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Pt 5: Eliminate All Distractions

Enjoy this 7 part series on Advanced Time Management!

Eliminate All Distractions

“Flickering” is the term I made up for what happens when a person is distracted momentarily. Your mind will be blown when you calculate how much of your life has been stolen by pointlessly transitioning your attention to a distracting stimuli and then back to what you were doing, achieving nothing in the process.

There is no such thing as “multi-tasking” – that myth has been thoroughly debunked by neuroscience. What looks like doing multiple things simultaneously is actually attention flicking between tasks – your attention bounces back and forth many times per second.

Essentialism – doing one thing at a time, or “doing less, better!” – is far more productive than attempting to multi-task.

If your list is thorough, you’ll notice the kinds of activities that cause flickering. Checking your phone impulsively and responding to all notifications and calls as if they’re all urgent. Checking your email inbox, noticing there are new emails, and then just going back to your original task. Randomly getting up to look for a snack even though you have enough food in your body right now.

Seek to eliminate these time-stealers. They have already claimed months of your life, not just in the cumulative minutes lost every day, but the opportunity cost: you have to reset after each flicker, start over with lost momentum, and often redo part of the task just to catch up.

Start with whatever’s the worst one. Maybe it’s your phone – get an app that blocks it off during set times. Maybe it’s your family (hello my fellow work-from-home entrepreneurs!!) – set firmer boundaries and let them know when they must not disturb you.

And if it’s your own mind that’s distracting you, start practicing mindfulness meditation to learn how to bring your attention back to the present sooner.

Stay tuned for Part 6!

2 Responses

  1. Turning off your phone when it’s not needed is probably the highest leverage move you can do to save attention

  2. Are you a Nice Guy or people pleaser who wishes they were more confident, assertive, and socially successful?
    Comment, DM or email me dan@brojo.org the words “NICE GUY!” to get my most powerful recovery tool!

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