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← Burnout: How addiction to distraction is eroding our capacity | Melanie Sodka | TEDxWindsor

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Showing Revision 13 created 09/18/2019 by Rhonda Jacobs.

  1. So, we are the most distracted society
    that has ever existed.
  2. In fact, we are distracted
    every three minutes of the day.
  3. And what's even more interesting than that
  4. is that the University
    of California, Irvine, states
  5. that it takes us 15 minutes
    to get back on track.
  6. We swipe, scroll, tap, touch our phones
    over 3,000 times a day,
  7. and nine is the average windows or apps
    open at any given time.
  8. Yet we crave more time.
  9. So, we invent systems to keep us on task,
    on track, on time, in the black.
  10. We use our devices,
    our wearables, our apps -
  11. any software to make us more productive.
  12. The funny thing is we still complain about
    being time-starved and time-deprived.
  13. How many of you have caught yourself
    saying, "I wish I had more time"?
  14. "I wish I could make more time"?
  15. Well, I want to challenge that,
  16. and I want to arm you
    with some new vocabulary.
  17. So I'd love for you to replace
    the "I wish I had more time"
  18. with "I want to create capacity."
  19. Capacity is entrenched in our values.
  20. It is the long game.
  21. It is fueled by passion,
  22. it is supported by energy
  23. and results in fulfillment.
  24. And one can't live without the other,
  25. because if you only had passion,
    you probably wouldn't get very much done.
  26. And if you only had energy, you would be
    overwhelmed and overcommitted.
  27. And if you only focused on fulfillment,
    your passions might be a little shallow.
  28. Human behavior is so interesting
    to observe, isn't it?
  29. Think about yourselves at a bookended day,
  30. backed by meetings after meetings
    after meetings and commitments.
  31. And how we react is we try
    to crawl out of this crevice.
  32. We're squeezed for time.
  33. And this climb is exhausting.
  34. But some people will say,
    "Mel, I am great at multitasking."
  35. How many of you would say
    you're great at multitasking?
  36. Raise your hand right now.
  37. Fantastic.
  38. Well, I don't have
    fantastic news for you, actually.
  39. (Laughter)
  40. Multitasking is actually
    creating some havoc.
  41. This woman here -
    I asked my eight-year-old,
  42. I said, "What do you see in this picture?"
  43. And she said, "Mom, I see a woman
    doing the splits, reading a book
  44. and making a movie."
  45. I said, "Okay."
  46. And then she said, "But Mom,
    she doesn't look very happy.
  47. She should be doing one thing."
  48. I was like, mind-blown!
  49. #MomForTheWin. Right?
  50. This was a fantastic.
  51. And then I said to my husband, I said,
    "Hon, what do you see in this picture?"
  52. And he said,
  53. "A woman."
  54. So I will not deconstruct
    that answer right now.
  55. We will save that for later.
  56. But the point is that multitasking
    and task-switching
  57. is actually making us dumb!
  58. It is decreasing our IQ by 15 points.
  59. It is actually like operating
    on a sleepless night.
  60. It is like getting an eight-year-old
    to write the most important email.
  61. And would we do that?
  62. No.
  63. That's not what we want to do.
  64. A lot of people will say,
  65. "You know what, Mel,
    this is how I operate.
  66. Multitasking, I'm used to doing it.
  67. I can do it.
  68. But I can't get rid of any of these things
    because they're all obligations."
  69. And I challenge back softly, and I say,
  70. "You have capacity.
    It's just being eroded somewhere.
  71. And we need to find that erosion."
  72. One of the main culprits
    for these capacity thieves
  73. is our addiction to notifications.
  74. And our addiction to notifications
    is killing us slowly.
  75. Research is actually telling us
    that the addiction to the notification,
  76. the disappointment and the anticipation
  77. is creating an excess of stress hormone
    and cortisol in our bodies
  78. that our bodies can't
    break down fast enough.
  79. Therefore, it's depleting
    our cells and our tissues.
  80. This is not the way
    we should be operating,
  81. so we need to take note
    of where we are distracted.
  82. I have a quick story
    about how I was overcapacitating,
  83. and I was overcommitted and overwhelmed
  84. and addicted to adrenaline
  85. and coffee,
  86. loads of coffee.
  87. And I found myself at my doctor's
    more often than I would want to admit
  88. because I was experiencing symptoms
    that I had never experienced before:
  89. acute nosebleeds, skin issues,
    hair loss, migraines, cellulitis.
  90. And so I went back
    to the doctor's one last time,
  91. and she looked at me,
  92. and then she looked at her notepad,
    and she wrote ... something,
  93. handed it to me,
  94. and I read it.
  95. And it said, "This patient is disabled
    from all duties for one month."
  96. And I wanted to refute it.
  97. And I wanted to contest it.
  98. But I didn't.
  99. I took it back.
  100. The world works in strange ways
  101. because that day on my way home,
    I received a phone call
  102. that was probably one of the best
    phone calls I had ever received,
  103. and the message was that I had been
    the recipient of a 40 Under 40 award.
  104. I was ecstatic, but I was conflicted.
  105. Because the world had just rewarded me
    for overcapacitating.
  106. So I immediately called
    the doctor's office back
  107. and negotiated one week
    instead of one month.
  108. (Laughter)
  109. But I took that week,
  110. and in deep self-reflection,
  111. I really took a deep look
    at how I was operating
  112. and how I needed to change.
  113. Because I knew
  114. I didn't want to be at the mercy of other
    people's commitments or requests,
  115. and I didn't want to go home
  116. hoping I would have enough energy
    to read my kids a book
  117. without wanting to take a nap instead.
  118. And so I did something.
  119. In deep self-reflection, I create.
  120. And I created a structure,
  121. because I knew I wasn't the only one
    suffering from this.
  122. I knew there was other people
    that could benefit
  123. for something that I could learn
    from all of these experiences.
  124. And so after research and observation
  125. and discussion and listening to people
    and how they were talking about time,
  126. I discovered that there were four states
    of capacity that we operate in
  127. at any given time.
  128. And it's not based on personality.
  129. It's not based on IQ.
  130. It's not based on your left brain
    or your right brain.
  131. It's simply the decisions that we make
  132. that make us operate
    in one of these states of capacity.
  133. There are four.
  134. And it will take you
    on a bit of a journey,
  135. which could be a typical trajectory
  136. of how someone can actually
    fluidly flow through
  137. these four states of capacity.
  138. We have indulgent, fatigued,
    reserved and maximized.
  139. Let's start with indulgent, shall we?
  140. Indulgent state of capacity
    is where we say yes;
  141. it's where we're addicted
    to the adrenaline.
  142. It's where we want to validate our talent.
  143. It's where we say yes a lot.
  144. But when we say yes too much,
    we become overcommitted and overwhelmed,
  145. and when we're not
    taking care of ourselves,
  146. many of you will know
  147. that this happens.
  148. It's the second state of capacity,
    which is fatigued and it's burnout.
  149. This is not where we want to be.
  150. Because a reboot is clearly in order.
  151. We need to resign
    from some of these habits.
  152. We have no capacity to give
    to anyone or anything.
  153. Burnout, actually,
  154. is something that has just
    been deemed a medical condition
  155. by the [World] Health
    Organization just last week.
  156. Very interesting, but very scary
    at the same time.
  157. So we want to emerge from this;
    we want to get out of this state.
  158. We want to move to another state,
  159. and this is the third one
    called the reserved state of capacity.
  160. Now, a couple of different
    things can happen here
  161. because this is where
    we have now restored our capacity,
  162. but we're very hesitant to give it away
  163. because we don't want
    to end up back in fatigued.
  164. It's also a place where
    we can do restorative activities
  165. to maintain,
  166. to build capacity.
  167. Where we really want
    to spend most of our time
  168. is in the fourth state,
    and it's maximized.
  169. This is where we say yes with discernment
    and no without guilt.
  170. This is where we're connected to our why.
  171. This is where we want to be.
  172. This is where we want
    to spend most of our time.
  173. As a business professor,
  174. I teach time management,
    prioritization, decision making,
  175. but as a student,
    I never learnt about capacity,
  176. and so I teach it.
  177. It's important.
  178. We are so good at booking ourselves
    back to back to back.
  179. Any space we can find
    in the calendar, we might book.
  180. My wish is for that the next generation
    to avoid being diagnosed with burnout,
  181. to be able to stand
    on their two feet firmly,
  182. centered in their values,
    discerning in their decisions
  183. and respecting their capacity.
  184. I want you and I
    to be able to use new language.
  185. I want us to be able to tell each other
  186. "I'm sorry, I don't have
    the capacity for that right now."
  187. And it's different.
  188. There's a shift.
  189. There's a mutual understanding.
  190. Simply put, capacity is the ability
    to say yes to something,
  191. wholeheartedly,
  192. but also knowing you have to say no
    to something else.
  193. [YES. NO]
  194. You said yes to listening to this today,
  195. and I am eternally grateful.
  196. But you also said no to something else
    that you could have been doing today.
  197. And that's what this is all about.
  198. It's reframing the way
    we make commitments.
  199. So right now,
  200. I want to give you an experience
    of what capacity actually feels like.
  201. So you have these rubber bands,
  202. and I want you to put them
    between your two fingers,
  203. your two index fingers, right now.
  204. Alright.
  205. This is capacity elasticity
  206. because our capacity has elastic.
  207. We can stretch our capacity.
  208. So I'm going to ask you
    a series of questions,
  209. and you're going to say yes
    whether you want to or not.
  210. But don't worry, I won't hold you to it.
  211. Okay? Everybody's with me?
  212. Alright. Fantastic. Okay.
  213. Hey, do you think
    you can join this committee?
  214. We'd love to have you on this committee.
  215. Yes.
  216. Okay, fantastic.
  217. At the first meeting,
    do you think you can lead it?
  218. You're the best person to do that.
  219. Yes.
  220. And, we need coffee.
  221. Can you pick up the coffee
    before we get to that meeting?
  222. Great, okay.
  223. We're having a BBQ next weekend.
  224. I'd love you to bring your family.
  225. Come on over. Right?
  226. And, hey, while you're there,
  227. we have some furniture we need to move,
    and I'd love for you to help us.
  228. Okay, yes.
  229. Your elastic band should be stretched.
  230. Your fingers should be shaking
    a little bit, okay?
  231. This is how we walk around
    when we're overcommitted.
  232. This is the feeling.
  233. Your faces are a little
    contorted right now.
  234. I'm not sure if it's because
    the band is going to snap -
  235. and I'm not responsible for any injuries.
  236. However, this is how we walk around,
    and this is how we show up.
  237. So release that band
    and find the right tension.
  238. Because when we are intentional
    about our capacity,
  239. there's a comfortable tension.
  240. But there's also a state
    of being underleveraged
  241. when there's not enough tension.
  242. So pay attention to that.
  243. We make time for groceries!
  244. We make time for errands!
  245. We make time for meetings
    and quick coffees!
  246. We shouldn't be making time
    for moments like this.
  247. This is where we should be
    creating capacity for our loved ones,
  248. for moments that
    we don't get a do-over for.
  249. This is where we need
    to preserve and pace.
  250. We measure everything else.
  251. We measure our calories.
    We measure our weight.
  252. We measure our macros,
    our micros, our bank accounts.
  253. We measure time.
  254. But how many of us actually
    really consider measuring our capacity?
  255. It's like when somebody asks you,
  256. "Hey, you want to come over
    for a party or come to this event?"
  257. and you check your calendar
    and realize you are booked
  258. back to back.
  259. But in some way, you say,
  260. "You know what? I'm busy,
    but I'll squeeze you in."
  261. And in some strange way,
    we intend to flatter the person
  262. by "squeezing them in."
  263. This is what we're going to do?
  264. I really want us
    to challenge that thinking
  265. because it's not flattery at all.
  266. This is the way we show up
    when we're overcommitted.
  267. How many of you can relate to this photo
    whenever you show up to an event
  268. because you have just
    ran from another event
  269. to literally just to try
    and make the next one,
  270. and the next one,
  271. and the next one?
  272. No more showing up like this.
  273. [Ego cake]
  274. So what next?
  275. What do we do?
  276. Well,
  277. in time of self-reflection,
    I created something.
  278. And this came from
    a conversation with my mom.
  279. And the structure is called "ego cake."
  280. And the name comes
    from discussion that went like this:
  281. So my mom says to me,
  282. she says, "Mel, your life looks
    like this decadent dessert table
  283. filled with mouth-watering desserts."
  284. And I was like,
    "Yeah, it does. Thank you."
  285. And then she says, "You have taken a bite
    out of every single one of them."
  286. I was like, alright, where's this going?
    I didn't really expect it to go this way.
  287. I said, "Okay."
  288. And she said, "Which one
    have you enjoyed the most?"
  289. I didn't have an answer.
  290. I didn't know which one
    I had enjoyed the most.
  291. I couldn't possibly
    have enjoyed one of them;
  292. I had taken a bite out of all of them,
    and I was bloated and full
  293. from all of the opportunities
    that I had tried to take advantage of.
  294. I was overcommitted.
  295. And so, I went back
    and created a structure
  296. that helps us deconstruct
    our commitment patterns,
  297. that helps us observe
    our indulgent behaviors.
  298. So just like a cake, it has five layers,
    and it starts from the bottom.
  299. Options in abundance leads to stagnation.
  300. We are sold to 24/7.
  301. "Buy this." "Do this." "Be this."
  302. How do we possibly decide?
  303. Distraction is the death
    of productivity and creativity.
  304. When we are distracted,
    we don't do our best work.
  305. And the third layer is resignment.
  306. And it is the juiciest
    layer of this structure
  307. because this is where
    we get to say no with discernment.
  308. We need to resign from the things
    that are no longer serving us.
  309. Because when we do that,
  310. it allows us to be more aware
    of what's in front of us,
  311. more aware of the opportunities
    that bring us joy and fulfill our souls.
  312. And once we do that,
    we have the power to commit,
  313. which is the fifth layer.
  314. Now, I want you to remember this,
  315. and I want you to do this
    anywhere, any place, any time.
  316. So I'm going to ask you to join me
  317. by raising your left hand,
    palm facing your chest,
  318. pinkies down, fingers nice and tight.
  319. Alright, perfect.
  320. The pinky finger represents options,
    obligations and opportunities,
  321. and notice how our pinky is pretty short,
  322. so choose wisely.
  323. The second layer is our ring finger,
    and it's about distraction.
  324. And usually it's adorned
    by some sort of jewelry,
  325. and it's like, oh, wow,
    that's really shiny.
  326. Sorry, I got distracted
    there for a moment.
  327. Okay?
  328. And then our middle finger
    is about resignation.
  329. And it is by no coincidence
    it is our middle finger
  330. to say no to the things
    that are not serving us anymore.
  331. (Laughter)
  332. And the fourth layer is our pointer,
  333. and it's awareness,
  334. and it's about creating and observing
  335. and being aware of all
    of the newfound space we've created
  336. from resignment.
  337. And finally, commitment.
  338. Remember that when we are able
    to say yes to something,
  339. we also have to say no to something else.
  340. Thank you so much,
  341. and I trust that you're respecting
    your capacity today.
  342. (Applause) (Cheers)
  343. Thank you.