Too often in business, we rely on multitasking as the high water mark of an effective worker. At SIYLI, we know that most multitasking makes you frantic and might actually hamper your productivity.
Checking emails, answering phone calls and writing reports—where is your focus? The answer is probably everywhere. Instead of using your brain’s incredible powers to accomplish one task at a time quickly, you’re spreading your mental energy thin and short changing your office functions.
Think of your focus as a beam of light going through a magnifying glass. The more you concentrate the light beam, the brighter it is. (Yes, if you focus too much, you may start a fire or get all the right things done.)
In a world that demands more, faster, better, the idea of slowing down and focusing on what you’re doing is pretty revolutionary. But using your focus to accomplish your goals will actually allow you to accomplish more and produce a higher quality of work.
So how do harness your focus? The guiding principle is that when we approach any task in the right spirit, we become more successful and efficient at it. This doesn’t mean that you have to love every task you set your mind to, it means that you have to understand the importance of the tasks you’re doing.
Budget reports might not be as fun as Facebook, but they’re essential to helping the company run. Know that each task you accomplish, from answering emails to writing an evaluation has meaning to others in the office and should be respected.
Next, it’s time to pinpoint unnecessary activities and eliminate them. Think about what behaviors distract you from your work. Do you spend time worrying about missing a deadline? Do you find yourself checking your email if you get bored? Once you recognize these behaviors, it becomes easier to eliminate them from your working day.
Pac-Man doesn’t multitask, he eats one dot at a time!
With that mindset, focus is simply a matter of attention training. Every time you feel your focus pulling away from a task, use your mindful practices to refocus. It could take a few times before you’re fully focused, but remember that every time your mind wanders and you successfully pull it back to attention you are, in effect, training your mind to be focused at all times.
At, SIYLI, we know that honing your focus can be a challenge at work where multitasking is encouraged. It takes courage to be SIYLI. But once you dedicate your full focus to a task, you’ll be amazed how quickly and excellently you accomplish it.
SIYLI Suggestion: Make a list of your unnecessary activities. What behavior do you use to distract you from work? Tell us about it.