Distraction is poison to your concentration. When we're in flow, our productivity is many times higher, we seem to work completely effortlessly. Have you ever been inflow and know how it feels like? If you are really absorbed in your work, you will achieve excellent results in such a short time that you will wonder how you managed to do it so quickly.
Flow works as a motor.
The happiness researcher Mihály Csíkszentmihályi created the term flow. Flow describes the feeling of a mental state of complete deepening and complete absorption in an activity that happens by itself. In flow we are fully absorbed in the activity. In this state consciousness and action merge with each other.
Disturbances are killers
Imagine you are in the middle of this activity frenzy, and now the mobile phone rings. Any disturbance rips you out of this flow. Studies show that you now need at least 20 minutes (!) to get back into the flow and be as productive as before the disruption. Now imagine the effects of being disturbed three or four times per hour.These are the days about which you say in the evening: "Where has the time gone? What have I actually done today?"
The 3 biggest disturbances that take up most of our time and get us out of flow every day are:
2. telephone/mobile phone
3. unexpected visitors
Solution: actively prevent malfunctions. If you are aware of the most common faults and the devastating effect they have on our productivity, the appropriate solutions are immediately and easily comprehensible:
Really productive people rigorously turn off their email program when they need productive creativity for their work. Because every sound or screen message that announces the arrival of a new e-mail pulls us out of the flow. Exactly the same destructive effect is caused by the short switchover to the e-mail program and the "just a quick glance" of the new e-mails.Do it like the pros: Open your e-mail program only a maximum of three times a day if you want to concentrate on your tasks. And set yourself a specific time window for processing e-mails that you consistently adhere to.
If you're now thinking: ' I have to be reachable and reply to e-mails quickly!' I would like to reflect in the following: "When you're with a customer or having a job interview, do you answer your e-mails immediately?"
Every phone call, no matter how short, pulls you out of the flow. So in the future, when you're working hard, turn off your cell phone - which is also good for preventing interference from messenger services - and redirect your landline phone to your assistant, to your employees or to the switchboard. A tip, provided your company policy allows it: Switch off your mailbox as well. If it is important, they will call back later.
"Do not disturb"
"Will you come for lunch later?" "Yes, thank you. This very short dialogue alone definitely pulls you out of your flow. Therefore, the following will apply to you in the future for concentrated and creative activities: ...close the door, plus a "Do Not Disturb" sign.
Important: This request for privacy must be rigorously enforced. If this is difficult for you, remember: It is not you who are rude if you insist on it, but the one who is disturbing.
To put it clearly: As a manager, you decide on your time, not others.
Only few jobs, like doctors in duty, receptionists, cashier's or store vendors must be available at all times during their shift!
Take the pressure off your shoulders, concentrate and get more done in less time. Your team will benefit from this as well!