Focus Killers: Busting them One at a Time
Mindfulness. Being Present. Single-Tasking.
If I was one who made New Year’s resolutions, one of my regular commitments would be to strive for mindfulness, being present, and single-tasking. I have definitely made progress on single-tasking – once I committed to being singly-focused at work I could not believe the difference in the experience. I learned more, retained more, and generally felt like I accomplished more.
Mindfulness is another thing. I love this definition of mindfulness: “a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.” I even downloaded a Mindfulness App recently. It steps me through a 10-minute mindfulness session each day. (I’ve made it through three days.)
I think it’s the small things, though. I want to focus on the habits I have that impede upon my focus and my mindfulness. I bet little steps will lead to big progress.
One step I took recently was to remove the Facebook app from my phone. I love Facebook. But, I realized I was filling every spare moment… in an elevator, walking down the hallway, walking from my car to the office, during commercials while watching TV, etc… I was filling every spare moment taking a gaze at Facebook to see what everyone was up to! That means I was never using a moment to think or process or just move. Taking the app off of my phone has had a big impact on my day — I didn’t realize how often I looked at Facebook until I removed the app, but still went to look for the first few days. I have saved myself some precious moments already. And, I am typically the only one in an elevator NOT looking at a phone – it’s liberating!
Today, I stumbled upon another focus-killer. Immediately following a work conference call I picked up my phone to see what had happened in the 60-minutes since the call started. The good news is, I kept my commitment of single-tasking by turning off my phone during the call. The bad news is, as soon as the call ended I immediately went to my electronic leash. (That’s my phone.) What I realized is that if I had spent that 5-minutes after the call reflecting on the conversation and processing what had taken place, it is likely my next steps on that job would have been of higher quality. Instead, I broke my focus by looking at other emails and now have to find that ‘mojo’ again to get back into the previous task. I am going to commit to avoiding the ‘search for what’s next on my phone’ between tasks. It’s a focus-killer.
I love my technology — I consider myself an early adopter. I have ‘i’ everything and use the cloud for personal and work tasks. But, I want to be the master of my technology. I want to avoid being constantly distracted by my technology. I want to focus on tasks when it’s time to focus and wander around email and social media when it’s time. I am with Einstein… I don’t want to be an idiot in a world of idiots. I am searching for personal focus-killer and I am going to attack them one at a time.
Care to join me?