What are you doing right now? Are you focusing on reading these words, or do you have an eye on your email, texts, social media or instant messaging, or maybe all of them? Or are you on the phone? We all think we can do this and do it well, but the truth is we can’t.
How many times a day, when you are on the phone, can you hear the keyboard and mouse clicks on the other end of the line? Are they taking notes of or looking up something relevant to the conversation, or are they surfing MSN or TMZ? Or reading an unrelated, substantive email?
This is the same as looking at your emails and texts while in a meeting or at lunch with someone. At the meeting you have checked out and in both cases are telling the people speaking or who you are dining with that they are not as important as whatever is on your phone.
It simply is very hard to focus on two things (or more) at once. For a week (or for those truly device or multi-tasking addicted, a day) try to focus on what is in front of you. In a meeting, don’t bring your phone or leave it in your pocket or purse; Turn it off! On the phone, leave that mouse alone and keep things that interest you off of the screen(s) in front of you.
This is about respect and focus. No one may know but you, but it is amazing what you learn when you actually listen.