In a digitally-dependent world, distraction has become a fact of life. We’ve all experienced times when our productivity suffers because we fail to stay focused on the right things. Most people are seemingly unfazed by this digital daze. But if you’re an entrepreneur, a competitive athlete, or simply someone determined to become better than you were yesterday, you know lacking focus and self-control is toxic to your end goals.
Curt Steinhorst is on a mission to help us win the battle against distraction. Diagnosed with ADD as a child, he had to find ways to overcome the challenges of digital distraction once he became an entrepreneur. After years of studying the impact of technology on human behavior, he founded FocusWise, a company dedicated to helping professionals reduce distraction and maintain focus for bigger success.
In this episode, Curt shares strategies you can use, both personally and professionally, to prevail over one of life’s toughest adversaries — distraction.
Be sure to grab a copy of Curt’s book, Can I Have Your Attention?: Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace. Out 10/9/17.
Here are some tools and methods Curt uses to improve focus and productivity:
- A “Focus Vault” – Two 40-minute sessions a day with a 30-minute break in between reserved for social media and other miscellaneous tasks.
- The Freedom app – Disables internet, apps and websites.
- Prioritizes with a “dirt” list – A list of prioritized tasks that define whether the day was successful:
Diamonds: 2-4 tasks that need to be done
Dollars: tasks that need to get done eventually but can can be put off
Dirt: tasks that someone said to do that are not going to get done that day
During Non-working Hours:
- Put away phones during all meals
- When the family eats out, only one parent brings a phone
- On Sundays, put phone away and keep it more distant
- Make sacred space for journaling time
If You Struggle With Focus…
Try creating your own “Focus Vault” — a particular place at a particular time you block out all incoming access. Turn off everything for a short period of time so you can prioritize one thing that demands your full attention that day. After you decide what that is, knock it out.
- Diagnosed with ADD as a child but avoided medication
- ADD became challenging once he started his own business
- Had two options: live at home with the folks or figure out what he was going to do better
- Began studying the unique distractions that today’s technology creates
CURT GETTING MOTIVATED
- Wrote the book, Can I Have Your Attention?: Inspiring Better Work Habits, Focusing Your Team and Getting Stuff Done in the Constantly Connected Workplace. Out 10/9/17 (available on Amazon)
- Commit to the moments you have full energy and leverage multitasking at the moments you’re exhausted.
BETTER THAN YESTERDAY QUOTES
“The busiest hours on Facebook are 1-3pm. Sixty percent of online retail purchases occur during working hours. In fact, some estimates have people wasting their workday as much as six hours on interruptions. So yeah, we are distracted.”
“A lot of people aren’t working and in fact, a lot of people think they’re working but they’ve exchanged overworked when really all they are is overwhelmed.”
“We make a concerted effort to be present and to not have our phones defining our time with our families.”