[et_pb_section bb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]
“Your world is the outcome of what you pay attention to”
This is a quote that jumped out at me from Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. (One of many—it’s a great book, essential reading for anyone who is working to get the most value, meaning, and productivity from their time.) In this moment of his book, Newport is actually talking about the work of another terrific writer and observer—Winifred Gallagher, a behavioral science writer who has written powerfully about attention, and our ability to use it meaningfully and well. In her book, Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, Gallagher lays out the reality of human attention for us:
- Attention is not limitless, but finite
- Because we don’t have an endless supply of attention, we must prioritize where we use it
- The choices we make about where we put our attention shape the world we experience
- Change those choices, change your world
When we choose productivity over busywork, when we choose to put our attention on work that we’ve identified as truly important—work that we’re passionate about, work that fits our unique individual skill sets—it can have transformative effects. As Newport and Gallagher tell us: spend your time immersed in meaningful, fulfilling work, and the world around you will become more meaningful and fulfilling.
As the leader in your business, this shift in your attention has benefits not only for you but for your team, your patients, and your bottom line. I’ve experienced these benefits firsthand, and seen them time and again in my work with other practice owners. When you cut out the distractions of busywork and focus on being truly productive:
- Your energy increases
- Your confidence increases
- You become more creative and innovative
- You make better decisions
- Your numbers increase: you’ll attract more patients, book more visits, gain more income
Of course, the opposite is also true. When your days are filled with busywork, the constant buzzing of message alerts on your phone, endless interruptions from your staff, and a to-do list that’s long but doesn’t really allow you to do more than tread water rather than get ahead, you’re operating from a pretty distracted and negative place. That’s affecting your decision making, your communication, your ability to think strategically and creatively. You’re reactive and impulsive, rather than rational, thoughtful, and responsive. You’re also much more likely to get set off by irritations, inconveniences, worries and fears, both small and large. (One of the great things about deep, productive, high-concentration work? Because it requires your full attention, it can shield you from a lot of negative, unwanted stimuli throughout the day.)
We live in an age of distraction and constant stimulation, one where busyness is hugely over-valued. If you don’t actively choose where your attention goes, the choice will be made for you—and it won’t be the deep, productive engagement that is best for you and your business, that is intellectually and emotionally satisfying and financially rewarding.
Remember the simple secret I talked about last week? Identify, delegate and repeat. Give that busywork that’s holding you back to other people on your team—people who can do it better, and bring their own passion and sense of fulfillment to it. Do you have a clinician who is passionate about treating? Get every bit of non-treatment work off her plate, and let her do her best work.
Meanwhile, you do yours.
You’ll be happier, more confident, with a stronger sense of purpose and a shorter, much more meaningful to-do list that will translate into greater financial returns for your business and more freedom of time for you. Does this shift in attention from busywork to productivity make life perfect? No, of course not. But it is both effective and infectious. Expect to see the changes in you resonate with your team, your referral partners, your patients—as well as your friends and your family.
You can be ready to make changes to how you run your business and still not know how to actually get those changes made. To discuss the changes that are right for you and your practice, schedule your Get Laser Focused 30 Minute Free Call today!