This morning my workout buddy told me she was so distracted thinking about all the things she has to get done, that instead of gargling, she swallowed her mouthwash. Her explanation: "I have about 3,000 things on my mind right now. Do you ever have that problem?"
One recent morning, distracted with a dozen things and dabbing at the remains of the mascara from the day before, I noticed that the eye-makeup remover smelled odd. Odd, but familiar. Fortunately I noticed that it was actually nail polish remover before I actually got acetone in my eye. (Yikes!)
It's easy to find distracted and overwhelmed people -- just get into your car and go for a drive, they are everywhere.
I could have called it the wall of irritation, because there are so many little irritating things we all need to do ... follow complicated procedures, install things on our phones, reset passwords, find forms, meet deadlines, find answers in support forums, replace broken appliances, get new watch batteries. In the face of this, the world wonders why we aren't paying more attention to our health, spending more time with our families, and making good financial plans for the future.
There is now so much information available, that we can even feel guilty if we don't find the right answer to a great many things, like the best price on a car, or the most durable washer. The information has helped, but it has also added to the great wall.
We don't even have time to be good consumers. We don't read the fine print, we don't follow the instruction manual, and we click "agree" with abandon. Is it any wonder we re-use the same password over and over, even though we know this is not a good security plan?
Three ways to get over the wall
When I think about this in the context of my clients, I always come to the same conclusions:
- Keep it short -- our attention span is shorter than ... sorry, wait, what was I saying?
- Keep it simple -- none of us have time to sort out confusing messages
- Keep it relevant -- your product/service is not the thing we are most worried about (-- unless of course, you have really made a hash of things)