We think we need more time to get our work done. We complain that we have too much work and too little time. But actually, it’s that we don’t have enough energy, attention, or focus to get our work done. In other words, we don’t have enough time without interruptions to get our work done. When we shrink the amount of time we spend checking our devices, we gain time, of course, for our most important priorities. But we also recapture the energy we lose by the stress and tension constant checking causes and we recapture the self-control and self-discipline we exert by constantly having to reign in our attention.
“People won’t always like it when you start living according to your own priorities, rather than their expectations of you. So be kind to yourself, and to others, as you adjust.”
Even more importantly, when we step back from our devices, we regain our ability to do deep, thoughtful, important work. In this age of standardized testing, we’ve come to mistakenly value quick thinking—the type of problem-solving we do under time pressure. But today’s workplace and economy actually rewards deep thinking more than quick thinking. Only deep thinking produces true innovations, accomplishments of lasting meaning, and social changes that matter.
But for deep thinking, you are going to need to be able to focus. Great news…That’s the next unit! Join us!
This post is taken from “The Science of Finding Flow,” an online course I created as a companion to my book The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. Want to take the course? It’s free! Just click this The Science of Finding Flow tag. Enjoy!