Greater Focus on One Thing at a Time

Wonderful thing to come across in my Monday Morning reading. An article on the HBR Blog reminding us of a few things we can do as staff and managers to be our most humanly productive — and it’s NOT multitasking! Read an excerpt below:

If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth promoting:

  1. Maintain meeting discipline. Schedule meetings for 45 minutes, rather than an hour or longer, so participants can stay focused, take time afterward to reflect on what’s been discussed, and recover before the next obligation. Start all meetings at a precise time, end at a precise time, and insist that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting.
  2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day. It forces your people into reactive mode, fractures their attention, and makes it difficult for them to sustain attention on their priorities. Let them turn off their email at certain times. If it’s urgent, you can call them — but that won’t happen very often.
  3. Encourage renewal. Create at least one time during the day when you encourage your people to stop working and take a break. Offer a midafternoon class in yoga, or meditation, organize a group walk or workout, or consider creating a renewal room where people can relax, or take a nap. 

It’s also up to individuals to set their own boundaries. Consider these three behaviors for yourself:

  1. Do the most important thing first in the morning, preferably without interruption, for 60 to 90 minutes, with a clear start and stop time. If possible, work in a private space during this period, or with sound-reducing earphones. Finally, resist every impulse to distraction, knowing that you have a designated stopping point. The more absorbed you can get, the more productive you’ll be. When you’re done, take at least a few minutes to renew.
  2. Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically. If you don’t, you’ll constantly succumb to the tyranny of the urgent. Also, find a different environment in which to do this activity — preferably one that’s relaxed and conducive to open-ended thinking.
  3. Take real and regular vacations. Real means that when you’re off, you’re truly disconnecting from work. Regular means several times a year if possible, even if some are only two or three days added to a weekend. The research strongly suggests that you’ll be far healthier if you take all of your vacation time, and more productive overall.

I don’t know about you, but I soooo needed this reminder. Now I just have to remember to stop and DO it…

You can read more here:

http://blogs.hbr.org/schwartz/2012/03/the-magic-of-doing-one-thing-a.html

Wonderful thing to come across in my Monday Morning reading. An article on the HBR Blog reminding us of a few things we can do as staff and managers to be our most humanly productive — and it’s NOT multitasking! Read an excerpt below: If you’re a manager, here are three policies worth promoting: Ma …

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About KappaDiva
Learning Leader Tech Ed Advocate Empassioned Educator Perpetual Student Professional Learner Chief Learning Officer Tonya is a learning leader, instructional design, performance support and multimedia communications professional, with nearly 20 years of experience in healthcare, information systems, instructional design and training, web and creative design, internal and external marketing, PR and communications, social media, service excellence, leadership development and non-profit operations management. She is currently Director, Staff Learning & Development, Teach For America; President, A2ATD; principal and Chief Learning Officer of Kappa Beta Technology & Instruction; grad student at The University of Michigan; and author of the Learning Leader Blog (www.learningleader.org,) an emerging technologies resource for 21st century educators. She current is living in Macomb County, MI, with her cat and several Mac and iOS devices.

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