As a BOSS, you are very aware of multitasking and the pitfalls associated with performing two or more unrelated tasks simultaneously, but according to author and speaker Linda Stone (Harvard Business Review, February, 2007), there is another variation of multitasking.

Have you ever seen those people who are in a meeting but look like they would rather be elsewhere? You see them constantly glancing at whatever technological device they have in front of them. They may be checking their email, sending text messages, scanning stock quotes, making dinner reservations -- or, more likely, doing several things.

Such activities not only draw participants’ attention away from the business being conducted at the table, they also compete with one another. This is called continuous partial attention, according to Stone. Our ability to focus is compromised in this sleep-deprived, interruption-driven, always-on world mode. Being able to focus in the moment on what is important, at the exclusion of everything else, and is essential if full engagement is to be achieved. Just like a professional athlete, we must train our mental "muscles" to improve our ability to focus, regardless of the distractions around us and this takes conscious, deliberate practice. TIP: Try putting your mobile out of reach when working on your computer and stepping away from your computer when checking your mobile. Deliberately separating sources of information may help stay laser-focused on one, before switching focus to another, instead of trying to spread your focus across multiple things. With persistence and effort this should become a habit. Want more tips like this? Go to or and sign up to our newsletter! *Based on HPI Concepts.