Time Management vs. Focus? The high cost of distraction and what you can do about it

Team of Young Business ExecutivesWhat if you could eliminate the distractions that keep you from making more money, advancing in your career and realizing your full potential?

If you’re a manger or business owner- what if you could train everyone in your organization to have the focus of a Black Belt? What would that mean to your productivity and your bottom line?

All possible when you THINK Like a BLACK BELT…

FOX Small Business Center recently published a list of Top Ten workplace time wasters compiled by Office Time:

  • Surfing the Internet: 27 percent spend between one and two hours a day browsing the Web.
  • Watching TV: 26 percent spend between one and two hours a day in front of the television.
  • Procrastination: 19 percent spend between one and two hours a day putting things off.
  • Meetings: 18 percent spend between one and two hours a day in meetings.
  • Nonbusiness-related conversations: 16 percent spend between one and two hours a day talking with co-workers about activities other than work.
  • Travel time/commuting: 13 percent spend between one and two hours a day traveling to and from work.
  • Social networking: 11 percent spend between one and two hours a day surfing Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.
  • Talking on cellphones/texting: 10 percent spend between one and two hours a day on their cellphone.
  • Getting caught up in bureaucracy: 8 percent spend between one and two hours a day fighting through red tape.

Well- if it takes you two hours to get back and forth from work, there’s not much you can do about that, and unless you are the bureaucracy, your control of that time might be limited as well.

Let’s focus- on the items you can do something about…

Time management is all well and good- in fact I’d argue essential. But when, exactly, are people surfing the internet, watching TV, procrastinating, gossiping, texting and social networking?

You may have a problem if your supervisor sees one of these items on your planner!

It’s likely that you’re wasting time in slots that were carefully planned for more productive activities. How does this happen?

Because the most destructive distractions usually feel good.

That’s right. It may just feel good to put your brain in park, surf the web, check on the latest water cooler gossip or share some useless information with your Facebook friends.

And most of the time you don’t even realize you’re distracted at all until you get to the end of the day and you’re only half-way through your to-do list.

The problem isn’t scheduling or time management; it’s focus.

Step one is to recognize distractions and decide what value, if any, they have in relation to your career and business goals and objective.

For a week, make a note every time you’re distracted or pulled off task. Then take a few minutes and categorize each distraction by these qualities:

  • Necessary or unavoidable
  • Not necessary- can live without it
  • Enjoyable
  • Not enjoyable

Use this FREE Personal Distraction Index. Just place each distraction in the appropriate quadrant.

Here’s what it all means…

Personal Distraction Index 460
The rest of the process is very simple- though not always easy:

  • Replace eliminate unproductive habits with substitute productive, intentional disciplines
  • Schedule time for distractions that make you feel better- these may actually relieve stress and maintain productivity
  • Work on developing the skill of restoring focus quickly after a distraction

It takes some practice and discipline to master The Art of Focus.

Don’t lose any more time…start now!


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