Did you know that the average office worker becomes distracted every three minutes? With numerous distractions coming in digital, analog and face-to-face, notifications on your cellphone, desktop and co-workers. No wonder multitasking can reduce productivity by up to 40%.
Much of our daily schedule is filled with interruptions. I know I easily get distracted with everything happening on my phone, the urge to send a text and check my e-mail. Last week I tried one day with no multitasking, just focus on one task; create and finishing a presentation about social media. Nothing was going to take my focus away from it this day.
Probably while reading this, you have already checked your mobile, answered a text, cheeked Facebook and got several e-mail notifications. Maybe one of your coworkers has stopped by and asked you a question. It´s so easy to become distracted.
Maybe it´s time to try to take your focus back, time to prioritize once in a while to focus on yourself and your own tasks, and only that for one whole day. I had to try it.
Focus Work Boot Camp
I was invited to join the first Focus Work Boot Camp in Tromsø. A working day without cellphone and W-Fi. Can I do that? No interruptions, no text, Facebook, Snapchat or Wi-Fi. Can I prepare a social media presentation without any Wi-Fi at all? Sure I can, I just need to download everything I need before I get started. And do you know what? It wasn’t that hard at all. But this experience was not about how to manage to work without Wi-Fi and cellphone, the most surprising was how I felt during and after this special workday.
This is how we did it
We met at FLOW in Tromsø, a co-working and innovation space that kindly provided us with a meeting room.
We started the day with a nice cup of coffee and got introduced to each other. The introduction was both about what we do normally, and what we planned to do this particular day.Then it was time to handle in our cellphones and put the computer off Wi-Fi. We used an app called Freedom, which blocks distracting websites and apps.
It may sound like a paradox to work offline when I’m making a presentation about social media. However, being offline gives more space for long thinking which in turns make it easier to make a connected storyline for the presentation. I had downloaded everything I needed to make the presentation and was ready to start. It felt good to know that this was the only thing on my to-do list this very day, and I liked working in a room where others also were focused on their work. It was quiet and no interruptions at all.
After just a few minutes I felt the urge to check up on my phone, like a reflex, though I knew my phone was in another room. That made me realize how addicted I was. I can´t remember the last time I had several hours to concentrate on one thing without any interruptions or self interruptions.
Several times I had the strong feeling to check my phone. My hand grabbed to the place where my phone normally would be. I had to laugh. But after a while the feeling passed away, and the focus was back on track.
The first three-hour session went really fast, and I was surprised by how much I had done. I had the time to read several articles and reports on social media, and my presentation started to get into shape.
Then it was time to have a break and we got our cellphones back. Everyone was really excited to see how much had happened while it was gone, but surprisingly I had no missed calls and a just a few notifications. All the things I felt I had to check while being offline was not that important after all.
We had a nice lunch and got the time to get to know each other better. After I told I was working on a presentation in social media, one of the other participants asked if I would considerate to talk about social media at his workplace. This is why events like this could end up with new relations and new possibilities.
After lunch it was time to go back to the last focus session. The last session went almost as fast as the first one. At the end of the day the presentation was almost finished. The only thing missing was a few pictures I had forgotten to download. I finished it really quick once I got online again. I even got time to start another project that I´m working on.
When the day was over I felt happy and tired. It takes a lot of energy to stay focused for this long. But, wow! How productive I have been! I sure would like to do this more often.
This is Focus Work Boot Camp:
- 3-hours without Wi-Fi and cellphones
- 1-hour lunch and possibility to check your cellphone and e-mails
- 3-hours without Wi-Fi and cellphones
Why you should join the next event:
- New relations and new possibilities
- Focus on yourself and your own tasks
- No interruptions
- Learn more about yourself