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By David RichmanNational Director, Eaton Vance Advisor Institute

Since the start of the pandemic, one of my major messaging themes has been "When you choose to be in a moment, BE in the moment."

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the ongoing toll of our current way of life is getting in the way of being present. Why? The most important skill to listening with intentional intensity during a client conversation is concentration — and the pandemic is zapping our ability to concentrate.

What can you do about it? The next time you find yourself distracted, observe the distraction:

  • Is there a consistent theme that is distracting you?
  • Are there common denominators to what triggers your distraction?
  • Is there a new habit you can embrace to maintain concentration?

Here is an example. While on the phone with a prospective client who is responding to your question, an email comes through and distracts you. The impact on your concentration can be significant. Even worse, the prospective client on the other end of the line can likely hear (and feel) your attention go elsewhere.

A Bruce Lee quote comes to mind: "Concentration is the root of all the higher abilities in man." A simple fix can work wonders for your concentration — minimize distractions at your fingertips:

  • Close out of email
  • Silence notifications on your devices
  • Change your status to "Do not disturb" on instant communications tools such as Microsoft Teams or Slack

Bottom line: Be in the moment. It takes work, as it will likely involve changing some of your current habits. It will be well worth the effort.