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Book synthesis

Tips and Tricks from 3 Champions of Concentration

Concentrating on what counts and eliminating distractions requires personal discipline and strategy. Three leaders share their very similar beliefs and very different tips for maximizing their own ability – and the ability of their teams – to concentrate.

Caroline Simon-Ducerf: from personal belief to company policy

Caroline is Director of Human Resources for Tetra Pak Guerin Systems. Since the summer of 2017, she has been the driving force behind an initiative focused on concentration and revitalization at work, proposing guidelines that extend beyond minimum legal requirements. The conditions were agreed to within the company within 6 months and implemented during the 6 months that followed.

From awareness…

Faced with extreme daily demands that constantly impeded my ability to concentrate, I decided to adopt the recommendations made by Gaël Allain, heard during an HR event. Among other things I disable push notifications and temporarily disconnect the internal chat messenger, I turn off my phone, and even close my door. I take small breaks between cycles of concentration, I move around. If an especially complicated project requires deep concentration, I’ll use headphones and white noise or work elsewhere.

Nathalie Lugagne, organizational wonder woman

Nathalie is the Director of Executive Education for HEC Paris, an SME with a budget of €60 million on 4 continents, ranked 5th custom program in the world by the Financial Times. Nathalie has a PhD and 5 children at home. So how does she ever  find time for deep concentration?

Personal discipline

My first trick, which I learned in Japan, is a lifestyle of personal discipline, which is absolutely essential for having any real capacity for concentration. My life at the office is like a marathon. Without personal discipline, I would lack the concentration needed to do work with any depth and would only be able to superfi cially touch on the subjects that I was dealing with. It requires adhering to a routine: I schedule time for myself to exercise, try to sleep well, to not skip meals, to listen to music while taking transit, to disconnect at night… and to have time for breaks throughout the day to re-center and reconnect with myself.

V R Ferose, overcoming busyness to be truly productive

V R Ferose is Senior VP, Head of Globalization Services at SAP SE. He is also the author of 2014 bestseller, Gifted: Inspiring Stories of People with Disabilities, and writes a monthly column on “Books and Ideas” for the leading Indian daily Swarajyamag.com. We asked Ferose to share how he manages to stay so focused in the Age of Distraction…

Eliminate distractions and deep concentration will come!


Excerpt from Business Digest No 288, July-August 2018

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Emmanuelle Meylan
Published by Emmanuelle Meylan