Stories from an Easily Distracted, Dyslexic Creative … Your Anchor Point August 24, 2015
So, assuming you are heading in the (your) right direction – how do you pull yourself back to your “anchor point”? The point that got you to where you are now … and supersedes all distractions and keeps you not tied down – but focused. The point that stops you from being unattached, and pushed and pulled in all the wrong directions.
This is actually harder than it sounds.
You’re exercising, meditating, doing your yoga and Pilates, riding, jogging, cross fit … whatever you do to help you have great rhythm – not balance (read more here … “Keeping Your Dreams Alive“). You’re eating right and you have worked out some kind of contentment – not happiness (find our how here … “Run Your Own Race“).
So, here we are – and you’re busy … but good busy … right?
If you find yourself still getting distracted day to day, and it’s getting harder to stay focused, here is a list of helpful hints from me – and some much more famous people – to help you.
Re-evaluate your relationship with your Smartphone – and unplug for more power.
I’ve been reading about this one and trying to practice it … it isn’t easy …
Arianna Huffington has suggested we disconnect form our work life for short periods (and sometimes longer ones) to help us do better, and accomplish more. These breaks help us to stay on track and excel in our careers. Unplugging, recharging and renewing ourselves are all performance enhancement tools.
Rick Morrison, CEO of Comprehend Systems also ‘pays attention to people – not devices’. He insists on putting the phones away and out of sight – especially when he’s around his kids … and in all executive meetings!
Allocate time in your day to ‘put the phone down’, turn the laptop off and be ‘tech-free’. And yes, I’m afraid this also means ‘social media free’. Switch off Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter … ALL of them.
Flick the switch …
Switching off social media may be more powerful than you think … although I have to admit, this takes discipline – and lots of it – especially if you are like me and don’t have a regular work week, or a thing called “the weekend” (lucky me!).
Don’t confuse this with “If you love what you do, then it’s not work”… this is not the same thing. Your brain (and your eyes) needs to switch off and rest. Have you ever counted the hours you spend each day on social media … Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Skype, Messenger, Facetime – plus all your favourite apps to keep up with the news of the world, stocks, movies, music, games … and don’t forget reading and answering emails, and the good old fashioned telephone … I’m exhausted just writing that list!
Being switched on 24/7 can definitely take its toll. Whether it is for business or pleasure – it doesn’t matter – it is still interrupting the engagement of you, as a person, with your family and friends, kids, dog, cat, budgie, goldfish, garden, walking … just being present. So think of this as another ‘app’ that you just download – although this one takes a bit of trial and error – and only you can decide when the best time is to simply switch off.
Seriously – unless you are manning a nuclear radar tower, or a doctor on 24hr Emergency call, let’s be honest, we can all do it.
Don’t dive right in …
How many of you check your emails/social media as soon as you wake up … or quickly check your laptop before you have your morning cuppa? Don’t worry – I’m not excluding myself from this … but I try to start every morning with a ‘mini break’ … exercise, coffee and breakfast – even when travelling. Having a slower-paced morning routine helps me work more efficiently as the day goes on.
Keep a notebook …
Take notes … make lists … jot down ideas and reminders. This way – anything floating around in your head will be noted … and it can leave the chaos of your mind. I keep more than one list … I have day to day lists, monthly lists, recipes, ideas, quotes … it’s all there in one place and keeps me productive. Just make sure you refer back to these notes on a regular basis … or nothing on your lists will get done!
Plan for tomorrow …
At the end of each business day, take time to re-group and think about the most important items that need to be accomplished the next day, as well as actions your team need to take on and accomplish. See – another list! This way – you will find it easier to step away and stay focussed.
You only have to Google things like “entrepreneur switching off” and you will come across pages of quotes and advice from people who have succeeded in this whole work/life thing … we should probably take heed of what they say!
Give it a go – and let me know how you go. Does it improve your life?
(Please Note – I’m still practicing all of the above … and far from perfect – clearly – as I’m writing this on a plane between cities!!)
Switch off … walk away … stay productive!
Robert Marchetti – Founder and CEO