I read a great blog on the Harvard Business Review site today written by Peter Bergman, author of the book 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done.
Most of us are used to the concept of having “To-Do” lists, but probably not many of us are used to creating “Not To-Do” lists. As we increasingly get more and more reliant on technology, we increasingly feel the need to check emails, SMS, BBM, facebook, twitter and whatever else pretty much any time of the day.
While all this is great in theory in terms of the amount of information and productivity that we can get through, it is a double edged sword. The other side of the equation is that we will lose our focus and it can be clearly seen in our results – the quality of your work goes down, more of us are focusing more on smart phones rather than colleagues during meetings or family and friends during social times, and stress levels go up.
Peter recommends that we all develop two lists:
1. Your Focus List (the road ahead…)
These are what are important to you – so you can design your time around this.
2. Your Ignore List (distractions…)
These are the answers to questions like, what’s not important, what prevents you from achieving your outcome, what are you willing to not achieve?
Imagine what the outcome of your next project management meeting would be like if everyone had on their lists: 1.) To focus on the meeting itself, and 2.) To not check their smartphones…
How are you making sure that you stay in focus each day?