You may have heard that intelligence quotient (IQ) is valuable when you’re working.
Other researchers argue, however, that emotional quotient (EQ) is more important in the workplace.
But have you heard about attention quotient (AQ)?
This is when you sustain your attention in doing a specific task.
With the rise of technologies, it is getting harder to pay attention to the things at present.
AQ is as important as IQ and EQ. Without it, you can’t increase your productivity in the office.
You may oftentimes find yourself Googling something that isn’t related to your current task to the point where it becomes a distraction.
You need to eliminate that as much as possible.
When you’re distracted from work, you usually need 23 minutes to regain your concentration on your assigned task.
This is according to a scientific study by Gloria Mark, a professor at the University of California, Irvine.
2 Primary Drivers of AQ
What do you need to accomplish improved AQ? You need to control the two (2) primary drivers of AQ:
You should thank your prefrontal cortex for this control.
With this, you can focus on a problem using your brain’s capabilities.
People who master this can do selective attention and stay on the task given to them according to Current Biology’s research.
To improve your cognitive controlling capabilities, you should subject yourself to mental exercises.
It helps you improve your way of thinking. It will help in the way you handle details in your future tasks.
The workplace plays a major role in exhibiting this type of control.
Imagine being exposed to an environment that provides different kinds of noise.
Sounds terrible, right?
When you’re able to handle the noise of mobile notifications, meetings, or your co-workers, you can finish your tasks without delay.
A study from Stanford reveals that people who are doing too much media multitasking are vulnerable to be affected by unrelated stimuli.
4 Ways to Improve Your AQ Through Controlling External Factors
Technological companies that develop software should learn that it’s not all about simplifying the processes. They should also develop employee training to handle distractions when working.
Omar Tawakol, CEO of Voicea, says that there are 4 ways to learn how to improve your environmental control. These include:
1. Use Technology Aids in Meetings
Whether you like it or not, meetings are necessary for any organization. They inform everyone informed about updates regarding company performance and individual accomplishments.
Most people who attend meetings tend to multitask.
They resort to taking notes when they need to listen to the person who’s conducting a meeting. Sometimes, these people even reply to emails at the time of the meeting because it pops up on their laptops.
A note-taking software that uses AI may come in handy here. It resolves the issue of recording every detail of the meeting. Plus, it helps people focus on the agenda at hand.
2. Regulate the Use of Notification
There are many ways to communicate inside the office. One can choose from social media, communication software, and email systems.
With these channels, you often get too many notifications from conversations you should reply to. This is where it gets hard.
Sometimes, you wonder who to reply to first. You don’t want to be seen as someone lazy and is slow to reply. So, you start replying as much as possible to anyone who messages you when it’s not yet good timing.
In that situation, you get interrupted while doing your job. This is why you should learn how to prioritize them to get back to your own pace in the workplace.
Eisenhower’s Urgent or Important Principle can address this. It helps classify your notifications. Here’s how to rank your notifications before you respond to them:
1) Important and Urgent
2) Important but Not Urgent
3) Not Important but Urgent
4) Not Important and Not Urgent
The first and second ranks need more attention than the third and fourth ranks. When you do this, you now become effective in managing your time.
3. Balance Switching of Tasks
You already know that every person has different capabilities in handling tasks. This is why every team leader or manager should assign tasks that are good for a day.
There’s a negative impact when you give an employee too many tasks. They might switch their attention to the other things that don’t put too much pressure on them.
This does not necessarily mean you need to give them only one task for the day. You should know the balance of giving tasks that can be handled by your employees to avoid the inconsistent quality of work.
Give the right workload for the day to help them cope with each action to do.
4. Improve Open Spaces
Companies are so used to the current trend of open-space offices. This helps your team of employees collaborate and teamwork.
But, this can also bring noise, which is bad for others. It’s not all the time that the entire team will have a meeting that includes all members.
When there are smaller group meetings, there is a need for a private pod. It can also be used by people who want a deep focus on their work.
This way, you filter the noise coming from different types of work settings. It helps people to get more work inspiration, too.
So, why should you care for it?
Attention is the most valuable asset that any business could have.
When your employees don’t have it, it will not make a good impact on the company. Their talents, intelligence, or skills may be put to waste because they can’t focus on their tasks.
This is why you need to resolve the issue, integrate the necessary technology, and implement changes suited for your workforce. Doing so will improve the AQ of your employees.
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