Research shows that people spend nearly 47% of their time – almost half of their time – thinking about other things than what they’re working on at that moment. And I get it; we have so many distractions, and this need to multi-task. Especially if you work in an environment that expects you to be highly productive, show results quickly, and do all of this in a very fast-paced environment. You might feel an urge or push to be doing other things all at one time.
You and I both know that you are not nearly as effective – the results are not nearly as good – if you are trying to multi-task. In addition, if you’re thinking about other things when you’re with other people, if you are not present in the moment, you’re missing out. Whether that’s because you as a leader aren’t present for other people and now there’s a little bit of mistrust there, or you’re in your boss’ meeting and you’re not fully present there, and now they’re questioning your commitment.
The first thing might seem obvious: to eliminate distractions. I know I’m telling you something you should already be doing, but one of my favorite trainers says, “Common sense isn’t always common practice,” so I’m going to tell this to you anyway.
Turn off your phones, close down your e-mail, and be looking in the direction that you’re supposed to be looking in; eliminate as many things as possible that are going to distract you from being present in the moment. The next: I like to say a mantra before I go into my next meeting or my next interaction, or when I make a transition from one thing to the next where I’m going to be with other people.
This mantra of acknowledging; what I was working on will still be there, it’s not going anywhere and I need to now be fully present for the next thing in front of me. That little mantra is just a bit of a trigger to help you get there. If you really want to be more efficient and effective, it’s not about multi-tasking. It’s not about like half of adults, thinking about other things than what they’re working on.
Be the other half – be the person that is fully present when you’re with people and when you’re with your projects. I promise you, you are going to see a drastic difference in the results that you yield, as well as the relationships that you build with other people. If you have a comment please post that below, I’d love to hear from you!