A Call To Minimize Distraction & Respect Users Attention is a recently hyped presentation that was shown internally at Google years ago and leaked at some point. After looking at the presentation, which I believe is very much worth looking at, I realized there were two concrete reasons to minimize distraction that mattered to me and many people I talk with.
Deep Work and Getting Things Done
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World is a book by Cal Newport, an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University.
Deep Work is essentially the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. This is important for those who want to be creative, produce something in many fields, and more. The book outlines how to perform deep work and some history around its success. It provides both a case for it based on history and a guide in achieving it.
Notice the part about being “without distraction”. Distraction is an enemy of deep work. It’s the enemy of working on difficult or creative tasks. Minimizing distraction enables us to better solve problems (engineering), develop software (what I do for a living), create new things, and more.
Living Better and Longer
The Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest comes from the research into longevity as it looks at people who have lived the longest. Those who live the longest also tend to have a great amount of vitality and are able to do for themselves, such as live well on their own, past the age most people in western cultures live. Not only do they live a long time but they live well during that time.
Spoiler: our relationships with others affect our longevity.
Distraction takes away from our relationships with others. The decreasing quality and quantity of our relationships with others has been documented by scientists for years. Distraction plays a part in that as we are too distracted to engage with others to have those relationships.
Distraction takes away from our quality of life and work. That’s not really a good thing, don’t you think.