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The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust

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Sharpen your attention focus

Sharpen your attention focus

Our work environments do not lend themselves easily to concentration. At the time and age of collaborative spaces and new technologies, how can you stay in control of your attention focus and maintain your personal productivity?


According to some studies, while the average IQ had progressed by 21 points between the 50’s and the 80’s, the trend became inverted in 1995. Since then, the IQ has been dropping by 0.48 points every year, to such extent that the gain achieved during the previous decades is now wiped out. Why is the current generation’s performance level lower than the previous one’s? Undoubtedly, there are many reasons behind this drop, yet we cannot help but establish a link with our difficulties with focusing.

How could our brain still be able to analyze, go deeper, learn while we are permanently under the influence of technologies and torn between a thousand solicitations? Repeatedly disturbed by a notification, a colleague’s question, the eruption of an emergency to manage, we find it extremely difficult to successfully complete in-depth work. Often, we have even lost the habit of it: even without external distraction, we are frequently tempted to scatter. French people consult their smartphone 221 times a day on average, according to a study by the marketing analysis firm Tecmark! A human resources director in a major group admits: “I feel like a runner without stamina. I cannot focus for more than a few minutes. I answer the phone, emails, spend time in meetings, but when I need to think or to write a note on an in-depth topic, I find it incredibly difficult. I procrastinate for days.” A situation that an increasing number of employees can identify with nowadays.

The erosion of concentration is not insignificant. Beyond its obvious impact on productivity, it can generate stress, a feeling of guilt and the frustration of not progressing in our work as we would like. Conversely, is there anything more satisfying than managing to get fully immersed in a task, to then realize we have achieved a considerable amount of work without seeing the time fly?

This particular state of mind does not happen by chance. To reach it, we must first become aware of all the factors that prompt us to scatter: they are both internal and external. We must then adopt new working methods, force ourselves to embrace new habits. In short, we must consider that concentration is not a gift but an aptitude that needs developing!

In this synopsis:
– Four strategies to maintain your concentration over time
– Concentrate better to gain in effectiveness
– Keep the upper hand over new technologies

Synopsis n.288b


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