I discovered a very simple and elegant solution to improving focus yesterday. I turned my mobile phone OFF!
There I was, sitting at my desk, having set the intention to focus on the month end accounts – after all, they are pretty important, especially if everyone wants to get paid.
Of course, preceding the accounts focus, I had already checked social media …and emails…and text messages…and What’s App. So I was therefore clear to focus on the accounts…or so I thought.
Even though I have my phone permanently on silent, it was on my desk and it started vibrating within 2 minutes of my alleged focus time…first a What’s App message…then a text…then a FB message…then another What’s App (different group)…then another FB message…then another What’s App message (because I had replied to the first)…then the phone rang!
Before I knew it, another hour of my morning had disappeared in various types of instant communications…and I was no nearer to getting the accounts started, never mind finished!
According to Gloria Mark, who studies digital distraction at the University of California, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to your task after an interruption…so at this rate, it was going to take me about 3 days to do 3 hours of work!
In a flash of inspiration, I had a revolutionary and maverick idea – I turned my flipping phone off!
Ahhh, such peace…followed by such focus and concentration and a task actually completed – well, a few in fact, because I had given myself the luxury of uninterrupted space and time to focus on the things I needed to do.
I already know how distracted I get by the 101 things demanding my attention. I already know how I am better off allowing at least three times longer than I think to get something done!
And given that one of my ‘guiding words’ for 2018 is FOCUS, I will be using the ‘Turn it Off’ operations model frequently this year!