“You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.”
Winston Churchill’s words resonate profoundly in today’s world of leadership, where attention is as precious as gold. But in the information age, maintaining focus can be a Herculean task for anyone. According to CEO Magazine, the average office worker:
- Receives more than 200 messages and spends at least 2.5 hours daily answering emails
- Switches tasks over 300 times daily
- Spends 56 minutes on non-work related mobile activities.
Distractions are plentiful and are bound to increase daily as technology finds more and more clever ways to steal our attention and hold it. While setting healthy boundaries is absolutely essential for high performing leaders, I am particularly interested in what tools we can harness in order to enjoy top productivity during our available peak periods.
While traditional methods of improving concentration are well-known, a new player has entered the arena, offering a groundbreaking approach: EndeavorRx, a therapeutic video game that has been granted FDA approval for treatment of children with ADHD.
While EndeavorRx was initially developed to aid children with ADHD, its core principle of enhancing cognitive focus through adaptive challenges is universally applicable, offering significant benefits for adults without ADHD. Its ability to tailor the difficulty to individual skill levels makes it an effective tool for improving concentration and attention in a broader adult audience, regardless of their ADHD status.
Bridging Generations Through Focus
It may seem unusual to draw parallels between the restless energy of children with ADHD and the distracted focus of adult leaders. Yet, both groups share a common challenge: the struggle to maintain focus amidst distractions.
For children, their brains actively seek out these distractions. In contrast, adults find it harder to filter out irrelevant information, a skill that diminishes with age.
Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, a professor of neuroscience at the University of California, San Francisco, highlights the dual nature of focussing: it’s about homing in on what’s important while simultaneously ignoring the unnecessary. This insight led to the creation of EndeavorRx—to which, by the way I have no affiliation.
A Game Changer for the Mind
EndeavorRx isn’t just a game; it’s what Gazzaley calls “experiential medicine.” Its uniqueness lies in its adaptability: it adjusts its difficulty based on the player’s skill level. This adaptive closed-loop algorithm ensures that the game remains challenging yet attainable, much like a personalised workout for your brain.
The concept is simple yet profound: just as physical exercise strengthens the body, cognitive challenges fortify the brain. This process, known as neuroplasticity, involves the brain forming new connections, adapting to new challenges, and growing stronger.
The changes brought about by EndeavorRx go beyond the screen; they translate into tangible improvements in real-world attention and focus, with 73% of participants reporting a significant improvement in quality of life.
Implications for Leadership and Productivity
For leaders, the ability to focus is not just a skill; it’s a critical asset. In a landscape rife with distractions, maintaining sharp, sustained attention can be the difference between success and stagnation.
This may be a novel way to hone this skill. It’s an opportunity to train your brain, much like you would train your body, to become more resilient, adaptable, and focused.
Incorporating EndeavorRx into Your Leadership Toolkit
- Trial the Experience: EndeavorRx offers a 7-day free trial, providing a no-risk opportunity to test its potential.
- Commit to Regular Play: Like any exercise regimen, consistency is key.
- Track Your Progress: Observe how your focus and attention evolve over time. Note any changes in your productivity and decision-making skills.
- Embrace Neuroplasticity: Understand that your brain is capable of growth and change at any age.
I’ve recently embarked on a 7-day free trial of EndeavorRx, joined by my 16-year-old daughter who’s gearing up for year 11. It’s a shared journey into enhancing our focus—and admittedly, a chance for a bit of friendly competition. Though, between us, she’s already the reigning champion in video games!