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How To Control Your Attention And Results
Posted by Nicky Coffin
As you read this post the year is literally flying by. I suspect you landed here looking for a few nuggets about how to scale your recruitment business or perhaps answers to the question about why ‘things’ aren’t happening how you want.
Where Is Your attention?
Sad to say and the reason you are not scaling the way you want to is your fault… GULP. You lack focus (even though you might disagree); fundamentally your attention is not where it needs to be.
Let me explain more about attention and what it could mean for you.
As many of you may be aware, both Katy and I are big readers. Recently I have been reading some old classics by authors who have shaped our world.
Consequently, I have picked up some ideas that seem to be even more relevant today. Someone I want to mention is the American Psychologist William James. A less well-known quote of his is;
“ My experience is what I agree to attend to.”
Powerful and full of insight; do you agree? Especially when you consider the ‘connected’ world we are now all a part of.
He went on to share that your attention determines the experiences you have and the experiences you have to define the life you live. Alternatively, said another way: you must control your attention to control your life; be that business or pleasure.
Logical; of course. Yet how many of us practice attention management relentlessly. I know when we experience massive growth spurts here at CentredExcellence it is because of where our attention is; consistently. No distractions, we are on it.
I am convinced that you have experienced this too. That real focus produces the results aligned to what you want.
Distractions Are Everywhere
Though in William James time there were also distractions, however, today is a whole new world!
From your Smartphone and it is 3o Apps you use to run your life, to the Millennial team you are ‘trying’ to manage to deliver higher performance and the ongoing family feuds about who is hosting Christmas this year, distractions for our time attention and emotional input are everywhere.
Time management in its classic form is no longer fit for purpose. Instead, it is attention management all the way based on extensive research and the way we work today
How Can You Control Your Attention?
First of all, you decide to take control. The power of deciding will bring incredible results.
Which leads me to a vital starting point… what do you want?
What are your goals? Increasing revenue by seven figures this year? Maybe working a nine-day fortnight.
Having super clear goals is vital to this process. How clear are yours?
Now you have your goal, let’s start with the easy part.
Start With Your Technology
The original answerphone was a fantastic invention. It meant we could control whether we answered the phone or not. We have the same choice today too.
Switch off your email alerts, and those pesky push notifications we once thought were a good idea. As a recruiting professional this is might be hard and switch off your phone and crucially put it out of reach. A recent research study from Harvard demonstrated the effect on our performance a phone can have. The group involved analysing 500 students and their abilities to problem solve.
Remarkably, performance on the tasks of attention and problem-solving varied depending on the location of the smartphone; weird I know, and scores were highest when the smartphone was in the next room and scores were lowest when the phone was on the desk.
The impact of the smartphone’s location was most dramatic among those who reported being most reliant on their phones.
The effect of the smartphone was not altered by having the phone powered off (vs. set to silent mode) or placed face down (vs. face up).
These findings suggest that having a smartphone nearby can be distracting even when it is not in use.
Then Your Environment
Remember those days when you would all have a ‘hit the phones for 90 minutes’ session? It produced some amazing results; didn’t it?
The power of attention in action.
For attention to work for you, you need to set boundaries in many different ways. That could be using headphones, working in a separate room and though not as popular for some, turning your back to the rest of the room.
We have shared how to work on your external distractions what about internally?
One Thing At Once
Gary Keller wrote a New Your Times bestseller called The One Thing; it is worth a read. However, as a recruitment business owner, it is not always that easy to focus on one thing at a time, only. However, you can start small by being focused on one task at a time. Start single-tasking. Stay with one task till its done. Commit to doing that every day and then review what you have delivered.
Focus and attention is a big topic of discussion with our clients and in our various programmes. Why? Because it is the cornerstone of success. We teach some techniques and provide resources to help. If attention is alluding you along with the financial results you want, we can help.
Read just a small selection of our success stories and then get in contact here.