I think it’s safe to say we are a distracted society. And I’m not just talking about your average millennial.
For example, when you are working on a task, are you truly focused on it? Or are you allowing in your distraction?
Distractions can be interruptions from your staff, your phone going off, your email dinging.
I know for me, the phone is a big distraction. Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, authors of “Peak Performance,” put it best: “Smartphones distract us whether they are on, off, in our pockets or on a table, and they command our attention even when they are not our own. The best solution for preventing smartphone distraction is to remove it from the picture altogether.”
Over the past few days, I’ve experimented with that thought. I’ve put my phone in my purse, out of sight, and it’s been amazing how much more focused I am — although writing this blog is making me want to check my phone.
In fact, in the book the authors also share you get much more done in short spans of deep concentration and intense work. And I can only attain that if I remove all distractions. “Much like it takes time for a runner to build the fitness necessary to execute high-intensity intervals, it may take time to build yourself up to blocks of undistracted work. This is especially true for people who are accustomed to multitasking or working amid digital-device distraction,” wrote the authors.
They also shared one story I want to use to wrap up this blog. In researching the book, they met up with Dr. Bob Kocher, a man of many talents and pasts, including roles in business, politics, education and the medical field. During their meeting, they noted Kocher was fully present: “From the minute we walked into the room with Dr. Bob, we were in the room with Dr. Bob. We were not in the room with Dr. Bob’s email, phone or any interrupting colleagues.”
I don’t know about you, but I want this to be me when I’m with my coworkers, friends or even family. I want to be fully present where I am at and with what I’m doing. It requires alleviating my life of distractions so I can be fully invested in the present. Maybe a cliché notion, but I think it works and is a good reminder.
So, where are you most distracted today, college rec professional? Where can you get rid of some distraction?
Perhaps it’s time to close out your email for an hour or put your phone on silent and in a drawer. You might be surprised with how much work you actually get done.