Hello, my name is Glenn and I have AFS, Attention Fatigue Syndrome.
Each day I am bombarded with advertisements, emails, phone calls, mail, and face-to-face meetings. Then throw in headline news, tweets, posts, voice-mails, newsletters, webinars, seminars, classes, and radio. Even my dogs sometimes ask for my attention (which is actually rather sweet and probably healthier for me than tweets and email).
The barrage of information and distractions is never ending, many times with demands of immediate responses to even mundane requests. “I sent you a text 10 minutes ago about moving our lunch meeting, why haven’t you answered already?”
While I work to deal with this information overload and try to block much of it, I’m sure I miss messages that could be of value. It can be hard to do, of course, because everyone touts their messages as valuable. In many cases, the value is for the creator of the messages, not so much for me.
As a victim of AFS, I have days where I struggle to focus on the important messages, the ones I most need to hear. The information that will help me move forward, not information that is just mind-filling or mind-numbing.
I frequently hear new agents and mortgage offices explain, “My service is great, if everyone would just stop and let me show them the value.” But like everyone else, they too resist receiving the barrage of other’s messages. They often don’t listen well, yet want others to stop and listen to them. Seems a little hypocritical, doesn’t it?
I believe most of our communication has regressed to become something like a pre-schooler, demanding attention with no real awareness of the rest of the world. “Look mom, look! Look Mom! LOOOK!”
Is there a cure for AFS? I believe researchers are working on it, experts continue to offer tips for improving focus, and laboratory mice are likely now subjected to twitter feeds.
In the mean time, I work to improve my personal focus and find ways to eliminate needless or less important message streams. It will take time, support, and discipline. And maybe a power failure or two.