In a world littered with technology that allows us to be in touch all of the time, it has become quite the badge of honor to use your phone and possibly your watch to constantly monitor your email, texts, Facebook page and the overall status of the world.
Men used to be criticized for using the remote control to frequently change the TV channel. Not only did men not heed this criticism, but technology now has taught all of us to have the attention span of a two-year-old.
Unfortunately, this multi-tasking disease affects almost everyone at some level. It inhabits the lives of the young and old, men and women, business people and people who stay at home. The availability of technology that lets us stay connected causes us to have difficulty focusing on what is really important and any point in time.
Those who were once critical of multi-tasking have now become experts at it. Most of us have been seduced into the belief that immediately answering every phone call, responding to every text, looking at each Facebook notification, and attending every meeting is the key to success.
The reality is that multi-tasking does not increase productivity and results. In fact, it destroys our productivity because we substitute being busy for being productive. Often we are not able to block out distractions and focus on the important things that need to be done.
It In those rare times when we put aside all interruptions and focus all our efforts on one important thing, we are able to maximize our productivity and our creativity. It is at those times when we are able to achieve superior results.
In a world dominated by technology, focus is the key to increasing your productivity.
If you have not gained control of your schedule and blocked out periods of time each week – preferably each day – where you can focus on getting one or two important things done, you are doing yourself a major disservice.
Focus allows you to achieve more in less time. More importantly, the quality of what you produce increases significantly. Getting important things done is one of the keys to a successful life.
Make a commitment to “Do a Little Less a Little Better.” Measure your success not by how much you do, but by how well you do it and by how important it is. Be sure to focus your efforts on getting a few important things done each day.
One of the keys to doing this is to quit answering every phone call, email, and text message as it comes in. The vast majority of these interruptions are not emergencies, and they can wait. By the way, consider keeping your phone on silent most of the time. You can glance at it when it vibrates but it is easier to manage interruptions if you aren’t getting frequent sound notifications from your phone.
Organize your day so that you deal with phone calls, emails and texts in batches. Designate a time in the morning and another in the afternoon to return phone calls, emails, and texts. Don’t let these items control you. While they are important, they should not consume vast amounts of your time.
Determine what part of the day is most creative for you and reserve this time to work on projects or tasks without interruption. Designate 60 to 90 minutes of focused time each day to work on one task until you complete it. This will allow you to maximize your productivity and creativity.
Take one of the focus periods each week and use it for addressing administrative issues. For me, it is every Monday morning. This is the time when I catch up from the prior week, finalize my schedule for the current week, and plan what I am going to do in my focus times for the week.
In addition, take at least an hour each week and think about how you are spending your time. Are you allocating enough time to important things? Or have you allowed yourself to be distracted while items critical to your success suffer from lack of attention.
As you look at your to-do list, try to remove or delegate things that you don’t really need to do. If something is not really important – or is not really going to have an impact – consider whether it needs to be done at all.
Commit to being more focused. Try to do a little less a little better.
Remember, success in any endeavor is determined by how well you do the things that are important, not by how much you do.
Focus on tasks that have value and you will be amazed at the results.