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To Stay Focused, Manage Your Emotions

Avoid attention leaks

Our attention and ability to focus in the moment are very limited. Our devices, with all their notifications and messages, create a false sense of urgency. 

Ask yourself: How often are any of these interruptions truly urgent? 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

To Stay Focused, Manage Your Emotions

To Stay Focused, Manage Your Emotions

https://hbr.org/2015/02/to-stay-focused-manage-your-emotions

hbr.org

4

Key Ideas

Time and attention

A leader’s most precious resource is not their time. It’s their focused attention. If you're able to direct your attention toward a particular task or discussion, you'll have a powerful impact in a minimal amount of time.

Build capacity

Activities like meditation, journaling, time in nature, regular physical activity, and good sleep hygiene support and expand our attentive capacity and our ability to direct focus and block distractions.

While these activities are often enjoyable in themselves, they aren’t indulgences–they’re investments in our ability to operate at peak effectiveness.

Avoid attention leaks

Our attention and ability to focus in the moment are very limited. Our devices, with all their notifications and messages, create a false sense of urgency. 

Ask yourself: How often are any of these interruptions truly urgent? 

Create space

... for creative thinking. It helps refill your stores of attention.

Leaders typically are bombarded with demands on their time and if they’re not careful they can find themselves booked nonstop for days on end. It’s important to maintain some open space in the calendar.

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The goal of an effective 1:1 is not an update from your direct report or for you to lay down some instructions. It's a conversation. It's a chance to hear about your direct reports' ideas for your product, their career goals, and possibly their opinion of their performance.

Keep a list of three potential topics ready for discussion. When they say they have nothing to discuss, you can jumpstart the conversation with one of your items.

Manager's best tool

Your most precious resource is your own time and energy. When you spend it on your team, it helps build healthy relationships.

Your job as a manager isn't to give advice or 'save the day.'' It's to empower your reports to find the answer themselves. If you want to understand what's going on, ask. Let her lead the conversation while you listen and probe.

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Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives
Curiosity leads us to generate alternatives

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Curiosity and innovation

Encouraging people to be curious generates workplace improvements.

When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

Thus, conflicts are less heated, and groups achieve better results.

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A cluttered mind

It can make navigating even the most basic parts of our day exceedingly stressful and frustratingly inefficient.

Mindfulness
It is the habit of being aware of and noticing our own minds and the world around us, without judgment.
It strengthens 2 essential mental muscles: metacognition (watching our own minds at work) and attentional shifting (the ability to deliberately refocus our attention away from one object and onto another).
A Consistent Organizational System

It is an external strategy for keeping track of what we need to do and accomplish.

By creating and maintaining a reliable organizational system, we give ourselves the best possible chance of efficiently processing the day-to-day Have-Tos, so that we have sufficient time and energy to focus on the Want-Tos (the things that really matter to us).

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