Why Focus is Your Competitive Advantage at Work (plus 19 ways to actually do it)
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44% of work distractions are self-inflicted and another 23% come from emails.
That means you have complete control to cut out (or at least drastically reduce) 67% of the productivity-killing distractions that derail your entire workday.
The number one skill that will set you apart from 99% of the world’s highly distractible knowledge workers is the ability to ruthlessly single-task.
It’s a concrete way to make sure that you’re only working on what you intentionally decided to be working on.
Use several separate desktop spaces as an alternative to one tab. One for communication, the other for different projects planned for the day.
Work offline whenever possible.
Schedule your email time.Handle any emails that will take 2-minutes or less. Add everything else to your to-do list to focus on later.
There is always a temptation to multi-task that will interfere with your focus.
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Our brain focuses best in short spurts, so dedicating 25 minutes to one activity, taking a five-minute break, and then resuming that activity or switching to another activity for another 25 minu...
... is to maximize your productivity when you are working so that you can get more stuff done in shorter periods of time.
By working smarter, you'll find yourself with more time in th...
The best one for you depends entirely on your working style and personal preferences.
You can use a physical notebook around everywhere you go, but it's easier to use a to-do list app or tool that syncs across all your devices. That way, you can access your to-do items whenever and wherever you need to, whether you're at your desk, in a meeting, or on a business trip.
Write out your to-do list the day before:
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Most goals are out of our control. We have limited control to reach them. In a system, your focus is on all the parts that you do control. And system is a fancy word for “repeatable process”...
When you focus on developing systems and work every day, your work compounds over time, developing exponential growth.
The more advantages you create, the more your next advantages pay off. A 1% gain every day compounds to almost 38x increase over a year.
Systems are the best way to progress since they reward effort and we control all the variables. However, we need to have a sense of direction in those efforts, to know what we are trying to accomplish.
Writing daily with no objective is just practice. If you want to achieve something, you need to commit to a certain output, like publishing a post on your blog weekly. At the end of the day, a system is a way to control how to achieve an output.
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Most of us spend our days jumping between tasks and tools.
In fact, most people average only 3 minutes on any given task before switching to something else (and only 2 minutes on a di...
Taking on additional tasks simultaneously can destroy up to 80% of your productive time:
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“Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."
Productivity is directly related to your energy level.
Find your most productive hours — the time of your peak energy — and schedule Deep Work for those periods. Do low-value and low-energy tasks (also known as shallow work), such as responding to emails or unimportant meetings, in between those hours.
Before going to bed, spend 5 minutes writing your to-do list for the next day. These tasks should help you move towards your professional and personal goals.
You’ll be better prepared mentally for the challenges ahead before waking up and there won’t be any room for procrastination in the morning. As a result, you’ll work faster and smoother than ever before.
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... where we are so immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity that we lose sense of space and time.
It is thought to be t...
... to push your mind beyond its comfort zone. Flow happens when we get a bit out of our comfort zone. Too much, and you get anxious; Too little and you get bored.
You need to know your physical or emotional limitations and consciously push past them.
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Examples of some tools that can help you focus better at work:
Factor in these while planning your work day:
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If the effort to keep remembering a task is more than just getting it out of the way now, then do it.
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It's a very real but often misunderstood struggle. The key thing to realize is that, in most cases, the fear is about the consequences of success, not the success itself.
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A lot of the internal things that affect our productivity are out of our control. Our energy, focus, and motivation follow their own path or “productivity curve” throughout the day.
We’re naturally more energetic and motivated at specific times of the day. Researchers call this our Circadian Rhythm. Every person’s rhythm is slightly different, but the majority follow a similar pattern.
We work best in natural cycles of 90-120 minute sessions before needing a break. When we need a break, our bodies send us signals, such as becoming hungry, sleepy, fidgeting, or losing focus.
If you ignore these signs and think you can just work through them, your body uses your reserve stores of energy to keep up. It means releasing stress hormones to give an extra kick of energy.
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