Doing What Counts Most

Do not take breaks from distraction. Instead, take breaks from the focus.

Hal Newport

Over the last 10 years or so, increasingly I am being asked to conduct skill-based (that is, experiential) learning sessions of shorter and shorter duration. The assumption appears to be: ‘We are smart.  We’ll understand this quickly’.  Or ‘Do you have a quick hack for this?’  ‘Hack’ is becoming my most despised word. It is as if having a conceptual understanding is the same thing as having a deep skill. In addition, we are spendthrifts with our time pursuing busyness and distraction with little recourse to priority.

This workshop is about thinking deeply, often.  It is the opposite of ‘hyperlink thinking’ which is assuredly hyper. Hyperlinking is not slow; it is not deep and hardly warrants the word ‘thinking’.  True productivity is about consciously managing your time and energy – which turns out to be mostly about managing what you pay attention to.

This workshop is about slowing down and trying to do less things.  Considerably less.  But doing those we do deeper.  It is about ruthless prioritising, so you spend more and more time doing well what is really important. The second major emphasis in this workshop is about reducing distractions.  We will explore three main strategies to get a lot more of worth done of a much higher quality and to thereby be happier and healthier:

  1. Identifying what counts most and, conversely, what wastes our attention and time
  2. Routines to reduce distraction in the first place so we can focus on what counts most
  3. Mindful self-observation to notice and recover from distractions that do intrude