“No man is an island…” reminds us that although human beings often know where we are going wrong, we need help, to inspire, motivate and teach us important skills that do not come naturally. Jon Covey’s coaching success is evident from numerous testimonials referring to success in achieving targets, improved self-esteem and vastly great productivity. Another quality that coaching can help you acquire, is one that can make or break your professional career: concentration – the ability to keep your mind exactly where it should be, to maximise your daily productivity.
The Effect of Distraction on Output
Some of the most common distractions at work are mobile phone usage and texting, Internet surfing, gossip, and taking frequent social media breaks. It may seem like we are only taking a few minutes of our day for these purposes, but the actual time wasted may amount to numerous hours. Research shows that it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to your original task after an interruption, indicating that work progress is affected for long after you cease to chat on the phone or check out the latest happenings on Facebook. Distraction also leads to more stress and a bad mood, which can affect your motivation and ability to think innovatively.
How can a Coach Help with Concentration?
A coach can help you improve your concentration at work in many ways. The first step is to analyze your routines. Your coach will first try to work out the most and least productive times during your day, and ask you about habits that may be distracting you from important tasks. For instance, they may ask how often you check emails or have meetings. We often think of meetings as crucial to achieving our goals, but research indicates that office workers spend around 31 hours a month on unproductive meetings.
Do you really need to see one or more colleagues in person, or can your queries be answered via email or with a quick call? Your coach can help you draw up a schedule with a view to improving concentration. For instance, you might decide to limit checking your inbox to specific times in the day; you might download an app that limits your use of social media sites; or you might simply need help with prioritization. Sometimes, we find it difficult to concentrate because we have too much on our plate. Our coach can help us set realistic goals that can actually be achieved within a reasonable time, thus giving our confidence and sense of achievement a big boost.
The problem with distractions is that they can seem so small and be so immensely entertaining. While social media, phone apps and messaging can serve to de-stress, they can also have far more serious consequences than we imagine, wresting considerably from our productivity. A coach can help you see where you are going wrong and help you draft a practical, easy-to-follow schedule that will make a huge difference in terms of your output, confidence and sense of achievement.
*Guest Post by Jane Sandwood