Five years ago did you ever need a document where you kept all your username and passwords? Are you able to find this document when you need it? I have a three page document that I have to refer to all the time. In includes numerous on-line websites and news, banking, credit card, itunes, amazon, craigs list, GTD, Twitter, Book clubs, Skype, etc. I can go on and on. Everything requires a “sign up” process. We also have more interruptions, and more self-distractions. Our phones, so handy, so powerful, so distracting, is just one of them. Can you organize and manage it? Can you still organize and focus on results?
If any of you have practiced or read about meditation this is a wonderful analogy of a simple exercise that may be of use in todays fast-moving technological world. Mediation practice is simply following your breath in and out of your body. Paying full attention to each breath as it comes in and out. Your mind will wander from your breath, as myriad life events pop up and interrupt your focus. The practice is not about how long you can just focus on your breath, the practice is your ability to recognize when your mind has wandered from your breath and bring your attention back to it. Your mind may wander a 100 times and you gently practice bringing your focus back to your breath 100 times.
Your breath as your project
How do you organize? Can you identify your priorities? Results? As we sit to work on a project (our breath) we may be interrupted by checking our e-mail, texts, making a phone call, taking a phone call, or questions we get asked. We have more distractions at our finger tips. Distractions then turn into a thread of distractions, suddenly that one e-mail turns into, “I should answer this, then you answer it and another e-mail comes in.” Now, ask yourself, are any of these distractions purposeful? Are they taking us away from dealing with a difficult situation or finishing what we need to get done? Like meditation practice how do we become aware of these distractions and the valuable time it may be taking away from getting the project done and bring ourselves back to our important work? That is a challenge.
Interruptions are a reality, we certainly need to be prepared for them, but how many of those interruptions are self motivated? How do we get back to the project we need to get done. How can do we manage it so we are still focused on results?