Too many times during the course of a day, I am distracted by my cell phone ringing, an email notification dinging or a co-worker or family member that needs “just five minutes.” I may have lost my focus and the challenge is getting back on track.
Concentration is consciously controlling where our attention is focused for a period of time without being distracted, something that can be hard to do when we’re always plugged in. However, the reality is we can’t cut ourselves off from anyone or anything that is important either.
We can do a few things that will allow us to attend to what is appropriate and let go of what is irrelevant by making a few changes. Research shows that we gain three to five hours of productivity per week when we plan, schedule and reduce distractions.
5 easy or “not so easy” things to do to bring back the art of concentrate:
- Block time to focus on what’s important – a plan, a project, a problem, a person.
- Spend 20 minutes planning the week – schedule time to focus on critical tasks.
- Turn off automatic email notifications – check email fewer times during the day if you can and it doesn’t impact your job responsibilities.
- Stop multi-tasking – you can only concentrate on one thing at a time.
- Lose the electronic leash – eliminate cell phones in meetings and when you’re with the family.
In order to spend more time concentrating on what’s important at home or in the office, I have started implemented these changes and have encouraged our employees to do the same. We are focused on maintaining an environment that minimizes distractions and interruptions and allows us to master the art of concentration. With the changes and opportunities we are experiencing within the industry we all need three to five more hours a week.