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How to Have More Focused Hours in Your Day : zen habits

https://zenhabits.net/more-focused/

zenhabits.net

How to Have More Focused Hours in Your Day : zen habits
I was talking to someone today and he said that with all the time he spends putzing around on the internet, he gets maybe 2 hours of focused time a day. I actually think that's higher than average!

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Increasing your focused time

It comes down to three habits:

  • Asking yourself what meaningful, impactful work you can get done today.
  • Creating space for meaningful work instead of just doing busywork or being distracted all day.
  • Working in fullscreen mode and diving in.

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Deciding on Your Impactful Work

It’s an incredible habit to take even a few moments at the beginning of your day (or the end of the day before) to give some thought to where you’d like to concentrate your attention. 

Ask yourself: What is worth doing today? What is worth focusing on? What is worth spending the limited time you have in this life?

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Creating Space for Focused Work

Very often we’ll push off the bigger, more meaningful tasks because they take longer, and we’re either in distracted mode or quick-task mode.

Set aside the next 20 minutes for writing, or getting moving on a big project. You don’t have to do the whole project in this time, but just the act of giving yourself more space to focus is a huge shift.

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Working in Fullscreen Mode

This habit is about letting this one meaningful task become your whole universe.

This translates into writing in a fullscreen writing app. Or opening a browser tab in a separate window (with no other tabs showing) and putting that window in fullscreen mode. It can also mean doing one thing at a time in offline life as well.

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Mental States

It’s really important to monitor mental states. They will usually affect whether we do our exercise, eat healthy, binge watch TV shows, drink alcohol, eat junk food, or are open-hearted (or ...

Moving Into a Mental State

  1. Recognize that you’re in the wrong mental state. It’s not likely to lead to a calm focus. It will lead to you doing busywork or seeking distraction.
  2. Experiment to find a set of actions that can help you move into the right mental state. This is going to be different for each person, but with some experimentation, you can discover things that work for you.

Activities For A Better Mental State

  • Meditation
  • Go for a walk
  • Get up and move around
  • Talk to someone (if you’re worried about something)
  • Having a cup of tea
  • Taking a power nap
  • Having a cup of coffee (differs for each person)
  • Getting into a quiet, uncluttered environment
  • Turning off your wifi router
  • Using full-screen writing apps
  • Playing calming music
  • Reading an inspirational quote or article
  • Talking to someone (including a therapist, if needed)
  • Bringing playfulness to the task

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Fighting For Our Focus

Fighting For Our Focus

Scheduling of work falls into two broad categories: Makers and Managers. Most of us are either managing people and projects or making something, like documents, apps or other creat...

Different Jobs See Time Differently

  • Managers can work in time blocks of 30 or 60 minutes, scheduling meetings or sending emails.
  • Makers need almost half a day to get down and create something, requiring an uninterrupted focus mode that is nearly impossible.

What complicates matters is that many managers who are managing the makers think of time as short blocks and try to break the focused time of the makers, requesting them to juggle work or multitask, which kills any productivity or quality with the unending context switching.

Schedules And Productivity

None of us can get creative in short 15-minute bursts of work sandwiched between a mandatory meeting and a sales team call. It is also a myth that people work for 8 to 10 hours a day.

Most people are productive in sporadic periods of time, like 15 minutes, followed by an interruption, then for 20 minutes, followed by a commitment/obligation/meeting and so on.

We need to align our schedules with our goals and create a strategy that helps us focus on deep work.

Getting an early start

Getting an early start

Plan your morning the night before and stick to your plan. 
If a new task comes in that isn’t 100% urgent, designate a time that you’ll work on it uninterrupted or try to delegate the probl...

Deciding where to work

  • If you know you’re more likely to work from home, invest in comfortable furniture; you feel good it will inspire you to get work done.
  • If you want to join a local co-working space but are intimidated by the price point, ask about smaller memberships to start.

Prioritizing tasks

Don’t let your skepticism about productivity hacks get in the way of finding a technique that suits you and helps you get things done.
If you’re still having a hard time identifying priorities, try working backward by identifying work that’s definitely not a priority. Eliminate those items and assess what’s left.