Effective Leadership: Quieting the Noise

Anthrax tells us to Bring the Noise.

But I’m telling you to quiet it. 🙂

“Noise” is a word used a lot in entrepreneurial circles, referring to the distractions and unnecessary time-sucks we’re inundated with daily.  There’s so much inbound it can be overwhelming to sift through it all and what matters most.

Overflowing inboxes, shiny objects, interruptions, clutter, and problems that aren’t actually yours to solve are just a few things that get in the way.

Here’s the deal: You should be maximizing your time spent in your area of genius –you know what it is– what you’re innately good at, what truly lights you up, and where you’re adding the most value.

It’s easy to veer off course when the day’s events start hitting, and we get pulled in a million different directions, but the good news is that we can do something about it.

In my coaching, I talk a lot about making conscious decisions– asking yourself the right questions at the right time, so you can be more thoughtful and more intentional about how you spend your time.

You can navigate the process of quieting the noise by following this general framework:

  1. Awareness

    Become aware of what’s getting in the way, what’s slowing you down, paying attention to patterns and pitfalls.

  2. Choice

    Do something about it.  You can curate your environment and lifestyle so that you’re as insulated as possible from external noise.

I use this general framework with my clients and ask them questions to lead them to their answers.

To kickstart this for you, here’s a quick list of things I do in my own life and practices I help my clients put into place:

  • Minimize distractions.

Turn off your phone, close your door, or find a different setting to work in for the day.

  • Streamline processes.

Making processes and procedures efficient and crystal clear will eliminate a lot of unnecessary back and forth throughout the day.

  • Ditch the multitasking.

The brain isn’t designed for multitasking. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking isn’t actually more efficient;  it erodes productivity.  Focusing on one thing will minimize the information coming in from other sources and help focus.

  • Time block.

Set aside time on your calendar for essential activities.  Schedule time for solitary activities, such as recharging, eating lunch, and creative writing, and commit yourself to honor the time.

  • Eliminate unnecessary tasks.

Ask yourself if there’s anything you do in the office or at home that can be eliminated.

  • Turn off notifications.

Turn off notifications for text and apps, and check during scheduled times of the day.  If someone needs to get a hold of you urgently, they’ll call you. 

  • Close all tabs except for the one you’re using.

One task at a time

  • Minimize unnecessary group chats.

Exit group chats that don’t add to your life in a meaningful or productive way.

  • Schedule time for breaks.

A few short breaks throughout the day can go a long way and help you mentally recharge.  Step away from your desk, walk outside or rest for a few minutes.

  • Clean up your inbox.

Cluttered inboxes cause cluttered minds.  Take time to create an organized inbox.

  • Minimize the number of hats you wear.

Every additional role you take on, project you’re involved in, committee you oversee, and group you manage comes to a slew of additional interactions and tasks.  Can any of the hats you wear be given to someone else?

This week I’d love for you to try to implement one of the above practices.  Let me know how it goes!   I’d also love to help you continue minimizing the noise and maximizing the peace.  Reach out and grab a time.