Focus Concentrates Energy and Attention
Focus is what makes lasers and hydraulic jacks so powerful. Focus is also the underlying secret of goal direction. Distraction is the enemy of focus.
While I was trying to write this blog post, I was distracted by a random idea that caused me to open Twitter and post a tweet — which led me to google a quote, which led me to another quote, so I posted two tweets.
Then the phone rang, etc. You get the picture…
“Multi-Tasking” is an Illusion
Annette Lucas shared her “Best Ever Time Management Tip” in a recent blog post, excerpted below:
Here is a great strategy for actually completing some of those tasks on that long to-do list you have.
The first thing you have to do —- Is turn everything off!
Yes, turn off everything that has nothing to do with the task you are trying to complete. For example, if you need to write that blog post for day 2 of the 30 day challenge, you need to turn off Facebook, turn off Twitter, close all those webpages, and Yes – turn off your phone.
Ironically, I had read Annette’s blog post less than 48 hours before starting this post, but ”Men more frequently require to be reminded than informed.” This quote from the great philosopher Samuel Johnson was posted in 1750 but is still often quoted today. In fact that is the quote I remembered that caused me to open Twitter.
A good article by Dilanka abut “Common Distractions” included the following:
“the internet is probably the biggest distraction in existence today. Don’t get me wrong, the internet is immensely valuable if used correctly, but the majority of the people actually hinder their personal and business goals because of it. I’ve caught myself spending hours per day clicking one link after the other through a labyrinth of sites like a junkie rabbit chasing after cocaine pellets; only to end up back in square one dazed and confused. It’s very surreal – at the end of your time-wasting session, you could actually feel your energy being thrown away at the expense of potentially producing something great, acting on that idea, starting a venture so you could quit your @#&% job.” Read more: http://stellarmine.com/common-distractions/#ixzz2H24Rfguz Credit for the image above is due to this article.
Unplug for Productivity
This advice is one of the helpful suggestions in a Social Media Club article about Staying Focused in a World of Social Distractions :
Every time that the phone rings or an alert arrives with a new email, it’s a distraction from whatever we were working on when that occurred. If you sit down to accomplish a task, consider turning your phone to silent (and putting it upside down or out of sight) and taking your email server offline. Work for a steady hour, or however long you can afford to be out-of-reach, and then check your messages and emails. You can even set an alarm for an hour. Take fifteen minutes to respond to emails and phone calls before turning them both off again to get back to work on your project.
Leo Babauta explained 10 Ways to Eliminate Distractions in a great article on the FreelanceSwitch blog. Leo sums up this way:
One of the fundamental principles of productivity is that in order to get things done, you gotta focus. And that necessary focus requires that you eliminate as many distractions as possible — not always an easy task with the Internet, coworkers and busy phones calling to you from every direction.