Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ignoring distractions

For Christmas, I got an iPhone 4S. One of the most hyped-up features of this device is Siri, the voice recognizing and talking assistant. The phone also has a “reminder” app, so I can either manually type in reminders or tell Siri to take care of it for me. Siri has made it easier for me to keep and respond to a “to do” list.

According to Peter Bregman, a strategic advisor to CEOs and their leadership teams, there is one other list I should think about: an ignore list. Bregman wrote a post for the Harvard Business Review Blog Network titled, “Two Lists You Should Look at Every Morning.” The two lists he talks about are your focus list and your ignore list.

Connor Child
I know it may seem silly to write a blog post about another blog post, but this is just what I needed to hear. As the new year approaches, many of us will make resolutions about what we will do in the coming year. My resolutions will be more about what I will stop doing in the coming year. For instance, do I really need to read the comments below a YouTube video? Odds are that I’m already not making productive use of my time by watching said video; what could I possibly get out of reading what ragtag57 has to say about it?

Bregman says the “ignore list” should contain distractions. What types of things are getting in your way? I can’t speak for everyone, but I can say for myself that there are several distractions that have limited my academic progress. With the internet and social media networks, the number of distractions out there is limitless. As I near the beginning of the final semester of my undergraduate career, I have made a commitment to eliminate or reduce the timewasting activities that have gotten in my way.

But not right now. I just got a cool new smartphone and I want to play with its lightsaber app for a little bit.

- Connor Child

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