Understanding the psychology of distraction can help you stay on task

Could your urge to check emails — instead of finishing that major project — be a response to an uncomfortable emotional state?

  • It's easy to stumble down a rabbit hole when we consider the action beneficial like checking emails, stock prices, or sports scores.
  • However, if these seemingly beneficial actions take the place of something else we intended to do, they're just distractions. And we've been moved to these distraction as a psychological response to discomfort.
  • The truth is that distraction comes from within, and time management is just another form of pain management.
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Defining values is one thing, living them is another

This is how companies can better align with the values they claim to uphold.

  • Defining corporate values is increasingly important to organizations and society—which is why consulting firms are making millions of dollars helping organizations define their values. What we're seeing consistently, says social innovator Aaron Hurst, is this is not working.
  • You can print values on posters and talk about them at conferences, but these values often fail to become part of the fabric of the organization. They remain upper-management-speak.
  • You could start to fix that problem in one hour, says Hurst. Try his recommended exercise: Connect your employees in pairs and ask them to talk about how a given value has shown up in their career, what does it mean to them? Values are only legitimate if everyone in your company can tell genuine stories about how those values have shown up in their daily jobs.
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Navigating reality: It’s all about perspective

Learn to level up your thinking on how you perceive reality.

  • Social philosopher Daniel Schmachtenberger explains why the capacity to hold the relationships between many perspectives at once can inform our choice-making and help us navigate reality.
  • Transperspectival thinking is useful in the abstract—like Schmachtenberger's example of two tribes of dimensional beings—as well as in the real world.
  • Try to recall this lesson on transperspectival thinking during your next political debate or discussion and see how it may change your reactions and the way you navigate political realities.
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8 principles that will make you smarter about money

It's not the act of buying but how you spend money that improves happiness and life satisfaction.

  • To prove money can't buy happiness, people point to millionaires and lottery winners who ruined their lives.
  • Psychological studies have shown that learning how to spend your money can improve overall happiness.
  • We explore eight money-spending principles that research suggests can bolster life satisfaction.
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Can we afford to live longer?

We're living longer than ever, but few of us will save enough to afford this historical boon.

  • A person reaching 65 today can expect to live into their mid-80s, many into their 90s.
  • A 30-year retirement requires a nest egg of more than $1 million, yet 77 percent of American households fall short of such savings and investments.
  • Experts recommend several strategies for affording a longer life, such as pushing the retirement age back to at least 70.
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