Meet Distraction Jackson. He thinks he’s getting a lot done because he’s crazy busy doing things. But Jackson doesn’t focus. He flies after every shiny object.
Without even realizing it, he gets nothing done!
He’s got faux productivity.
But Jackson is a giver. A there-for-you guy. And in the spirit of being all things to all people, Jackson will definitely help you out. (Probably at a cost to himself.)
Can you relate to Jackson? Hands up! Been there, me too.
Thing about distractedness is we burn ourselves out by starting all these new things at once. We are not meant to multitask. Each time we get off task – someone comes up to our office, a notification floats by, our kiddo asks us to play cars for the zillionth time – our brian presses pause on what we were doing.
Then it takes EFFORT to focus on the new thing. And then EVEN MORE effort to focus back. Smarty types call this task-switching cost. One study showed the cost was 25 mins to get back on track!
Ugh! Who wants to leak minutes like that?! No wonder Jackson can’t get anything done.
So how do we achieve that elusive focused tasking?
Cordon off focus zones
- This could be at work when you book a meeting room for yourSELF for an hour of uninterrupted pivot table work.
- Or put on noise-canceling headphones at home for 30 mins and go into the Inbox Zero Zone.
- You could cordon off with a declaration. I am entering the Facebook Vortex For 20 Mins Only.
The key is to do something that shows a start and end to a period of focused time. And then notice when your attention is yanked away. Then zip that focus back to task like a flashlight that just located the overdue library book under your son’s bed. Ah-ha! Success.
Now you can actually Do Less! ‘Cause when you improve your productivity you’re more effective when you’re at it.
What will you cordon off? Let us know in the comments below!
Do Less. Live More.