Reading Katie’s post about the future of work got me thinking about focus. Katie is dead on about the trends and our need to adapt to them.
The trend of being always connected, mobile and inundated with information also presents new challenges.
When we present ourselves and our ideas, the audience can tell if we have taken the time to think deeply about a subject. Doing too many
things too quickly without focus will lead to shallow results.
Big decisions can’t be made with sound bites.
To make good business (or career) decisions, we have to sort through to find the relevant information and thoughtfully consider it. That
requires time and focus.
The brain can only do one thing at time. You might think you are multi-tasking, but the brain is just switching back and forth from one
activity to another. Lack of focus can make you look disorganized and out of control.
We need focused thinking time. This is dedicated time when we put down the devices and focus on the issue at hand. When I was in
corporate life, I used a principle I called the “70% rule”. It came from research I’d found stating if a leader’s time is more than 70%
scheduled, he/she can’t be effective. If you’re constantly on the run from one thing to another you can’t focus to deliberately consider strategic issues.
I started blocking off time on my calendar and called it “70% time”. That was my time to do focused thinking. I still use the principle in my business.
That’s where I come up with new ideas, new research and new learning.
The world may be moving faster and with more information, but humans need time to sit still and process.
Do you make time for focused thinking?