What I want you to do, is I want you to practice asking a new question. And the question is how can I stay in what I'm focused on a little bit longer? Now that's the question. I'm about to make the case for it. For those of you that are joining us online, for those of you who are watching this, what I need you to do is to pull out a blank piece of paper, turn that sideways so you have four long rows. For those in studio, we've created this for you. We passed that out ahead of time, and what I need you to do is to get ready, 'cause we're going to do a timed exercise where I have you write down two things. Now I'm gonna keep what you need to write down up here on the screen. I'm gonna walk you through this, so that while you're watching this on the train, or there in your office, if you have a group of colleagues in the room with you, this is a great exercise to do together. Did I stall long enough? Everybody got their piece of paper ready? Now, hold your pens away. Don't start yet, ther...
e's always someone who jumps the gun on me a little bit. In a moment, okay when I say the magic word. The magic word is G-O. Don't start yet. What I'm gonna ask you to do is to write down in the top row I am able to multitask well. Don't start. Don't start. All you're gonna do is you're gonna write down I am able to multitask well. As soon as you click the period, then you're going to write the numbers one through 22. There's 22 letters in the sentence I am able to multitask well. I'll say the magic word, what you're gonna do is while you're writing, you focus in. I am able to multitask well. One through 22. As soon as you hit the number 22, I want you to write down what the clock says in seconds. That make sense? It's a lot of instructions for the afternoon, but I think we're with it. San Francisco, you guys are quick. So are you ready? Get set. Go. Five seconds. For those of you at home. As soon as you get to 22, you'll look at the clock, and write down how long it took. 20 seconds. I'll look around the room and see about when you're finished. 30 seconds. Let's just go spot around the room. So how long did you get? What do we have? 22 seconds? 29 seconds. 24 seconds, do I hear anything bigger? 45 seconds. Wonderful, we're gonna do a similar process. For those of you at home remember there's four rows. Now what we're going to do, is we're gonna change it up a little bit. And instead of writing I am able to multitask well, and the number one through 22, we're gonna alternate a letter and a number. So in row three you'll write the letter I, and then in row four you'll write the number one. Then you'll write a, two, m, three all the way to well, 22. Alternating each time. We're gonna go from a letter to a number to a letter to a number to a letter to a number. You've got all the information you need on that sheet. The difference is we're gonna go from a letter to a number back to a letter to a number back to a letter, back to a number. At the end of the cycle, you're gonna write down how many seconds it took. Are you ready? Get set. Go. I'm not gonna ask you to raise your hands and tell me how long it took. My one question how many of you it took longer? And this is not about letters and numbers, this is about the PDF open on your screen, the telephone call that you're on, the email you're responding to, the text message that just came in, the someone who tapped you on the shoulder to talk about traffic on the way to work today. We do not, I repeat, we do not multitask, we rapidly refocus. And if I can get you to focus to finish writing a sentence, focus to finish writing a string of numbers, it takes less time than if I have you alternate in between. At the end of the day, on the bottom of your computer monitor, how many open emails do you have that you still need to reply to? And if that's more than one, then during the day you dropped off the focus line. The focus line is something that to me is one of the most important things that you can bring back to the office. The focus line let you take advantage of momentum.