As I sat down to write my blog this morning, the little compass and magnifying glass I keep in front of me on my desk really caught my attention. I associate these two items with focus and direction. Most of the time I know the direction I want to go, but like many in this digital age it can be easy to lose focus.
I started thinking about losing focus and why that happens. Well, to me it relates to the world we live in where we all think we have to be great at multitasking or even worse where we are multitasking without even realizing it.
What do I mean by multitasking without even realizing it. Let me give you a few simple examples.
- Talking on the phone while driving
- Families at dinner tables eating while playing games or checking social media on their phones.
- Watching a movie or TV show while texting with a friend, playing a video game or checking social media on the phone.
- Working on a project at your desk and having to check social media or email every time an alert goes off.
- Talking with someone on the phone and then taking another incoming call at the same time.
I don’t know if any of these hit home with you, but they hit me like a brick in the face. Multi-tasking is not necessarily working on valid tasks at the same time (which I now think is completely ineffective based on the Stanford study we read this week); it is simple not focusing 100% of your attention at the project and moment at hand.
So how do I fix this for myself. Well, I worked on it in a sit. Yep… 15 minutes of absolute stillness and quiet and let my mind work on a solution. The cool thing I came out with. We were give 3 very simple tools in MKMMA I could use to remedy this issue… 2 simple questions and a functional system.
What am I pretending not to know?
I was pretending not to know that all the digital distractions in my office and home were actually slowing me down from reaching my targets and honestly taking away from the enjoyment of giving 100% to the task at hand (as simple as no cell phone at or near the dinner table).
What would the person I intend to become do next?
I made a conscious effort to turn off all the unnecessary media alerts on my phone and on my computer. Amazing!!!! I am getting so much more done this week. I am really enjoying each thing I am doing because I am 100% focused on it.
The Power of a Paired Comparison
This simple process has also been a huge addition to helping me focus on one thing at a time. I think many times we try to do too many things at once because we have not determined the actions that really need to be completed in order to reach our desired objective.
This is so simple and so powerful…
- Make a list of the the things you need to do.
- Compare each task against the other tasks
- Determine the 2 most important tasks
- Focus 80% on the most important task and 20% on the second task (my numbers.. your may be a bit different.)
It is so much easier to focus and take away multitasking aster removing all the non important tasks form the list… I have also been reading the boo “The One Thing” by Gary Keller which really reinforces these concepts… I highly recommend it.
To say my focus and productivity have gone up this week would be a huge understatement.
Let me leave you with a funny video one of my programmers sent me this week. Very funny.. but shows how such a lack of focus can have such dramatic effect on our productivity.
Have a blessed week.