Keeping my focus on any productive endeavour for a sustained period has always been a challenge.
I’ve had lot of trouble dealing with luck of focus in the past and in recent times. My challenge with keeping focus stems from the fact that my mind is engulfed with many concepts, ideas and strategies. I have many interests and topics I would like to explore and know further about. This type of varied interest in a wide range of topics is called The Multipotentialite mindset as Emilie Wapnick of the popular website Puttylike puts it.
My mind has been playing this game with me ever since I was a kid, and I guess I’m not the only one dealing with this challenge. In recent years, there has been a surge when it comes to books and resources that aim to help people keep their focus
The rate at which books on focus, doing deep work and understanding our internal rhythm has flooded the market has something to say about focus.
Attention spans are decreasing even further thanks to the advent of the internet and social media. Where push notifications are the order of the day and the race to grab our attention is further worsened because marketers and advertisers need data on how much time we’re spending on social media to advertise their products and services.
I have been finding creative ways to deal with my lack of focus and do more by doing work that counts.
Listing Goals and Objectives
The joy of crossing out achieved tasks from a to-do list is unparalled, try it today! List all the things you would like to achieve today on a sheet and cross them out as you achieve them. This will give you a burst of energy and invigorate your conscience to get more than. Especially after a long rest where you’re most likely mentally prepared to do the work.
Recognizing my Productive Hours
My most productive hours are the first 6 hours after I wake up. Hence, I make it a point to do all the work that requires intense focus within that time frame. Any work I do beyond my most productive hours loses a bit of quality and value because I’m in a rush to get it over and done with.
Turn off Push Notifications
Turning off my phone notifications within my most productive period has also been of immense help. I didn’t know how distracting smartphones were until I started turning putting them on silent when I require the space of mind to work.
Using Social Media as a Reward
Social media does not contribute to my productivity in any way, so lies I used to tell myself such as “I’m googling this topic to be more knowledgeable” does not wash with me anymore. I’m beginning to see Social Media for what it is. An escape and an avenue to divert attention from what matters. Therefore I categorise using the internet as a tool for pleasure and space to help me relax and unwind. These days, I work hard to avoid anything social media related during my productive hours (Ninja Hours) to ensure that I’m not too distracted from what I’m doing. When something pops into my mind that must be looked up. I make a note of it to look it up later when I’m less busy.
Likewise, after lunch, my productivity rate cuts into half or even goes downhill because I don’t want to do anything that requires mental fortitude. All I want to do is rest or go on Youtube to view something entertaining so guess what? I do my most demanding tasks before noon to avoid the potential post-lunch slump
Keeping my focus is a battle, I’m prepared to fight and win, because in such a distracted world those who are able to sustain focus for extended hours on creative and productive endeavours eventually become the difference makers. As brilliant Author and Computer Scientist Cal Newport notes in his book Deep Work, it does not have to be about work for long hours but doing work that requires deep and sustained focus
Sustained focus on any productive endeavour has more to do with creating things of value and focusing so intensely on that the end results make all the difference.
Start a focus time today!!! block off just 2 hours a day to do your most productive work and measure the result.
That is where you’ll see all the difference
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