I Have Lost My Attention Span - How to Gain Focus
This is not all good. Much of the greatest value I can deliver comes from doing high focus activities. Writing a thoughtful marketing plan. Working out detailed terms sheets for a supplier. Working on bigger plans.
I recognize this problem so like all challenges, I devise plans to solve it. Some of my solutions:
1 - Time Blocking. I set aside a set period of time - usually just 25-30 minutes. I ignore my email and phone. I close my door. No one will be offended if I get back to them in 30 minutes. This is the basis of the Pomodoro System I have blogged about in the past.
2 - I declutter the space I am working in. At Danby, I have a desk in my office (and a stand up desk but that is another topic) and a conference table. The conference table usually has nothing on it. By moving to that table and only having the one big thing in front of me, it helps with focus.
3 - I (sometimes) work when no one else or few people are around. For example, today is Saturday and no one but me is in the office (the outlet store is open and I stopped by to say hi but it is in a different section of the building so they do not interrupt me).
4 - I am goal oriented. I write out my goals. When I do this and prioritize I not only realize what is truly important but what I need to do. The act of clarifying my goals helps me to focus.
5 - I allow myself to focus. Yes - this is allowing. I tend to feel guilt if I am not available 7/24. By allowing my phone to go to voicemail or my emails to get answered slower without guilt, I am "allowing" myself.
6 - Review what is accomplished. This is a bit like goal setting. Reviewing what I have accomplished reinforces this habit of high focus times. After all, high focus times tend to be the times I "accomplish" things. This would be a good time for celebration - something I am not particularly good at. I know I should celebrate more (more guilt coming through?)
I plan to focus more and know this will lead to more accomplishment.