Seth Godin, in his blog, advocates a simple piece of computer software that shuts out all of the digital noise and let’s you get on with your work un-interrupted. It’s called Freedom.

I am a big believer that multi-tasking doesn’t work and that you will be at your most productive when you focus your attention on just one thing (see Chapter 5 of Brilliant Time Management, and also my earlier blog: The Multi-tasking Fallacy). So whilst I shan’t be investing, because I have developed the discipline; if you find it hard to shut out, or shut off the constant stream of email, Instant Messaging, Twitter, Facebook, surfing… Then take a look at Freedom.

Coincidentally, this week’s (8 January, 2011) issue of New Scientist has an interesting feature article on the research into the mental and physical benefits of meditation. I will set aside the absolute serendipity (my serendipity organ must be working well – Brilliant Time Management Chapter 4) of finding this in the week I am finalising my research for Brilliant Stress Control, which is due out in the autumn. Let’s look at what the research said about focus. To quote New Scientist consultant, Michael Bond, who wrote the article:

‘Focus is crucial to so much in life, from the learning and application of skills to everyday judgement and decision-making, or simply concentrating on your computer screen at work without thinking about what you will be eating for dinner.’

Bond goes on to tell us that Amishi Jha at the University of Miami in Coral Gables trained a group of American marines to focus their attention using mindfulness meditation and found that this increased their working memory. (Emotion, vol 10, p 54)

So, the evidence builds. A rested mind, a calm mind, and real clarity of focus are the key to productivity. They are also the key to flow states (Brilliant Time Management, Chapter 7) and all the benefits of happiness that brings us.

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