The phone rings. A fax comes in. There’s an email alert. Your associate needs help. The school calls about your sick child. Your Outlook chimes. There’s a LinkedIn request to connect. You’re mentioned on Twitter. Your associate needs help. Your gCal pops up. A text comes in from an unhappy client. Someone ‘likes’ your post on Facebook. Your partner messages you about dinner plans. There’s a customer at the desk.
“I really like my work,” Dan said after the talk. “It’s just that I get to the end of the day and I feel so scattered and unfocused. It’s exhausting”
I had been speaking to a group of attorneys about emotional wellness and sustainable peak performance.
Dan is not alone.
We live in a culture of distraction. We suffer from information overload.
Everything seems urgent; everything competes for our attention; everything wants to be done… now.
Except that it can’t be.
We can only do one thing at a time.
It’s when we delude ourselves and pretend that we can do it all – and all at once -that we deplete our limited resources.
We love to indulge the myth of multi-tasking. We love to feel significant and needed.
But the hits of cortisol are addictive. And continuous partial attention extracts a huge toll.
Without laser-like focus,
- We make mistakes.
- We’re unproductive.
- We become emotionally fragile.
- We experience stress and overwhelm.
- We dishonor our relationships.
- We miss opportunities.
- We end up being poor stewards of our time.
Focus is fuel. Focus is power.
Focus is the doorway to creativity and innovation.
You nurture focus through practice; you strengthen it like a muscle.
If you want to be resourceful and resilient; if you want to create deep relationships and change lives; if you want to advance your career or grow your business; if you want to serve at the very highest level and make an impact in the world, then focus.
Do just one thing.