How Distraction-Addicts Find Focus

If I’m not distracted, I’m looking for the next distraction. I’m addicted to distraction. It makes me feel important. 

Distraction doesn’t make you important it makes you shallow.

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Meaningful leadership means letting go of meaningless activities.

10 Ways to Find Focus:

  1. Set the tone of your day when you wake up.
    • Wake up early to begin slowly. Waking up early is really about going to bed.
    • Reconnect with things that matter most. Every morning I pause, look at my wife, and touch her.
    • Read, pray, write, and/or set priorities.
    • Monitor and manage your self-talk.
  2. Set alarms on your cellphone so you can ignore your calendar.
  3. Keep one or two browser tabs open. In the past, I kept at least 10 browser tabs open, including email, calendar, my blog, and Tweetdeck just for starters.
  4. Disconnect for two or three minutes several times a day. The ability to disconnect is essential to being present.
  5. Schedule and protect whitespace.
  6. Prepare for your next appointment by disconnecting from the last. A three minute buffer between meetings should be sufficient. The next person on your schedule deserves your full attention, if they don’t, cancel the appointment.
  7. Practice gratitude. Ugliness distracts from beauty.
  8. Determine if you work best alone or with others.
  9. Turn off dings and other repetitive notifications. If you need to check email every ten minutes, do it, but don’t allow dings in your office.
  10. Delegate authority to people you trust. You’re working too hard, if you’re surrounded by competent people.

Bonus: Capitalize on personal rhythms. Are you a morning person? Do what matters most in the morning. I spend two hours a day in focused work every morning.

Don’t waste your life doing ankle-deep work.

How might leaders defeat distraction and find focus?