Are you distracted? Procrastinating? Disorganized?
Discover how to conquer your Demons of Distraction, increase your productivity and reduce stress.
Today's guest, Dr. Geri Markel is an educational psychologist, speaker, academic, author, consultant and expert on distraction, focus and productivity in life and work
As a professor at the University of Michigan, consulting at companies like Ford, Merrill Lynch, Disney, Time Warner and more, Geri has many different tools and strategies to help if you're feeling distracted, disorganized, or stressed.
In today's Episode, Geri unpacks the topic "Defeating The Demons Of Distraction"
Check out these episode highlights:
02:13 – Geri's ideal client: “My ideal client is a person who is very distracted, frustrated, has a lot of stress, perhaps is fearful of losing their job, and is always disappointing people."
03:42 – Her client's biggest challenge: “Is that they struggle to understand that they are not lazy, crazy or dumb. Which most people feel when they don't understand what's going on. And that you can be smart and competent in one area, but really be dysfunctional in another...”
05:28 – Geri's #1 insight to help you: "The world today is terribly disorganized and uncertain, which really raises stress and we're going to be driven to distraction. So knowing that these are constant, you then prepare the strategies to defeat these demons and their persistence..."
06:58 – What concept, book, program, or talk impacted you the most: "The Idea of Executive Function is a global way of looking at self regulation. A.D.D. and other situations were looked at as inattention, distractability, disorganization and impulsivity. But this ties it all together, because those people with A.D.D or A.D.H.D. are vastly different from one another...."
08:32 – Geri's valuable free resource: "If people go to my website, they can sign up for a complimentary 20 minute coaching session. Just to chat and see what is bothering you. Because sometimes just a quick chat will give you just a different perspective...”
09:44 – Geri's last thoughts: "...The Demons of Distraction are the common demons that people confront, at home, at work, at parenting, even at school... "
(Note, this was transcribed using a transcription software and may not reflect the exact words used in the podcast)
Narrator 0:00 Welcome to the "Destiny Awakening Interviews", a podcast with Andrew Wayfinder and his guests, bringing you powerful insights, inspiration and ways to break free, live life your way and make a difference in our changing and challenging world.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:16 So hello, everyone and a very warm welcome to another edition of the "Destiny Awakening Interviews". I'm Andrew Wayfinder Hryniewicz and I'm in interviewing today Dr. Geri Markel, educational psychologist, speaker, academic author, consultant and expert coach on the topic of distraction, focus and productivity in life and work.
So very warm. Welcome to you, Geri. And where are you hanging out today?
Dr. Geri Markel 0:43 First of all, it's great to be here. And today. I'm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:48 Okay, and how many feet of snow?
Dr. Geri Markel 0:51 We've got about two feet of snow and it's zero degrees.
Andrew Hryniewicz 0:55 Oh, Lord. Okay. Well, it's not quite that bad here in London, although we've had a couple of couple of dicey days but nothing like that.
So Dr. Geri Markel is an educational psychologist and creator of managing your mind coaching and seminars at managingyourmind.com. And she's an executive coach for those challenged by distraction and stress.
The reason I was interested in having Geri talk today is that not only is she an expert in productivity, as a professor at the University of Michigan (not Maryland) consulting, training and speaking at companies like Ford, Merrill Lynch, Disney, Time Warner, to name a few.
But she also offers many different tools and strategies to help you if you're feeling distracted, disorganized, or stressed, in work and life. So thank you, Geri, for your time today.
Dr. Geri Markel 1:49 It's great to be here.
Andrew Hryniewicz 1:51 And our title is "Defeating The Demons Of Distraction And Increasing Your Productivity." So Geri is going to unpack that, while answering six questions. So the time starts now.
The first question Geri is: Who is your ideal client and what's the transformation your work helps them achieve?
Dr. Geri Markel 2:13 My ideal client and my common client is a person who is very distracted, frustrated, has a lot of stress, perhaps is fearful of losing their job, and is always disappointing people. And so they may exhibit a lot of the behaviors that A.D.H.D. people exhibit, but they're just really bright.
And I've come up with a, I coined a phrase, "gifted with a glitch". So many of the people are extraordinarily smart. But at the same time, they have these vulnerabilities that prevent them from being productive.
So there's a VP who misses his budget, forgets appointments, is terribly disorganized. And, you know, with strategies, they can transform their lives in the long term step by step. And that's why I call it managing your mind coaching.
Andrew Hryniewicz 3:17 That reminds me, a friend of mine showed me this really funny thing on on Instagram a while ago, which said, "I don't have ducks. They're not in a row. I have squirrels and they're at a rave." And I can relate to this, you know, the mind, it's just going everywhere.
Okay, So question number two: What's the biggest challenge they're facing?
Dr. Geri Markel 3:42 I think the biggest challenge that people face who have, who confront distraction and disorganization, is understanding that they're not lazy, crazy or dumb. Which most people feel because they don't understand what's going on.
So, to understand that there is a duality: that you can be smart and competent in one area, but really be dysfunctional in another. And that's the biggest challenge. Once people accept that, then they open their mind to working step by step.
And so the coaching helps them trigger motivation, and persistence, and face the ups and downs that come. So it's very important that they accept the fact that they are smart, but in spite of their brains, they get into trouble all the time. It's persistent, and they disappoint themselves and others.
Andrew Hryniewicz 4:41 And I would think this idea of creating systems and processes is very important.
Dr. Geri Markel 4:49 Yes, it's 60 years of research in all kinds of fields that gives us information about goal setting, and feedback, and self monitoring. And it's putting those things into practice... you can have an engineer or system designer who never uses that stuff in their life.
Andrew Hryniewicz 5:10 It's the cobbler with the barefoot kids! Great. So question number three: What's the number one insight you would share with the audience to help them right now with with distraction?
Dr. Geri Markel 5:23 The number one insight is, you may have some internal drives to be distracted and disorganized. But today, the world is terribly disorganized and uncertain, which really raises stress.
And as soon as you have high stress and you're exhausted, high fatigue, your attention, your memory, and your endurance really go down. So we have to understand that many times during the day, we're going to be driven to distraction.
And that's why I identified these demons that may be technology, other people, fatigue, you may be ill. And so we have... or your mind may be racing all the time.
So knowing that these are constant, you then prepare and understand the strategies to defeat these demons and their persistence. So it's a constant battle, especially for people working in a remote situation, or having parenting or kids at home.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:27 All the things that pull you... that was another thing going around. "If it takes a village to raise a child. It takes a distillery to homeschool one!"
Dr. Geri Markel 6:39 That's good.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:42 Of course, that was a very English approach to... a very English comment.
Dr. Geri Markel 6:47 That's good to an American.
Andrew Hryniewicz 6:49 So question number four: What concept, book, program or talk has been most impactful? In your experience?
Dr. Geri Markel 6:58 You know, one of the things that have happened maybe in the last 10 years or so is the idea of executive function. So we're thinking of a part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, where it's like a conductor of an orchestra.
And helps you focus your attention, shift your attention, manage time, prioritize. Which is a more global way of looking at self regulation. And A.D.D. and other situations were looked at very specifically, sort of as inattention, and distractibility, and disorganization, maybe impulsivity.
But this ties it all together, because those people with A.D.D or A.D.H.D. are vastly different from one another. And so you can have the same intellectual potential, but function in a totally different way.
And then the other thing is, over the last 40-50 years, we've got terrific research on behavior change, and how people can get greater control over whatever it is the challenges and barriers they're facing.
Once they understand that, it gives a person more control and more optimism and hope.
Andrew Hryniewicz 8:18 Yeah, I think the research on plasticity is fascinating in that regard.
Dr. Geri Markel 8:23 Right.
Andrew Hryniewicz 8:25 Okay. So question number five: What free resource would you like to share with the audience to help them?
Dr. Geri Markel 8:32 Well, I'm pretty gregarious. So if people go to my website www.managingyourmind.com, they can sign up for a complimentary 20 minute coaching session. So, just to chat and see what is bothering you.
Because sometimes just a quick chat will give you just a different perspective. And then the other thing is, I offer a newsletter and a blog, and you can sign up for that. And when you get that, you get a little booklet that I did on "111 Ways to Defeat the Demons of Distraction."
So I'm very practical. I like strategies. It's my job as an educational psychologist is to help you learn strategy and then apply them to your unique situation.
Andrew Hryniewicz 9:21 That's great. And also there's, I would just want to add, when you go to Geri's site, you also get references to her books. And she's also developed some apps for those of you who like to use technology to offset the impacts of technology.
So the last question, question number six: Geri, what should I have asked you that I didn't?
Dr. Geri Markel 9:44 You know, one question people constantly ask is, how did you come up with this "Demons of Distraction". And so the history of that is I was a consultant at the University of Michigan School of Business, their education center and a trainer.
And through that did a lot of consulting in New York and financial institutions and banks and MTV and so on. And as I was in the halls and in the seminars, rooms, I'm seeing people function as if they have ADHD.
They're racing minds, and they're losing things. And they're disorganized. And they're dropping things, and so on and so forth. And I realized that the research I had done on attention and learning was directly applicable.
And so knowing that people are not interested in ADHD or anything research based, I came up with what would be catchy and interesting. And so "The Demons of Distraction" are the common demons that people confront, at home, at work, parenting, at school.
And was able to use all the strategies, like visualization and self talk, for each of these demons so that people really have something practical that they can hang on to.
Andrew Hryniewicz 11:03 Well, that's perfect. Jerry, what a great ending. So thank you so much for your time.
Dr. Geri Markel 11:08 It's a pleasure.
Narrator 11:11 Thanks for listening to the Destiny Awakening Interviews. If you have a friend who would benefit, please share, and subscribe to the show on iTunes and leave a review. We really appreciate it. And remember, always use your power for good
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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WHAT WE'RE ABOUT
For executives, professionals, leaders seeking careers and lives of fulfilment, purpose and impact.
Each week you get a short (7-9 min) chat with an expert in peak performance, optimal health, inner growth and real purpose.
The interviews are designed to help you do meaningful work, feel vital and alive again, and be respected and rewarded for your vision and values.
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'Adaptability Hacking' Dr Yishai, Mar 24
'Beyond Imposter Syndrome' Paul Larsen, Mar 31
'Conscious Leadership' Sophie McLen, April 7
'The Crucible' Jan Rutherford, April 14
Andrew Wayfinder is on a mission to make everyone's career and life more fulfilling, rewarding and meaningful in our changing, and challenging world.
Since 2011, he has used his unique background (architect, psycho-therapist, shamanic healer) to help 175+ executives and leaders (in corporate, creative, academic and scientific settings) create lives and careers they love.
Author of Free your Soul, founder of Destiny Awakening and the Wayfinder Path, Andrew has spoken at MindValley U, been on BBC Radio and interviewed in OmYoga Magazine.
Andrew lives in London, UK (where he enjoys cooking, cycling, art museums and galleries) and he works with clients in the US, Europe, UK and Asia.