Crossing the swamp; feeding the Crocodiles

Crossing the swamp; feeding the Crocodiles
Crossing the swamp; feeding the Crocodiles

In this era of Information overload “distraction” is the new Cocaine !

Through mobile phones, online entertainment services, the Internet, electronic mail, television, radio, newspapers, books, social media etc. people receive every day about 105,000 words or 23 words per second in half a day (12 hours) (during awake hours). After adding pictures, videos, games, etc., we reach the volume of 34 Gigabytes of information per day on average.

While receiving all this the brain is still primitive at the core and processes the messages with a response of fight or flight. The output is then our expression or an urge to respond with our view of the stimulus. This in turn leads to more of the above.

My favorite metaphor to fight these distractions (read overthinking, over-analyzing, outbursts) is “stay focused on crossing the swamp and don’t stand around and feed the crocodiles” !

It is even more critical than ever before to define your objective absolutely down to daily activities (so you know your swamp) and then while you will get distracted by everything around you (feeding the crocodiles) the more you allow us to stay distracted the further you get from achieving your objective.

It like you need to get for a meeting and you are stuck in traffic with drivers driving like maniacs (happens all the time if you live in India) you have a choice to weave through the traffic and get there cause if you give in to the distraction and start teaching others how to drive you are never going to get where you needed to and also will just end up in a fight of road rage !

This happens at work too…you join a new team so stay focused on your performance. Don’t get distracted about other peoples way of working cause they aren’t going to change it for you and the only chance you may have is by focusing on delivering your results.

This simple metaphoric philosophy works in life as well ! Define (vision board) where you want to be in the next couple of years (2-3 years is a good horizon) and then stay focused on getting there instead of getting distracted by what others are doing and how others define success. Cause success means fulfilling your objectives in your defined time frame!

A lot of the noise around us is created by standing and feeding the crocodiles and then the crocodiles become so big that they chase you around the swamp and you lose focus to where you wanted to get to.

So take out some time and define your objective… and then stay focused on crossing the swamp and be aware when you stand around and start feeding the crocodiles !!