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Interruption Overload

Have you noticed how stressful it is to be constantly interrupted? You are trying to say something and you can't get your sentence out, because someone keeps interrupting you, correcting you and messing with your thought process and the outcome you are trying to produce. This can be infuriating and is totally disempowering. Assumedly you wouldn’t accept it for long. But how often do you interrupt yourself?

Every time someone sends a WhatsApp, do you look at the message? Every time someone emails do you hear the bleep? Or do you take charge of your phone and email inbox and attend to them when you are ready? Do you give yourself permission to put your phone on silent so you can concentrate, or do you keep it vibrating so you are in connection at all times? There is a huge stress factor associated with interruptions and there is a tipping point beyond which there is overload and the stress becomes destructive.

Most people are addicted to connection and so it is almost impossible for them to ignore the interruptions. Awareness is key as always. Sometimes it's helpful to be “always on”, but my invitation to you is to choose. Recognize that it is ok to be unavailable and that the end of the world will not come if you are. Own the addiction to being connected and gently try to work with it through overcoming it and training your brain to be without its “fix” of connection at ever increasing times.

Nerves which fire together wire together is a famous saying from the neuroscience fraternity and what it means for us is that if we have fired the neural stimulus of "bleep" with "pick up cell phone" then it is really challenging to unwire that and create a new pathway including ignoring a bleep. We have also created a neurotag that says it's safer to be in constant connection with the world and so the sensation of disconnection can feel very unsafe. However if we work with understanding and compassion, we can retrain ourselves to trust the world to spin freely without our input for periods of time.

This will give us the possibility of reducing our interruption overload to a less distressing level and our stress levels will be on the right side of the tipping point! We will avoid a spike in stress and a rain shower of stress hormones into a blood stream, with all the negative consequences that brings.

Try it for short times and assess the results. Personally, I read and answer emails once a day and I leave my phone on silent whenever I am consulting. It's amazing how easy it is and people are used to waiting for a response from me. I wonder if it could work for you?


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