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Cognitive Abilities Can Be Used To Overcome Technological Distractions

There are varying degrees of steadiness. Some people are focused, unyielding, and undeterred by distractions. Some are flexible, multi-tasked, and enjoy distractions. Some are a little of both.

How does the ubiquity of technological distractions today impact our ability to be productive? How do the super-steady types avoid getting frustrated with all the interruptions? And how do the easily distracted types garner enough focus to finish anything?


The answer is: we adapt to the situation for short periods of time. Our ability to adapt is largely a function of our cognitive abilities. We must continuously adjust our natural style and what feels comfortable; we must either block out the interruption or respond to it. Those with strong cognitive abilities are likely to be most successful in adapting to today's work environment.


Leaders should encourage their direct reports to develop their cognitive abilities and screen new-hire candidates for their thinking abilities.


Empowered direct reports focus on their critical thinking skills and are more successful.


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