Culture & Competency

Focus and Concentration – Minimizing Interruptions

Kent shares five lessons he learnt at college. His 5th lesson is:

(5) Cluster classes (and like projects)

For the most part, I believe people work best in bursts. Not only may we enjoy the benefits of mental rhythm and flow, but we also minimize unrelated interruptions. At school and in the professional world, interruptions and transitions are costly and/or stressful.

I experimented with different types of schedules – some with classes spread out and others tightly grouped together. The verdict? Hands down, I was far more productive when clustering classes. This way I had more focused time during the week. By the end, I did everything I could to set all classes on a M/W or T/Th. This allowed me to engage more fully in other unrelated projects and achieve maximum efficiency and performance.

Now, in all areas of life, I cluster all tasks, activities, in projects in ways that minimize interruptions and the transitions between them.

My Comments
1. This is further validation of the idea of focus and concentration on the task at hand, and equally, creating a structure to allow that to happen.

2. When the conditions are right and there is space to focus and concentrate for weeks at a time, a lot gets done. For example, I wrote SharePoint Roadmap for Collaboration in 5 weeks of concentrated effort. Other people have reported similar effects. Nicholas Bate told me he wrote a book in a weekend once. Wow.

3. What are you doing to put this idea into practice?

Categories: Culture & Competency