Project Management

Break the ‘Noise Cycle’ and Focus

Joseph McCormack

Remember when we thought “more” was better? In a more innocent time, leaders really believed the more information people had, the smarter they’d be, the better decisions they’d make, and the greater success they’d have. Now we know how wrong we were: Nonstop e-mails, endless meetings, and 24-7 connectedness are crippling our ability to think, focus, solve problems, and do the deep work a company needs to stay competitive. And here’s the real question: What are we going to do about it? 

Too often, the answer is “nothing.” Too many companies let what I call “noise” squander our most valuable resource: our employees’ time and attention. 

It’s ironic that we’ll go to great lengths to protect our intellectual property and physical property, but don’t think twice about allowing a deluge of digital disruptions erode our team’s ability to perform.Team members are so distracted and inundated with so much empty information they don’t know what to focus on—or even howto focus.

This is a problem for many reasons. When people can’t focus, performance suffers. There’s less of a sense of accomplishment because it’s hard to get things done. All this cuts into engagement and work fulfillment. It’s impossible to create the kind of culture that attracts and retains good talent. 

Leaders need to stop accepting the status quo and start protecting workers’ minds from noise. We can and …


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"Maybe this world is another planet's hell."

- Aldous Huxley

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