5 Blind Spots That Steal Your Attention

Never Miss A Moment

Friday night, you were answering emails during your daughter’s soccer game.

Saturday morning, you were on a call with a client about a new initiative during your son’s piano recital.

Saturday night, you went out to celebrate your anniversary but you were so distracted by intrusive thoughts about work that you can’t remember what you ate.

Sunday afternoon, you took time to plan and prepare for the week ahead while your family went for a bike ride.

Sound familiar?

Let’s get uncomfortably honest here: How long has it been since you were fully present?

Too long, maybe?

Life has a sneaky way of getting in the way of our best intentions: being present, establishing healthy boundaries, self-care, putting family first.

We know what we’re supposed to do but often, we just can’t quite figure out how to do it.

Because in today’s push-button-get-banana world, we constantly seek to address every alarmingly red ticker notification and accompanying PING!

Is it an email? Slack? A text? A Facebook message? A calendar invite or reminder?

If you respond immediately, you’ll be instantaneously satisfied and get a rush of dopamine. Our response teeters ever-so-precariously on Pavlovian; it’s almost hypnotic.

But what if you just wait to respond, taking time to instead focus on impact and strategy? So you table the task, promising to return when you have time to respond more thoughtfully.

Wait. What was I just doing?

And therein lies the rub: Regardless of whether you respond now or later, that task has already set up shop – rent-free – in your psyche and has disrupted your brain waves.

PING: 1 YOU: 0

OOF. We don’t like those odds.

You’ve given the pings and dings more attention than they deserve. Worse, these are moments you can’t get back – is this how you should be spending your time?

It’s time to work smarter – and not harder.

So here are five blind spots that steal your attention – and how to manage them so that you get back to what really deserves your attention.

1. Not Delegating.

The most important outcome of delegation is giving you the time and space to focus on doing what only you can do. The 80/20 rule says that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts, so effective time management suggests that you spend 20 percent on the task(s) that will yield the greatest results.

BONUS: With that in mind and to help you get started on the right foot, check out our Delegation Worksheet & Guide to help you determine what you keep and what you hand off.

2. Not Having The Support You Need.

This is arguably one of the most mission-critical steps because sure, you can tell someone to return a phone call or order toner but can you delegate important tasks to them? And more importantly, how do you know if you’re delegating the right tasks to the right person?

ENTER: The 70-percent rule. This rule – seems like we have a lot of number rules, huh? – says that if the person you’d like to perform the task is able to do it at least 70 percent as well as you can, you should delegate.

3. Not Communicating Effectively – Or Enough.

A recent survey found that 38 percent of respondents named communication as their key issue. Is it yours?

Calls, texts, and voicemails work fine for casual conversations but to emphasize a deadline or celebrate an accomplishment, catering communication to the style(s) each employee prefers to help them stay connected in the manner that best suits – and motivates – them.

Some people prefer more video conferencing while others may prefer written communication – and recognizing those individual preferences will go a long way to let them know you care.

4. Not Extending Trust.

This is where things can feel vulnerable and maybe even scary.

This step is essential, but also the most challenging. From this point on, it’s imperative to have faith in your delegation process and people. So while it may be hard to let someone else take the reins, fear not! Because if you committed to the first three steps, you and your team should be primed for this very moment.

Training wheels: OFF

This is when you fill the space you’ve given with trust, turning tasks over to your employees once they exhibit consistently sound decision-making and reliability.

5. Not Celebrating Wins, Big And Small.

Not every accomplishment warrants ticker tape and a parade. Some wins will be small – maybe even imperceptible to the untrained eye – but a win is a win and merits recognition.

But listen. We’re not trying to sugar-coat anything so we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention those times – may they be few and far between – when things don’t quite go as expected. It happens.

But do you know what mistakes are?

Diamond-in-the-rough opportunities to continue building trust through open, honest communication and repeated efforts. There’s no winning-and-losing here; just winning-and-learning.

Delegation isn’t simply a way of unloading your responsibilities; it’s how you can benefit from the powerful, multiplying effects of asking yourself what you can not do, what you must do, what can wait and what doesn’t require your attention at all.

Learn more about how BELAY can help you control your pings and dings so you never have to miss another moment again.