Learn how to protect your focus by reducing the physical distractions around you. In this video, Dave Crenshaw shares the power of using inboxes to minimize distractions.
- When we talk about protecting your physical focus, we're talking about all the stuff that you have around you. The cards, the cords, the paperwork, whatever it is, these objects chip away at your focus. Every time you see them, it reminds you of something that needs to be done, and just for that moment it pulls your focus away from whatever you were working on to that object. What we want to do is channel all this stuff down two paths. Either your Physical inbox or a Portable inbox.
By a Physical inbox I mean a four-walled box that's open at the top that's big enough to gather all the stuff that you have, and by the Portable inbox, I mean a folder or a padfolio, something that you carry with you, your purse, that you can put stuff when you're away from the office. When you see something that's out of place, should you put it away? No, doing that will actually steal your focus because it's going to take too much time to take that cord and put it into the right spot.
Instead, just grab it and toss it into the inbox. That way, it doesn't take much of your time and you get into just this natural conditioned rhythm of just tossing things in there. If you're away from your office, if someone hands you a business card or a receipt, put that in your portable inbox. Then when you get back to your office, dump it all into that one big office physical inbox. Now, if you also are at home and you have stuff there, you might want to have one extra inbox just for home, and, if you live with others, they also should have their inbox.
For instance, my children each have their own inbox, and they've learned that whenever something's out of place, they don't put it away, at least not then, they just pick it up and throw it into their inbox. Now, in the next video, we'll deal with how to handle all that stuff that you put into the inbox. For now, the first step is just protecting your focus by getting it out of sight.
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- Maintaining focus for longer periods of time
- Using your calendar to preserve focus
- Building a mental firewall
- Establishing expectations and boundaries
- Making time for others
- Avoiding distractions in a digital world
- Improving your workspace