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The Fake Friendship between Multi-Tasking and Concentration

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Just a regular day at the office: your inbox, analytics, your social media and the constant influx of news and calendar notifications are calling for your attention 24/7. We’ve all been there. You try to sort the relevant information from the irrelevant in order to preserve your sanity, but you still end up with a great amount of things that scream for you to check them out this instant.

As humans, we are equipped with the unique ability to multi-task and divide our attention between several activities at once. It’s one of the qualities that makes us superior to the other species… Or does it?

The attention span of a functioning mind has its limits. It is vital to remember that the less you concentrate on the task at hand, the lower the quality of the result will be. A promising business call is only as effective and to the point as its participants are, and if your counterpart gets the impression of you not being fully there, they might just decide to bring their business – and money – elsewhere. And we don’t want that. So how to prevent this from happening?

Maintain Connection

A good sale is always based on a good connection between the involved parties. Let them know you’re there for them, cover them with engagement, and keep your drive from the beginning till the end. Gaining trust is the key, and you’ll only be trustworthy if you don’t break the link.

Take Control

If you feel the urge for a distraction, it usually means that the conversation isn’t going the way it should – towards a successful contract. If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to take matters into your own hands and take the lead. Don’t be aggressive; be persuasive and stand your ground instead.

Avoid The Pitfall

So what is the best way to not get caught up in the distraction? The answer is fairly easy: stay out of its reach! I’ve seen salesmen making business calls on park benches, at cafés or even on public transport. According to Oppezzo and Schwartz, researchers from the Stanford University, walking does have a proven positive influence on thinking and creativity. And that’s something to think about, preferably while walking.

So get yourself a wireless headset, let your CRM systems and social media rest, shut your laptop down and go give your next call everything you’ve got.

You’ll notice the difference immediately: you’ll be on your toes and you’ll process information faster and with a 100% accuracy. Your reaction time will improve as well as your focus on the goal. And your clients, current or potential, will feel the change too.

I would like to conclude this piece with this spot-on quote by Arnold Palmer, one of the greatest golf players our planet has ever seen – because there are many parallels between sport and business:

What do I mean by concentration? I mean focusing totally on the business at hand and commanding your body to do exactly what you want it to do.