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Day 3 | Saturday | OVERLOAD


Today is a fast from electronics from sunrise to 3:00 pm. Break your dependence and build your stamina by stretching your technology fast until mid-afternoon.

Imagine that you’re asked to watch a short video (below) in which six people—three in white shirts and three in black shirts—pass basketballs around. While you watch, you must keep a silent count of the number of passes made by the team in white shirts. At some point, a gorilla strolls into the middle of the action, faces the camera and thumps its chest, and then leaves, spending nine seconds on screen. Would you see the gorilla?

When we have too many things to pay attention to, it becomes impossible to attend to everyone and everything, so a temporary “blindness” effect can occur and we become cognitively flooded. When this happens, even though we are hearing, we are not really listening; although we are seeing, we are not actually paying attention.

This experiment reveals two things about cognitive overload:

  1. That we are missing a lot of what goes on around us.
  2. We have no idea that we are missing so much.


Watch the video:

What one activity can you eliminate from your calendar this coming week in order to have more down-time in your schedule?