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F.O.C.U.S.

What ONE WORD has the ability to completely transform your productivity? How are you BEING ROBBED right now- robbed of time, profits, energy? How can you shift that?

FOCUS.

In 2014 we are faced with an Epic Challenge. It is no longer good enough to be our best. Simply knowing and perfecting our craft does not do it. Being super salespeople does not do it. Responsiveness does not always do it.

Why? We are faced, now more than ever, with the problem of Too Much.

Recently, I started a course given by Darren Hardy, editor of Success Magazine, called Insane Productivity. I must be insane…right? Anyone that knows me knows I am a little crazy, and that might be why they like me (or don’t). What’s great about this course is that it underscores much of what I already am teaching- and adds in some fun flavor and new statistics to back up the science we “time managers” teach. Thanks, Darren! Some of the info in this article is influenced by that course.

Who do YOU know who wears “busy” as their badge of honor? Running, running, and “getting it all done?” Yes, work life and home life are “busy”….everyone is “busy.”  In and of itself this is not new. But as smartphones, tablets, and 24/7 are successfully integrating themselves into our Way of Doing Business, our ability to harness the power of our intellect is compromised.

We do not just “like” our devices, we are addicted to them. I am. Fortunately, I am not in the “hopelessly” addicted category, unable to distinguish between a perceived emergency and a real one. It happens slowly; we want to be ultra -responsive, we have mobile devices, we will take care of “that” right now.

The immediate result is gratifying; we responded- people got answers- all is good. And you feel good. Why? When responding that way, a little squirt of dopamine goes off in our brain. We like dopamine. We receive dopamine when we are embraced. But the long term effects, which are being studied, involve segmentation of our brains. It becomes increasingly difficult to “think big.”

This sounds simple, but execution is sketchy at best. However if we don’t learn new and more powerful ways of focusing, we will continue to feel as if we are spinning on a stool, taking tiny bites out of our work, with only dizziness to show for it.

Over the coming months of 2014, I’ll share with you some strategies that will help you Focus Better in ’14 and beyond. Let’s start now.

First, realize we are in DIGIFRENIA times (digitally induced mental chaos). Our devices are not going away. The “idea” of having a phone as your watch is real. I saw it in Best Buy the other day. The trick is…realizing that Digifrenia is a CHOICE.

Erin Schmidt, while CEO of Google, said, “All of the information ever created in human history up to 2003 is created EVERY DAY now.”  So really, we are not experiencing information overload, we are experiencing Information Overconsumption. It’s our choice to overeat, right? And it’s our choice to Overconsume Digital Media.

What will you choose? Let’s start by looking at some of your habits now.

  • Do you take your device to bed?
  • In the shower? The toilet?
  • Do you check it at red lights?
If so, you are not alone. But at what cost? Scientific evidence is finding that our attention-jumping is fragmenting our brains. It’s reducing our capacity to think clearly and well. And, it’s making us feel important. We can respond quickly, anywhere, anytime. Unfortunately, this is not always  such a good idea (responding quickly) and in truth, it is likely a smokescreen for us, giving us the illusion of having more importance than we actually do.
Your homework, then, if you have made it this far into the article, is to reduce your device checking by one. In other words, if you take your phone to bed with you, don’t. If you take it into the bathroom, don’t. Slowly, you will overcome NOMOPHOBIA (No-Mobile-Phone-Phobia) and you will begin to think clearly again. But it will take some time. Stay tuned.

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