Does Your Lack of Concentration Let You Down?


Does Your Lack of Concentration Let You Down?

Lack of concentration will impact your business in many different ways.

One of the biggest culprits is, as we know, social media. But I believe that there are other times where a lack of concentration will impact also. 

1. The need for quiet.

I used to be of the firm belief that to concentrate, you needed to be in a quiet place. I need to concentrate, working as I do with numbers all day (except when I’m writing articles and books). 

One small mistake can lead to hours of work to find it and correct it. This particularly applied when accounting was more of a manual exercise than it is today. It still applies today, though, when working with spreadsheets. 

When I first started writing, I needed to be in a room by myself with no distractions. This ensured my concentration was at its best. 

I couldn’t comprehend how people could work in cafes; surrounded as they are with clinking, talking, laughter, and so on. How could you possibly concentrate in that sort of environment? 

I believe that in most cases, there will be a lack of concentration when regularly working in cafes and such. 

2. Working in noisy places.

Over time, due to necessity, I’ve learnt to work in noisy places. I’m in one of the busiest airports in the world as I’m writing this, but I’m concentrating on the writing. I’m aware of some background noise, but I am still focused on the writing. 

I’ve been lucky, or perhaps it was my early education that trained me to concentrate on the task at hand. I learnt the ability to be fully present in the moment, whatever that was, whether work or pleasure. 

Now I find I can work in noisy places. It’s not my preferred option. I’d always prefer to be in a quiet room by myself. 

When you travel frequently, the ability to work anywhere has to become an essential skill. Having said that, I know that there is a level of lack of concentration. I’m not 100% present as would be if I was in a quiet place. 

3. Interruptions.

One of my bosses some years ago used to get cross with me if I answered the phone. His logic was that studies showed that it took 20 minutes to get back to what you were doing after an interruption. 

I didn’t actually agree with him as I felt it rarely took me more than a moment to pick up from where I left off. 

Interruptions will stem the flow of your thought processes and your ability to think through the subject matter at hand. 

They reduce your productivity. 

Even now, my husband has interrupted me to show me something he was researching. 

There is no question in my mind that interruptions do just that, they interrupt your thinking and in doing so reduce your concentration. 

4. Mistakes.

Lack of concentration is a big factor when people make mistakes. These can be small mistakes, but it impacts the work being done or the customer service being provided. 

We notice things. We notice the little things. And those are the things we remember and make note of. It’s not that we are looking for errors, it’s simply that we notice when things are different. 

If it’s better. Great. What I’m talking about is the errors of omission, the reduced quality, the lack of attention to detail which can mean, in the worst case, a client taking their business elsewhere. 

Consider your own powers of concentration. What environment do you work in? What about your team? Do you have someone who wants to listen to music all day at work? How is their concentration? 

We all work differently, and it may be how we’ve trained ourselves to work. Writing from Heathrow Airport, I know that outside noise and interruptions will seriously impact your concentration.

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  • Bronwyn Reid

    I’m one of the people who needs background noise. First thing that goes on in the morning is Radio National. First thing that goes on when I get home is ABC News 24. I have low music in the office. Being in complete silence is very disconcering to me – it feels as though a room as no soul.

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