My friend Kary Oberbrunner is an engaging and innovative speaker, author and coach. His latest project is a young adult book of fiction called The Elixir Project. What drives the plot is the premise of how we get “hacked” metaphorically and literally, and the non-fiction aspects of the book have important implications for us as leaders, and that’s why I asked Kary to share the following article.
Ever have an amazing idea?
If you’re like most people then you started out excited, ready to implement that idea. But then something happened. Chances are you and your dream got sidelined or sabotaged somewhere along the way.
Maybe you attributed your lack of implementation to distractions or loss of focus? But the brutal truth is, YOU got hacked.
Humans getting hacked? Sounds mighty similar to a sci-fi movie—except that it’s not. Hacking is when something gets unauthorized access to a system or computer.
Good thing humans aren’t systems or computers—except that we are.
Think back to your younger years and you’ll remember our bodies are made up of systems…eleven to be exact (circulatory system, reproductive system, etc.). And many scientists refer to our brains as sophisticated types of computers.
Science fiction is converging with science fact and the majority of us are ill-equipped to successfully navigate this over-stimulated new world.
HOW WE’RE GETTING HACKED
- OUR SMART PHONES ARE HACKING US
According to a study conducted by the research firm Dscout, on average people touch their phones 2,617 times a day. (Heavy users do 5,427 touches.)
- The average person spends a total of five hours a day browsing the web and using apps. This equates to around a third of the time a person is awake, and is twice as often as many people realize.
- Researchers also found smartphone use was typically confined to short bursts, with more than half of uses lasting less than 30 seconds. This means that people experience “distracted work” far more regularly than what Georgetown University Professor Cal Newport calls “deep work.”
- MULTI-TASKING IS HACKING US
- Multi-tasking is a myth.The brain can only do 1 cognitive activity at a time. This phenomenon, more properly understood as switch-tasking, decreases productivity by up to 40%.
- According to Forbes: “Researchers at the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London studied 1,100 workers at a British company and found that multitasking with electronic media caused a greater decrease in IQ than smoking pot.”
- In a 2009 paper titled “Why Is It So Hard to Do My Work?” from Sophie Leroy, a business-school professor at the University of Minnesota reveals that multi-tasking literally produces “attention residue” or the inability to transition tasks effectively. This in turn saps mental energy, ruins concentration, and reduces overall productivity.
- VIDEO GAMES ARE HACKING US
- According to The Entertainment Software Association annual report Americans spent $23.5 billion on video games in 2015.
- STREAMING VIDEOS ARE HACKING US
- According to Reel In Reel, 11 billion hours is spent watching videos on Netflix every month.
- ADVERTISEMENTS ARE HACKING US
- According to an article in the NY Times, the average person sees 5,000 ads a day.
- DECISION FATIGUE IS HACKING US
- Researchers at Cornell University discovered that the average person makes 226.7 food decisions a day. (Perhaps this is why influencers like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama choose NOT to be hacked and pre-decide what to wear.)
- OUR DREAMS ARE GETTING HACKED
- Aspiring authors get hacked. According to USA Today, 82% of the population dreams of writing a book. In reality, less than 1% ever do.
- D. students get hacked. ABD stands for “all but dissertation,” a description of a student who has finished coursework and passed comprehensive exams, but has yet to complete and defend the doctoral thesis. Today, the Ph.D. Completion Project estimates that the ten-year completion rate (that is, someone’s status a decade after they begin) is barely over 50%.
HOW TO BECOME UNHACKABLE
In a society of increasing distractions, Unhackability© is the new secret weapon of super achievers in every field. Unhackability centers on 3 components:
Idea | Focus | Flow
- IDEA: Flawless Idea Anatomy
- FOCUS: Deliberate Magnetic Focus
- FLOW: Optimal Human Performance
Unhackability is quickly becoming the defining characteristic of the highest performing leaders and teams—those able to cut through the noise of life and close the gap between ideation and implementation. All others get hacked, experience frustration and stagnation, and suffer from irrelevance.
In a world where everyone is connected, anyone can be hacked. The only remaining question is will you?
Take the Unhackability Assessment © and discover where you’re getting hacked. Your answers are 100% confidential and you’ll receive a customized Unhackability score.
Kary Oberbrunner is an author, coach, and speaker who helps individuals and organizations clarify who they are, why they’re here, and where they’re going so they can become Souls on Fire, experience unhackability, and share their message with the world. His new book Elixir Project is a fictional thriller about the new world that awaits us. His FREE training helps leaders and teams experience Unhackability in work and life.