Create Deep Focus

Many people believe that top executives sit in their big offices overlooking a view and spend their day doing lots of high-level thinking.

This is so far from the truth, or at least from what I have observed. I have had the pleasure of working with many leaders around the world and they all crave one thing and that is time to think.

This is a real problem as having time to think is absolutely key to their performance and the performance of their business.

Bonjour. In this video, I want to share a really important mind shift to improve performance.

I’m at the moment, cycling in a beautiful place near Sydney called the Garigal National Park. The bike track that I am doing is quite technical and if you fall you can seriously injure yourself. Therefore, you need to be really focused on what you are doing, not only when going through the technical parts such as rolling down rocks or small jumps, but all the time. Even on the easy part, there could be a root sticking out or a rock you didn’t see.

The mind shift I want to share is simple: performance is firstly about focus.

Many people in the business world associate performance for quantity: the more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more projects I take on.

I highly disagree. Performance is about focus: choosing a few key priorities and creating deep focus around them.

Performance is about choosing two to three priorities, no more.

Performance is about creating deep focus around each of them.

Cal Newport published a great book a few years ago called ‘Deep Work’. In his research he found that the most performing people are not the ones working the longest hours but the ones who have the ability to create deep focused work.

A few suggestions to create deep focus:

1. Book a meeting with yourself – you have probably heard me saying this many times but it’s worth insisting on this Book specific meetings with yourself in your calendar AND RESPECT IT.

2. Disconnect – when the time to focus arrives, turn off your phone, close your inbox, cut yourself off from all potential interruptions.

3. Give yourself a goal – Agree with yourself what you want to achieve in this meeting with yourself. Be clear and specific.

4. Use the Pomodoro technique invented by Francesco Cirillo: put your timer on for 25mn or 45mn and get completely absorbed in one thing, the task at hand. When it rings take a 5mn break and start again.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip: performance is firstly about focus.

Have a great day.

A bientôt,

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