If you’ve managed to identify the amount of focus that each activity requires from you, then the next step is to take whatever measures are necessary to protect your focus. (I’m talking here about those tasks that you have deemed to require most concentration on your part.)
Nowadays I have the attention span of a gnat, so interruptions can really throw me. here are some of my strategies for maximising the output from my energy input.
- Close down e-mail and Internet;
- Make sure that all calls are held – I will get back to you!
- Have the right tools at hand, and only the right tools – no clutter;
- Let people know that you are busy – I am in the fortunate situation of having a door to close;
- Ideally get away from the desk;
- Combine 4 and 5 by booking a meeting room for yourself;
- Go to the toilet before starting on the task.
All very straightforward, but somehow all easy to overlook.
If you’ve decided it’s important, give it your full attention, remove distractions and focus… but only for your natural concentration span. For me that’s about 45 minutes, but I can get a lot done in a focused burst of distraction-free productivity.
Do you have any tips to add to my list?