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01 Apr

Prioritize wholeheartedly

Datum: 2015-04-01 12:00
Man peeking with one eye through his hands

Have you ever been in a meet­ing where when you are just about to elab­o­rate on why we real­ly need to solve that par­tic­u­lar prob­lem, a phone starts buzzing.

It is set to mute and its own­er leaves it lying buzzing on the table with­out answer­ing it, but what hap­pens to the rest of the peo­ple in the room? Every­one will pay atten­tion to the phone with both eyes and ears, and not focus on you.

Mul­ti­task­ing with­out actu­al­ly get­ting more done
We tend to do this in sev­er­al oth­er areas as well, wouldn’t you say? In order to nav­i­gate our way through an increas­ing­ly intense work­ing envi­ron­ment with focus and con­cen­tra­tion, we select, plan, fix, tune in, tune out and turn off.

How­ev­er, we are play­ing it safe. We are doing some­thing else simul­ta­ne­ous­ly whilst we are sit­ting there any­ways. We throw an eye on the next thing we are going to do before we are done with this one. The device is almost turned off, but not completely.

Focus­ing both mind and action
These days I think a lot about pri­or­i­tiz­ing whole­heart­ed­ly. What I mean is that what I decide to do, is the only things I want to focus my atten­tion on at that moment. Call it mind­ful­ness, min­i­miza­tion of dis­trac­tion, or what­ev­er you want.

I have had such vivid expe­ri­ences of how the pur­pose of pri­or­i­ti­za­tion is com­plete­ly lost when I do not focus entire­ly on what I have pri­or­i­tized. Let me give you three exam­ples of what I have pre­vi­ous­ly done which I no longer want to do. Since I think I speak for every­one here”, I will express myself in terms of us.

Do not do this

  • Tweet dur­ing a lec­ture — We attend a real­ly excit­ing lec­ture and we would love to share it with those who fol­low us on Twit­ter and our Face­book friends. It would be nice with a pic­ture on Insta­gram too, so we take one. After a while, we look up from our phone and feel as if we joined halfway through the movie. What is he talk­ing about now?”. We were so occu­pied by com­ments, likes and tweets that we almost missed what we actu­al­ly want­ed to do now — lis­ten to the lecture.

  • Leave the cell­phone on dur­ing a meet­ing, even though it is mut­ed — We turn off the sound on the phone when we go into a meet­ing, but only the sound. There is not a have the cake and eat it ” when it comes to silent-mode and vibra­tion. Sure, when the phone rings it does not real­ly ring, but it buzzes in your pock­et and we will still be dis­tract­ed. We take a peek to see who is call­ing and per­haps even answer to say that we can not take the call right now.

  • Work­ing on non-pri­or­i­tized projects — We decide which X num­ber of projects we are going to pri­or­i­tize in the com­ing months. We focus extra on these but also con­tin­ue to work on the oth­ers as well instead of actu­al­ly paus­ing them while work­ing on the pri­or­i­tized ones. All in all, we work more after we pri­or­i­tized than before — extra on the pri­or­i­tized projects and as much as before on the oth­er projects. And yet we thought we would work less and with greater focus.

One thing at a time
If we pri­or­i­tize whole­heart­ed­ly we gain focus and con­cen­tra­tion. We get to enjoy the plea­sure of hav­ing pri­or­i­tized, which to me is for instance the feel­ing that I am cur­rent­ly doing the absolute best thing I could pos­si­bly do right now. In the next few weeks, this is what I will prac­tice. Will you try doing so as well?

How do you pri­or­i­tize more wholeheartedly?
Does any of this sound famil­iar? Yes, absolute­ly? Not at all? If so, what every­day sit­u­a­tions would you like to pri­or­i­tize more whole­heart­ed­ly in? Leave a com­ment and let us know!