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How to be efficient in a world full of distractions

Today’s world is full of distractions. Robin Sharma, a successful Canadian coach and writer, confirms that “technology interrupts us every 11 minutes, and we take another 25 to get back to concentrating on the work that we were doing”. The compulsive checking of emails and social networks is just one of the many obstacles that can prevent us from focusing our attention and being productive.

Focusing your attention is, in essence, a discipline, and in order to practice it, you need to start by directing your attention towards yourself. Only then will we be able to develop creativity and innovation, by being fully aware of our abilities and resources.

6 variables that will help you to be efficient

Getting to know yourself is the individual element which is essential for good self-management, and for being efficient in our management performance. Only by understanding ourselves will we know whether we possess those behaviors that favor individual efficiency, or whether, alternatively, we need to go in search of them or work to obtain them.

Efficiency is built on six variables:

1. Responsibility

This is the driver of efficiency, to the extent that it prepares the professional for taking on commitments and duties which arise from the work.

2. Ability

Performance is produced when the talents of the individual are the same as those that are required by their post; when their skills are in alignment with the type of work they are undertaking.

3. Self-motivation

In addition to knowing how to do things, “you need to want to do them”. The state of mind that leads us to make an effort is a fundamental attribute of performance.

4. Self-management

“Knowing how to do it”, “wanting to do it”, and finally, “being able to do it”. This is about finding organizational conditions that are suitable for being able to perform and apply our knowledge.

5. Luck

This factor has not been studied much in management manuals, however, as we all know, it features very prominently in personal and professional biographies.

6. Simplification

This is just about choosing the easiest path, and doing tasks in the simplest manner. Without a doubt, this is an element that multiplies efficiency, as it makes it possible to achieve results with less investment in resources.

In order for them to work, all these variables have to be combined with a handful of behavioral requirements. Responsibility, among other things, requires the establishment and adoption of relevant, challenging and realistic goals; ability needs to be combined with continuous improvement; self-motivation, perseverance and having a positive attitude towards events; self-management, seeking sufficient space for autonomy and decision-making; simplification, prioritizing and focusing on what is important; and luck, acting as if luck does not exist and, at the same time, being very aware of the enormous weight that it has in our lives.

If we work on these behaviors and habits in earnest, aligning them with appropriate time management, perseverance will determine the scope of our achievements. Focusing our attention will become much easier. Achieving what is known as “flow”: that state of complete concentration on, or immersion in, the task we are working on.

In addition, we will not be the only ones who are productive. We will also be able to benefit the entire organization, so that personal focus goes beyond the individual, and is favorable for the whole company. To do so, it is not only important to hire people who understand their strengths and priorities, but who are also able to create an environment that facilitates the flow of the whole company.

If you want to improve your knowledge of yourself and strengthen the behaviors that drive individual efficiency, and if you want to favor an efficient style of relationship that allows alliances and strategies to be coordinated, prepare a personal action plan to improve relational skills and, in the end, understand human relationships in depth and make them a priority, IESE’s management training programs will help you accomplish this.

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