How paying attention makes you more productive
These days it seems that everyone and everything is vying for your attention.
Your phone, your email, your co-workers, your family.
How do you decide who and when to give your attention?
More importantly, when you are with someone, do you give them your full and undivided attention?
Not paying attention
We have all been there. The meeting where no one is paying attention. Or the discussion with your boss (or significant other!) and they are busy messing on their phone instead of talking to you.
Why is everyone so busy that they aren’t paying attention?
We have all gotten the standard, “What did you say?” or “Can you repeat that, please?”
It’s not fun. And it’s not productive.
“Listening is not the same as paying attention.”
Listening is what you do on a conference call that you are not interested in.
Listening is what you do when you are talking to someone on the phone and doing 3 other things at the same time.
Listening is what you do when you are in a meeting and still typing away on your laptop.
Of course, the common excuse is, “I’m too busy to pay attention.” The truth is, you don’t have time not to pay attention.
Paying attention is productive.
It gets things done and avoids rework. It makes for better communication. And it builds better relationships.
Here are 7 ways you can pay better attention …
- Silence Your Devices – Nothing distracts like noise. Turn of the chimes, dings, and chirps. Turn off your phone ringer. (Hint, it’s the little switch on the top left.) Eliminate those alerts from your email, Apple watch,… everything.
- Close Your Screens – Even if you aren’t using your computer or laptop, this is a big symbolic gesture. Close that laptop. Shut off that monitor. (Yes, off!) And turn your phone face-down on the desk. (Or better yet, put it in your pocket.
- Don’t Multi-task – Doing multiple things at once doesn’t work. You are unable to give you full attention to more than one thing at a time. Inevitably, you miss things or create re-work for yourself.
- Face the Person You Are Speaking With – Looking at someone face-to-face is a powerful way to demonstrate your attention. It shows that you aren’t reading other things or glancing at your phone or computer. It builds trust and stronger communication.
- Listen Before Speaking – Giving your attention doesn’t mean that you have to jump to respond and provide answers to everything that someone is telling you. Listen more than you speak. Absorb and understand what is being communicated. Some of the best conversations occur when you only listen
- Don’t Let Interruptions Interrupt – You think that interruption will only take a moment, but then the person you were talking to ends up sitting awkwardly while you address something else. Don’t take a phone call. Don’t talk to someone else when you have someone in front of you. Get back to those interruptions later.
- Repeat What You Heard – Nothing says “I heard you and understand,” more than a polite rephrasing of what you have been told. It shouldn’t be robotic or patronizing, but a genuine repeating of what you have understood from the conversation. Not only does this show that you paid attention, but also serves to address any confusion or misunderstandings immediately.
Give your full attention
When you are meeting with someone, give them your full attention.
You will find that people will want to work with you, and you will get more done.
So, turn off that technology, stop those interruptions, and give someone your full attention today.
Article found on timemanagementninja.com