Do you get distracted? I do. Whether it’s the ads when I’m looking online (which I hate but they do catch my attention) or thoughts that come into my head there is so much competing for my attention, and it makes it hard to focus on what is really important.
In almost every situation we are bombarded by information and our brain has to choose what to focus on. As I’m trying to type this my husband is setting up a camcorder and the beeping is taking over so much of my attention that I can’t even think!
In a meeting we may try and concentrate on the person speaking but we are also aware of the outside traffic, the rustle, perhaps of curtains or blinds, the hum of a fly, the slurping of tea, crunching of biscuits and the buzz of a mobile phone. Most of us can zone out of these distractions and if we can’t our concentration is affected.
Open plan offices can be a nightmare for people who find this less easy, in particular people who demonstrate more introverted tendencies. ‘Techy’ friends of mine will often wear big head phones to get rid of the external noise (you get away with this if you are a technical guru!).
One of the biggest distractions is our mobile phone, most of us find it hard to ignore it when it rings and many want to look and see what people are up to on Facebook, we follow up a thought or an interesting link in a paper to find out more.
We all want to achieve things, whether it be write a report, wrap our Christmas presents, or work towards a bigger goal but often we don’t fully focus on what we want and that can let us down.
At the gym you would think people would focus on working out, but they talk to friends, check their emails and although they may be there for an hour, often only spend 40 minutes, or less, on therir exercise.
Email is another distraction and when we are working on a task to break off and check emails can take us 30 minutes to regain our concentration.
We can think that we are focused on a work task but get distracted .
I’ve taken Facebook off my mobile phone, I’ve set my emails to not automatically download and when I’m working on a task I switch off WiFi. There are software programmes too that will stop you using social media for a set period of time.
Would this approach help you?
I’m also setting aside a set period of time for a task – so I have 50 minutes to complete an article and as I write my next book I’m working in 50 minute chunks. During each chunk I’ll do NOTHING except this one task.
Hoping this resonates with you and I’d love you to comment on my blog or FaceBook page.
Denise in the News
I’m quoted in Men’s Fitness this month on surviving the Christmas Party. I’ve also created a blog post on this topic which you can access here:
Is my 15th anniversary of setting up Amazing People and I’m going to share a few very special offers, for a very limited time.
Till next time,
Denise Taylor is a double award winning career coach and Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People, established in 1998. When you are unsure of your career future, need help with job search or seek to improve your presence in an online world, Denise can help. Denise is the author of 7 books including How To Get A Job In A Recession, Now You’ve Been Shortlisted and Fat to Fantastic
Image courtesy of artur84 / www.freedigitalphoto.net