Objectives of the workshop
• The problem of digital distraction/information
• Your own digital distractions - Room 101
• Technologies to help with digital distraction
*Not every solution will work for everyone
Not all solutions may be right for you, requires willpower.
We each leave behind us a vast ‘data trail’ every time we
travel, use our phone or credit card, search or buy online,
use social media or visit a supermarket. That data adds up,
making up part of the 2.5 billion gigabytes of data –
equivalent to 67.5 billion Encyclopedia Britannicas -
created across the world every day.
Beware the hyperlink
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Disruption and Recovery of Computing Tasks: Field Study, Analysis, and Directions
What are your digital distractions?
Image CC BY Davis Staedtler http://bit.ly/1KD81yk
Image CC BY David Goehring
Cognitive control in media multitaskers. E Ophir, C Nass, AD Wagner.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (37), 15583-15587
What some of the big fish do
• Google – No more than 10 people at a
• Reily Media – Have standing up meetings
• Founder of Tumblr David Karp doesn’t read
email first hour of every morning
• IBM – No email periods
Colleagues in ScHARR
“ I find meditation helps to focus on what matters: what is really happening now, what is my purpose
and how can I respond in a more kindly way to whatever is happening.”*
“Meditation literally gives me 'head-space' and a release from thinking about the stress of our
increasingly busy lives, and the constant intrusion of technology that is eroding the boundaries
between work life and home life. Meditation using mindfulness techniques provides the tranquility
and nourishment my mind needs to keep it healthy in the same way my body needs exercise and
a healthy diet.”
“I find meditation help not only calm my mind but also increase its ability to concentrate on an
object. Performing mindfulness helps me touch the present moment; be less distracted or
disturbed by thoughts about the past or the future; be able to focus more on the task I am doing;
and be able to listen to others and help them to be with the present moment as well.”
“I find that after the 20 min session on a Wed lunchtime, my thoughts are more organised and I am
“I find it hugely 'levelling'. I am less critical of myself and others which gives me tons more space to
enjoy what I am doing by simply being immersed in it.”
“I can wake up with lots of brief thoughts presenting themselves and find that meditation quietens
this down and I can enjoy doing one thing at a time plus decide more easily what order to tackle
I find that during the day, I am able to close my eyes for 1 min or so and rebalance or refocus
myself and get rid of unhelpful thoughts. I find it very helpful if I have a lot on or need to deal with
challenges. It gives me the energy and focus required.
* Both Professors
Do you practise
What are your experiences?
If not, why not?
Other useful productivity tools
https://en.todoist.com/ Windows, Mac, IOS,
https://www.wunderlist.com/ Windows, Mac,
IOS, Android, Web
Windows, Mac, IOS, Android, Blackberry
Things for you to try
Leave your phone at home
Go for a walking meeting
Go work in the library
Try meditating (even for just a minute)
• The effect of music listening on work performance
• The Effect of Student Music Choice on Writing Productivity.
Music to work to – ScoopIt! Page
Presentation aimed at helping you reduce digital distractions and manage the problems of information overload.