Use the tools and tactics of the distraction industry to turbo-charge your learning and CPD.

Can you remember the last time you spent eight uninterrupted hours completing the tasks you had on your list?

Distractions are a common problem and our pesky digital devices are the biggest culprits. Google reckons that we spend 4.4 hour of our daily leisure time in front of screens not for work. According to a new study by market-research group Nielsen (2018 Nielsen Total Audience Report)American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago.

The attention economy has created a modern addiction to our digital devices. Millions are turning to self-help and ‘detox retreats’ just to cope. Digital habits are not easily removed because you carry the devices with you.

But we can use the proven tactics of the distraction industry to make learning and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) more fun and rewarding:

  1. Create a voice assistant for your CPD and learning materials
  2. Fight-back using reward-culture
  3. Focus your efforts on the devices that are winning

Voice is the future

You can speak at least twice as fast as you type, and habits are rapidly changing to voice commands as Artificial Intelligence assistants are changing our lives.

An increasing number of the 1.5 billion users per month are using WhatsApp message box (, January 2019), speak into their phone, and send it off as a small audio file to the recipient.

Articles to be learned can be voice recorded so that you can listen to it while driving (nurses, social workers, surveyors) or when having extended breaks (teachers) or simply commuting.

We can also add voice notes to apps so the user can dictate their thoughts to be picked up later for editing.

Introduce rewards

The American Psychologist B. F. Skinner called it: Operant conditioning – Behaviorism. Behavior which is reinforced tends to be repeated (i.e. strengthened); behavior which is not reinforced tends to die out (i.e. weakened).

Positive reinforcement strengthens a behavior by providing a consequence an individual finds rewarding.

A simple way to shape behavior is to provide feedback in the form of compliments, approval, encouragement, and affirmation. This can be achieved programmatically in an app by setting milestones and encouraging users along the way.

As well as motivation this us useful for reassuring users they are on track with their CPD work to hit their timelines and goals.

Motivation can also be achieved by creating peer-to-peer comparisons – telling you how you are doing in comparison to the rest of the users of the app. “Congratulations, you are in the top ten percent for achieving this task…”

Focus on mobile

For some time now, mobile devices have been winning the war of attention, so it’s logical to put the focus on these.

Rather than fight the tide use it to your advantage. Position yourself alongside them and mimic as many of the habits they engender which are consistent with your professional goals.

Users are switching from browsers to apps because an app focuses the attention on a simple task. Watch the average phone user and they complete simple short activities – send a message, check a feed, update a post –  repeat cycle.

Your CPD needs to be as easy to find and convenient to use, anytime, anywhere. And this can only be achieved with an app.

And finally, remember, that your phone comes equipped with an impressive toolkit of functions – camera, voice recording, messaging – that we can hook into. It is an amazing platform to build onto.

Page Lizard builds apps you want. We’ve created award-winning apps for membership organisations opening up new channels for communications, content and engagement.

Talk to us about how apps can enrich your organisation, impress members and simplify their professional lives.

With 14 years providing content technology solutions to membership bodies we offer sound strategic advice and proven success.

Call us on 0207 183 3690, or click here to complete a short form.

Topics: appsmember engagementmobile is the futureCPDlearningvoice commandsrewards



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