND finished and the close friends and family members you have stayed connected to?

I know my answer. What is yours?

Published by Ravi Raman

Executive Coach + Yogi + Endurance Athlete

2 replies on “15 Signs That Interruptions Are Ruining Your Life”

  1. Good post.. Needed this right now.
    Do you have some self-imposed restriction – That you only check emails or fb during certain times a day (esp. when you were working at MS).

    1. I do not have self-imposed restrictions and really didn’t use any during my time at MSFT either. One thing I would do at work, is just not take my laptop to meetings and not use my phone in meetings either (or just take them, but leave them in my laptop bag). This way I would not be tempted to check the web. Instead, I’d take notes on paper and just focus on whatever the meeting was about.

      For a while I tried just checking my email twice a day (at 10am and 4pm) but that wasn’t realistic given the demands of my job.

      Another thing I tend to do it disconnect more on the weekends. I will often go an entire day without using technology on a weekend, usually b/c I’m out skiing or hiking and it just isn’t realistic for me to be on my phone or computer then!

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