I am always looking for ways to increase focus and efficiency in my daily schedule. In my most recent attempt, I purchased Graham Allcott’s How To Be A Productivity Ninja hoping to glean helpful tips to increase my efficiency and time management.
I definitely did gain useful strategies, but the even greater take-away from this book was a shift in the way in which I think about my attention, not only my time. The concept of attention management proposed by Allcott has stuck with me and has impacted the way that I think about my daily work and interactions with my colleagues. Being that this is a fairly new book, I thought that I would expand on my lessons learned and recommend this book for others looking for a fresh perspective and ideas to improve your focus, and become a “productivity ninja.”
My main take-away from this book was the concept of guarding your attention from interruption. Allcott explains that even though we plan out each day and schedule ourselves to spend X hours on each task, most people are not getting the most out of that assigned time. He suggests that we change our perspective, and manage our attention instead of our time. I agree with Allcott here, and have seen an increase in my productivity by employing techniques that keep myself from being distracted when I am devoting my attention to something. I have started putting my phone on “do not disturb” mode and in a different room when I am focusing on a task, and this has helped me get the uninterrupted head space that I need to get things done. Another idea that I have seen others use is putting a sign on their office door saying “thinking, do not interrupt” so when the door is closed others know that the person is focusing and cannot talk at the moment.
There have been countless articles, blog posts, and books on the subject of time management. This is no means an easy topic to offer readers a fresh perspective that has not already been suggested. Time management is a thing of the past, and I am working on developing a zen-like mindset where I can devote my complete attention to what I am doing in each moment. I do think that by coining the concept of guarding and managing one’s attention, Graham Allcott gave me something new to consider.