An area that I am committing to working on this year is focus. I have always prided myself on the ability to juggle many things. What I have recently learned is that I am not very capable of sitting down and doing deep work on one thing. It scares me, the juggling is a way to distract and in a way hedge my bet. If I’m not solely focused on a task I can’t really fail it, or at least I have an excuse. Recently, my business has grown and in hiring a team company culture is paramount. If I can’t do deep work, how may I expect that of my team?
I also need to respect others focus, allow them to execute a task in a focused and determined way, without changing their direction or “thinking out loud”. It distracts and reduces the quality of work. In trying to retrain myself I have started to use a pomodoro timer. The concept is simple, commit to 25 minutes of deep work then take a 5 minute break. It’s a lot more manageable to turn off wifi and turn my phone or 25 minutes and dedicate myself to a single task. The alarming part is how long 25 minutes can sometimes feel. After a couple of these 25 minute sessions the breaks start to feel too long and the amount of work I’ve been able to get done is astounding. This isn’t a matter of being more efficient but more effective. There has yet been a text, email or call that couldn’t wait until the 25 minute timer ended. Nor a fire that has popped up that took much more than the 5 minutes to resolve.
Do you have any tips on how to be more effective?