5 Ways To Pay Attention: White Space for Your Life

Distraction is the new enemy of success. Everyone
is consistently interrupted by emails, text messages, phone calls, and
meetings–some called to discuss future meetings. That’s not breaking
news.

But the
result of this may be something you hadn’t realized: mental exhaustion
followed by frustration. Why frustration? Because you never properly finish what you started.

How
you focus your attention determines what you think about and ultimately
do. Jumping from task to task isn’t a sign of workplace excellence and
productivity; it’s an indicator that you may not being doing much of
anything very well. 

Each of us
has 100 percent of a time allotment. OK, so we’ll divide our time
between two projects, 50-50. But hey, we like Project X a little more
than Project Y, so now it’s a 65%-35% arrangement. Then, the boss comes
in to discuss a new idea, someone from the family sends a text message,
and the printer needs a new cartridge. Do the numbers.

Whitespaceheader White Space
is a design concept most of us are familiar with. Good page layout
allows for breathing room, or “white space”, so the reader can attend
to what’s important. Doesn’t it make sense to do the same for ourselves?

 Since All Things Workplace is about practical solutions, here are:

Five Ways To Create Personal White Space

1. Know your own priorities. Then, hold fast to them.

Yeah, you were expecting that one because you already know it’s true. Why
it’s important is the key. When you have clear priorities and are in
the habit of acting on them, other people notice. Then, when you take
time to explain why you can’t do something else at the moment, they’re
more likely to understand. 

2. Schedule Thinking Time.
Put it on your calendar the same way you would anything else of
importance. Why would you spend a day, week, or lifetime working at
anything that’s not a result of some purposeful reflection?

3. Start creating the habit of “Singletasking”
vs “Multitasking. Tackle things in sequence and  complete each one–or
reach some sensible break point– before moving on to the next.

4. Manage
distractions. Be clear with people: “I’m not always available.” Turn
off the mobile, Skype, Twitter, and email for set periods of time.
Figure out how often you really have to check them in order to remain
informed. 

5. Make “paying attention” a conscious part of your life
and worklife. Observe how much of your time is being orchestrated by
you and how much is being pilfered by others. The very act of doing
this will anger you just enough to do something about it. 

White
Space is a design concept most of us are familiar with. Good page
layout allows for breathing room, or “white space”, so the reader can
attend to what’s important.

Thought for Today: Create some White Space for your work life.

If you’re thinking along the same lines, you might also enjoy:

Leadership: When “No” Is More Important Than “Yes”

 
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Steve has designed and delivered leadership and communication programs for some of the world's largest organizations, and has more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching. His Roesler Group has created and delivered leadership and talent development internationally for corporations such as Pfizer, Minerals Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, NordCarb Oy Ab, and Specialty Minerals--Europe. Steve is currently involved in the latest update of his Presenting With Impact program, a cross-cultural presentations workshop that has been delivered on five continents to more than 1,000 participants representing nearly 60 nationalities.

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5 Ways To Pay Attention: White Space for Your Life

Distraction is the new enemy of success. Everyone is consistently interrupted by emails, text messages, phone calls, and meetings–some called to discuss future meetings. That’s not breaking news.

But the result of this may be something you hadn’t realized: mental exhaustion followed by frustration. Why frustration? Because you never properly finish what you started.

How you focus your attention determines what you think about and ultimately do. Jumping from task to task isn’t a sign of workplace excellence and productivity; it’s an indicator that you may not being doing much of anything very well. 

Each of us has 100 percent of a time allotment. OK, so we’ll divide our time between two projects, 50-50. But hey, we like Project X a little more than Project Y, so now it’s a 65%-35% arrangement. Then, the boss comes in to discuss a new idea, someone from the family sends a text message, and the printer needs a new cartridge. Do the numbers.

Whitespaceheader White Space

is a design concept most of us are familiar with. Good page layout

allows for breathing room, or “white space”, so the reader can attend

to what’s important. Doesn’t it make sense to do the same for ourselves?

 Since All Things Workplace is about practical solutions, here are:

Five Ways To Create Personal White Space

1. Know your own priorities. Then, hold fast to them.

Yeah, you were expecting that one because you already know it’s true. Why it’s important is the key. When you have clear priorities and are in the habit of acting on them, other people notice. Then, when you take time to explain why you can’t do something else at the moment, they’re more likely to understand. 

2. Schedule Thinking Time. Put it on your calendar the same way you would anything else of importance. Why would you spend a day, week, or lifetime working at anything that’s not a result of some purposeful reflection?

3. Start creating the habit of “Singletasking” vs “Multitasking. Tackle things in sequence and  complete each one–or reach some sensible break point– before moving on to the next.

4. Manage distractions. Be clear with people: “I’m not always available.” Turn off the mobile, Skype, Twitter, and email for set periods of time. Figure out how often you really have to check them in order to remain informed. 

5. Make “paying attention” a conscious part of your life and worklife. Observe how much of your time is being orchestrated by you and how much is being pilfered by others. The very act of doing this will anger you just enough to do something about it. 

White Space is a design concept most of us are familiar with. Good page layout allows for breathing room, or “white space”, so the reader can attend to what’s important.

Thought for Today: Create some White Space for your work life.

If you’re thinking along the same lines, you might also enjoy:

Leadership: When “No” Is More Important Than “Yes”


Link to original post

Avatar

Steve has designed and delivered leadership and communication programs for some of the world's largest organizations, and has more than 30 years in training, development, and high-level executive coaching. His Roesler Group has created and delivered leadership and talent development internationally for corporations such as Pfizer, Minerals Technologies, Johnson & Johnson, NordCarb Oy Ab, and Specialty Minerals--Europe. Steve is currently involved in the latest update of his Presenting With Impact program, a cross-cultural presentations workshop that has been delivered on five continents to more than 1,000 participants representing nearly 60 nationalities.

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