Get and stay focused

  • Learn to complain better: instead of focusing on the problem, adopt a solution-oriented approach.
  • Schedule your indulgences: by setting aside time for the things likely to distract you, you ensure to control them instead of letting them control you.
  • Control your triggers: interruptions negatively affected both the quality and quantity of work produced.
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Problem Solving

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Few things are sadder than encountering a person who knows exactly what he should do, yet cannot muster enough energy to do it.

It happens only when:

  • You define your goals clearly 
  • You have the capacity to complete the tasks necessary to achieve them.

While endless scrolling on your phone is a symptom of the problem, it is not the root cause of why you find it hard to focus.

To learn how to focus, you must adopt new skills as well as understand the most common causes of distraction.

  • You’re stuck in an unhealthy rut, that teaches your brain to automatically escape hard work instead of working through it.
  • You don’t know how to focus on things you don't like. If you like doing something, you are more likely to do it Reframe the tasks you dislike, to make them come enjoyable.
  • You’re telling yourself you “Don’t have time.” This is a passive way of emphasizing that a task is not a priority for you.
Timeboxing

By selecting parts of your day for specific tasks you are more likely to use your time the way you intended.

The best time management technique is deciding what you want to do and when you want to do it.

  • External triggers: cellphones, work colleagues etc. They take us off track when we planned to focus.
  • Internal triggers: they  come from within. They are uncomfortable emotional states you seek to escape.

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RELATED IDEAS

Building habits to change behavior the right way can be a wonderful tool to improve your life. But false notions about what habits are and what they can do can backfire.

5

IDEAS

High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)

Addressing Myths About Productivity
  • During a given day, if you accomplish what you intended to do, you had a productive day.
  • Certain ‘productive’ work like answering email or replying to messages is actually a distraction, and can be better managed by blocking specific time slots for execution.
  • You are not on track if you are not doing what is the main objective of the day.
  • Work does not mean ‘paid labor’ but encompasses community service, side projects and even hobbies.

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