“Focus your undivided attention on a task during an uninterrupted block of time.”
This is today’s “attention management” tip for productivity in your work, from Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, as explained in his book Good Business – Leadership, Flow and the Making of Meaning.
On average it takes you between 15 minutes and an hour to complete a difficult task – or in other words you have to set aside an uninterrupted block of time to focus your undivided attention on the task so that you can get it done. The more complex the task, the more time you may need. Work on the problem until it is solved, or when you get stuck after some time, move onto another task so that you can later come back to the problem refreshed.
As Csikszentmihalyi puts it:
“If one switches too soon and too often from one task to the next, it is likely that what the mind will come up with is going to be superficial, if not trivial. It is much preferable to work on a single task until one becomes stymied; at that point switching to another problem will come as a relief. Then, after the new task becomes tiresome, one can return to the original problem refreshed.”
Csikszentmihalyi spent the past 30 years studying the experience of “flow:. After more than 250 000 observations, covering people from all walks of life, he identified some of the key conditions we can create so that we may experience flow more often.