We are living in a society of distractions. Between social media, email interruptions, working in cube farms, work demands, high personal and professional expectations and family obligations, not to mention the demand to be everything to everybody, we have lost our ability to graciously say “no” and turn off the news feed on what everyone else is doing. Think about what it would be like to sit quietly for an hour. Could you do it? Even without your phone, television or computer? For many, this is unimaginable. What a shame.
According to Deloitte, Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 check their phones 82 times per day. For all ages, the reverberation of new notifications can distract us, even when we don’t look over to see what they could be. It found that just being aware of an alert hurts people’s performance on an attention-demanding task, according to Harvard Business Review.
Focus is one of the most under-rated career skills and probably the most powerful. When we are focused, we are productive and that obviously secures our employment and also contributes to career success. We also avoid unhealthy procrastination when we focus. Think about whom you would want to work for you—someone who is productive or someone who is distracted?
If you want more from your career—heck, if you want a long-lasting career—then focus is mandatory. If you feel your focus slipping now is the time to build this critical skill.
Productivity is birthed from focus. Try 20 minutes a day of uninterrupted focus. Practice and hone this skill daily. In addition, look for key times when your energy and concentration are high to focus on your most important goals.
Kim Monaghan, PCC, RYT, CPBS is the owner of KBM Coaching & Consulting LLC, a boutique Human Resources Consulting and Career Coaching Firm serving a national clientele.