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Manage Distraction. Manage Your Energy. Get More Done.

Manage Distraction. Manage Your Energy. Get More Done.

Recently I was talking with a nursing colleague and she mentioned that she comes home and spends 30-40 minutes worrying about whether she got everything done. She ruminates over, “Did I make a mistake with any meds?”, “Did I sign out?” She was locked into a vicious cycle and was rethinking her decision to move into a management position.

She shared how she started her day without any morning routine because she overslept and she felt the entire day was spent trying to get more done. It was a vicious cycle of trying to work even faster and to make up time. 

When asked she acknowledged that she did not know how to slow down and her “normal” was to be compulsively busy. She never unplugged or took time to take a deep breath, laugh, reflect or consider what went well that day.

She was a human doing machine.

Have you ever felt like that? All you do is focus on getting something done? And then can’t remember what you spent your time “doing?”

Getting caught up in the gridlock of time and demands did not just happen overnight in your life. It is the result of chronic stress, distraction and the sense of urgency that comes from that distraction. Living and working in the digital age sets us all up for the mindset that more and more is possible in shorter periods of time “through technology.” Except we are not a machine!

As everything speeds up there is more and more distraction, information has exploded and there is a real need to learn how to make technology work for us.  Yet distraction keeps one’s attention from being able to focus and concentrate and when that happens, there will never be enough time. 

Tip #1 Manage Distractions

Try logging your distractions!

To keep from spinning your wheels you want to know where your distractions are coming from and learn to manage them. We use an “Interruption Log” that tracks all your interruptions for the day. Keep the log for a week. You may be surprised to find that most of the distractions are coming from you!

Tip #2 Manage Your Energy

Learn what drains your energy the most

When you understand what your distractions are and where they come from you start to recognize how draining distraction can be.  This “aha” moment is a big shift in perspective because when you manage your energy – you end up having all the time you need!

Time, by itself, does not automagically make you accomplish more; you have to have focus and clarity. We are working in an 8 second world. Attention spans are dropping like a rock and when the ability to focus is fast becoming a lost art.

Focus is the antidote to distraction and low performance.

Next time you think about speeding up, step back, take a deep breath and tune into what is in front of you. Focus. Turn off the distractions. Enjoy the challenge of increasing your ability to focus better and longer.


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