An interesting quandary - a client described her life as feeling like a “tweeting effect” - everything rushed with short, unfocused bursts of activity. She was left feeling stressed and out of control.
Today we are bombarded with messages from every which way. The onslaught of mobile communications has added to us feeling overwhelmed, even though they are touted as making life easier, more efficient and quicker.
Cognitive research indicates that at the subconscious level we take in two billion bits of information per second, but to manage and make sense of this onslaught our brain filters this into manageable chunks of 134 bits of information per second. That’s still a lot.
Between the ringing of the mobile, urgent emails, instant messages, unscheduled visitors, tighter deadlines, endless opportunities and ever greater expectations, focusing on what’s most important - the highest and best use of your time - has become more of a challenge than ever. When you lose focus, your energy is dissipated over a broad spectrum of activities, accomplishing very little of value.
Managing focus is the activity you can least afford to overlook. What do successful people have in common? Laser beam focus.
Applying focus requires a high level of concentration and consciousness:
Concentrate your efforts on the smallest number of activities that will produce the largest amount of productivity.
Identify a shortlist of activities you will exclusively focus on until completion.
Distractions create loss of focus and pull you off course. Be ruthless and minimise all distractions. Protect your focus by any and all means possible.
Avoid hopping from task to task. Set a timer - allow 45 minutes for large pieces of work.
Turn off reminders, email notifications, sound notifications and all electronic devices.
It is always possible to regain focus but it is far easier to remain focused than to have to do this.
The only justifiable reason for deviation is a force majeure.
Try this for one day and I guarantee you’ll go home early and find yourself facing a new quandary - what to do with your extra time.