You are the boss of your attention span.
You are the boss of your attention span. Yet how you manage when your world is pinging you to read texts, tweets, emails, and Instagrams is a measure of your professionalism. Whether your work is art or law or anything else, getting work done is how you are measured.
Here are four ways to take back control and make sure that you are working smart (or smartly) for yourself, and for your clients.
- Turn off the ping. Stand in a busy grocery store and listen to the pings and dings. Try to imagine doing serious, thoughtful work with that racket. Now go home and turn off the ping so that you can concentrate.
- Stop checking for tweets, texts, and emails for at least one hour at a time. Aim for larger blocks of time (all morning, all afternoon, or, gasp! all day. Pretend you’ve lost your phone.)
- Make yourself heard. Tell your frequent communicators that there will be times when you don’t text back right away (during work, during finals, during meetings). Unless you are on the Red-Button Nuclear Countdown list or your wife or partner is pregnant, everything else can wait.
- Don’t cheat or peek. When you need to take a break from whatever you’re doing, stand up and stretch.