Getting to a point of deep focus during your workday is a key requirement for employees and employers alike. A prolonged period of concentration often brings the best opportunity for enhanced creativity, memory, learning, problem solving and decision making.
But in many modern working environments, we are surrounded by potential distractions which can significantly decrease the quality of our work. Studies by the University of California have shown that distractions, no matter how short, can take on average 25 minutes to recover from and return to the same level of focus. So how can you escape the inevitable pull for your attention and retain periods of dedicated focus?
While we may not be able to remove all distractions from our life, one thing we can all do is remove live ‘push notifications’ from our lives. Throughout the working day, most of us are inundated with buzzes, beeps or pop-ups from our computers or phones that immediately take your attention. Rather, why not remove such pop-ups from occurring and simply check the relevant apps or programmes when you choose, at frequencies that work for you.
Removing such notifications can take some getting used to. At first, you may be checking your Outlook or Whatsapp more than before, in case something has changed. But over time, you’ll see that the world is not moving as fast as you may think it is, that the need for urgent responses is very rare, and that the quality of your focused work will improve significantly.