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It seems no matter where you look, the news is reporting statistics. Some of them seem ridiculous and make me wonder why we are wasting the time and space to report such things.

This past weekend, however, as I read the Sunday paper, I came across an article on attention spans and how they have changed over the years. It reported that the average person is interrupted every six minutes and that it takes six minutes to get refocused. As a result, people jump from one subject to another without really getting deep enough to finish anything.

As I thought about this statistic, it made me wonder. I must admit, I wanted to dismiss it as “not me” and only applicable to my kids. So when Monday rolled around, I decided to do my own research and see if it fit me, too.

My office door is always open, and my teams know that you don’t need an appointment to speak with me. For four hours, I paid close attention to when I was interrupted and how long it took me to get back on track. Much to my surprise, the six-minute statistic applied to me, too.

WOW! I had no idea. As I continued to be very aware of the day’s interruptions and their impact on my ability to finish a thought or a project, I was able to make choices to stop the interruptions and allow more focused time to move the ball forward.

It was amazing how turning the sound off for text messages and emails so I didn’t hear them, and scheduling time to complete certain tasks rather than leaving my calendar open with just a “to-do list” made a difference. I must admit, it took practice – and still does. But I am committed to be diligent because I can see the results already.

It is a choice we all have every day. We only get 24 hours – or 1,440 minutes – a day. I want to optimize how I spend them to improve how I lead my life. Don’t you?

Do your own research and tell me your results! Then let me know how it affects how you manage your 1,440 minutes each day.

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