I was reading an article in the New York Times today by Tony Schwartz about the human brain’s craving for novelty and constant stimulation. At least in people who have let immediate gratification become their main lifestyle.
And let’s face it, that’s most of us.
We need more and more new information or entertainment to maintain a sense of well-being. But that well-being is an illusion, just like the temporary feeling of relief in a drug addict who’s scored a hit.
Our brains then become like an overflowing cup. We reach a point of cognitive overload.
At such a stage, what we learn in the short term, which would otherwise become a part of our long-term memory, deteriorates more rapidly than it should.
Which affects our work and our personalities.
But there is a way to reverse the effect.
And that’s by giving up needless distractions and by kicking the concept of multitasking into the waste bin.
Instead, batch your work into longer compartments. Spend an entire work day, if possible, working on one job or project, rather than three or four over the course of an afternoon.
Check emails no more than three times a day and set a time limit. Naturally this will vary depending on your job and its requirements.
As a result, your brain will carry out work more effectively and on a higher plane of efficiency and even creativity.
Which is exactly how your website content will benefit from less distractions as well.
Many businesses make the mistake of offering too many choices to people landing on their web pages.
A company homepage will have a tonne of options for the potential client or customer to select. When in actual fact the multitude of choices often paralyses the visitor who is overwhelmed and uncertain what is the right route to take.
A ‘Service’ page which offers too many services and ‘next steps’ on one page is a tiring distraction rather than a sweet shop of excellent choices the business thinks it is.
The solution for website owners?
The solution is the same as for someone suffering in the compulsion loop.
Focus on one service per page.
Make your homepage the first step on an intelligently controlled user journey.
Basically, guiding them where you want them to go, rather than where they might want to go.
Declutter your website from distractions like unnecessary graphics, long-winded text and too many clickable options.
And then breathe.
And breathe some more.
And let your web visitors breathe a sigh of relief as well, as their experience on your website becomes a pleasure and a benefit rather than a frustrating task filled with distractions.
Doesn’t that feel better just thinking about it?
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