The unknown and the allure of “what can happen” is like a drug to the brain. We plug into the possibilities the world has to offer us by way of Web. We crave data, we process it, we look for more of it. The potential for new opportunities, new technology, new entertainment, new contacts are an instant stimulus that triggers excitement in what could otherwise be just another boring day.
As leaders we want to harness the enormous benefits of “always on” access while eliminating its distraction and ensuring our people are focused on the right things. So what do we do? First, monitor what you and your employees do over the course of a couple days. You may be surprised at the results. How many hours are spent on cloud services, the Internet or email. You may also find that you’ve unknowingly hired e-mail connoisseurs. These are the people that go to work and spend their day reading emails, generating emails, being the first to respond to emails in an ongoing cycle. These same employees typically have smartphones so that they can continuously engage in the same process with no interruption. The problem here is apparent. At the end of EACH day can you say that you and your employees advanced the company in some way purposefully and mindfully? Or are your efforts unconsciously being redirected through a series of chain reactions.
Learn how to quiet your mind by stepping back to understand what needs to get done each day. Here are a few tips to help you eliminate diversions during the workday.
1. Set specific time aside to do emails. Don’t endlessly access emails. If it’s urgent someone will call you. Those smartphones have voice capability.
2. Define a specific amount of time to gather information of interest. If everything is of interest, then you will need to zone in on key areas of importance.
3. Consciously limit your time on Social Media when you know there are other things you need to get done. You can wait to see the photo of my dogs until you get home.
4. The average person should probably eliminate FB, Twitter, LinkedIn & other notifications to their Inbox. Your high school buddy’s profound thought of the day can also wait.
5. Stop the blinking lights & transmitted sounds to your smartphone every time an email comes in. This eliminates bright light – moth syndrome.
These are just a few ideas to make your day more productive. I too have to consciously discipline myself to avoid the constant allure of information exchange.
As President of a company selling modems I’m ecstatic about all that the cloud has to offer and your need for my product. However, the success of new and existing businesses is critical to our future. Focus on the priorities and eliminate the potential distractions of the cacophony.