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Rediscovering Focus: How I Did It

Build up your working environment

When trying to reach your maximum focus, you might want to consider building up your environment in such a way that it triggers your brain to start focusing. Playing your favourite music, sitting in a certain spot or position, these are all factors that have an effect on your focus. Moreover, remember that tracking your hours can make a huge difference, as it enables you to see exactly how much time each task and distraction takes. Use this in your favour and you will become able to work more efficiently in less hours.

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Rediscovering Focus: How I Did It

Rediscovering Focus: How I Did It

https://hackernoon.com/rediscovering-focus-how-i-did-it-rd6d3249

hackernoon.com

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Key Ideas

Increase your focus by setting goals

Whenever you have issues focusing, try setting goals. The most important tip anybody could give you at this point is that the smaller the goal, the better the result. Therefore, try focusing on one task for 15 minutes, then increase the time to 30 minutes and so on. You will certainly end up surprised by the result.

Organize your tasks for a better focus

Organizing your tasks according to their difficulty level has only positive effects on your work. You will not only keep track of what has been done and what remains to be done, but you will also make sure that both difficult and easy tasks are being performed.

Scheduling improves your focus

Carefully scheduling your daily program enables you to reach a better focus. As you plan your day, you should take care of dividing your tasks according to the available time. This way you will know from the beginning of the day what and when needs to be done, which will reduce considerably the time to make decisions, which is one of the main distractions when thinking to start a new task. Furthermore, including breaks in your schedule is almost essential, as these allow you to  recharge your batteries and, therefore, work more efficiently afterwards.

Improve your focus by actually focusing on one task

In order to improve your focus, you should actually try focusing on one task and one only. Therefore, make sure all possible distractions are being blocked, so you can devote yourself to only one task at a time. And, very important, make a habit out of it. Otherwise, it might not work in the long run.

Build up your working environment

When trying to reach your maximum focus, you might want to consider building up your environment in such a way that it triggers your brain to start focusing. Playing your favourite music, sitting in a certain spot or position, these are all factors that have an effect on your focus. Moreover, remember that tracking your hours can make a huge difference, as it enables you to see exactly how much time each task and distraction takes. Use this in your favour and you will become able to work more efficiently in less hours.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Statistics about multi-tasking
  • Trying to focus on more than one thing at a time reduces your productivity by as much as 40%. That’s the cognitive equivalent of pulling an all-nighter.
  • The average desk job ...
When you single-task...
  • you tend to work on the right things. Effective single-tasking requires planning. Starting your day without a plan is just asking for distraction and inefficiency.
  • you accomplish more in less time with less stress: Intentionally focusing on one task at a time has been proven the most efficient way to move through your to-do list.
4 essential components of effective single-tasking:
  1. Cutting out distractions.
  2. Make a single-tasking plan you’ll actually stick to.
  3. Dealing with unavoidable distractions.
  4. Getting back on track when you’ve fallen off the single-tasking band wagon.

10 more ideas

Brian Tracy

Time management is not a peripheral activity or skill. It is the core skill upon which everything else in life de..."

Brian Tracy
Work Around Your Energy Levels

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.

Plan Your Day the Night Before

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.

21 more ideas

Oliver Emberton
"The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency."
Oliver Emberton
Important vs. urgent tasks
  • Important tasks are things that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • Urgent tasks are tasks that have to be dealt with immediately: phone calls, urgent deadlines, and situations where you have to respond quickly.

Sometimes important tasks stare you right in the face, but you neglect them and respond to urgent but unimportant things.

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.

3 more ideas

Personal Mission Statement

It consists of thinking long and hard about your life and work. Write down everything that is on your mind, then consider what is most important.

  • You want to know where you want to go...
Acknowledging Progress

Progress can sometimes feel like endless staircases where you climb and climb, but can never see the end.

A personal mission statement allows you to look back and see how far you've climbed.

Putting Things Into Perspective

A personal mission statement reminds you where you're coming from and puts your life in perspective. When you feel frustrated, you can go back and read how much you've progressed over a specific time.

8 more ideas

The goal of staying focused

The goal is not constant focus, but a short period of distraction-free time every day. 

Twenty minutes a day of deep focus could be transformative.

Do creative work first

Typically, we do mindless work first and build-up to the toughest tasks. That drains your energy and lowers your focus.

In order to focus effectively, reverse the order. Check off the tasks that require creativity or concentration first thing in the morning, and then move on to easier work.

Allocate your time deliberately

We are truly focused for an average of only six hours per week. You want to be really diligent with what you put into those hours.

90 percent of people do their best thinking outside the office. Notice where and when you focus best, then allocate your toughest tasks for those moments.

one more idea

Keep in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle
  • Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day;
  • Avoid sleeping in, even on weekends;
  • Limit naps to 15 to 20 minutes in the early afternoon;
Melatonin

Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle. 

Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert. 

However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm

Influence exposure to ligh

During the day:

  • Expose yourself to bright sunlight in the morning. 
  • Spend more time outside during daylight. 
  • Let as much natural light into your home or workspace as possible.

At night:

  • Avoid bright screens within 1-2 hours of your bedtime.
  • Say no to late-night television.
  • Don’t read with backlit devices. 
  • When it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark.
  • Keep the lights down if you get up during the night.

6 more ideas

Clean up your workspaces

End the workday by taking a minute to tidy your desk, save everything you’re working on, and close of all your tabs and windows. Make sure your work app notifications are automatically snoozed outs...

Review your "to-done’s"

Boost your mood and motivation by taking the time to review your completed tasks at the end of each day.
One of the easiest and most effective ways to stay motivated and build momentum at work is to celebrate your progress.

The procrastination “doom loop”

Confront the things you’ve been putting off. If you keep putting things off, you'll feel guilty and that makes you want to avoid them even more. You will get stuck in the “doom loop” of anxiety and avoidance.
Break this loop by identifying the tasks that you’ve been avoiding, break them down into smaller tasks and schedule the next step for the following day.

6 more ideas

Working alone
Working alone

Being in a space that's free from distractions while managing your time may sound perfect. But working alone is not a cure-all. Remote work can make you realize that the battle was neve...

Going with the flow

Elements to help you reach a state of flow.

  1. There are specific goals every step of the way.
  2. There is immediate feedback to your actions.
  3. There is a balance between challenges and skills.
  4. Action and awareness are merged.
  5. Distractions are excluded from consciousness.
  6. There is no worry of failure.
  7. Self-consciousness disappears.
  8. The sense of time becomes distorted.
  9. The activity becomes autotelic.

To allow this deep work to occur requires you to be vigilant about outside interruptions.

The ability to face distractions

Solitude can initially make you squirm but later becomes a bedrock for intense concentration and creativity. Deflect distractions and use solitude to your advantage:

  • Listen to the sounds of nature. It calms the storm of thoughts and allows you to focus on the task at hand.
  • Accept imperfection. Don't chase an "ideal" work environment; accept what you have.

2 more ideas

William James

“Wisdom is the art of knowing what to overlook.”

William James
The 2 kinds of distractions
  • Sensory distractions (External): The things happening around us, like colleagues talking, phones ringing, people moving around us, music playing, etc.
  • Emotional distractions (Internal): The thoughts that make our attention drift from what we’re doing. For example, remembering a phone call you need to make or thinking about a future meeting.
Daniel Goleman
Daniel Goleman

“It’s not the chatter of people around us that is the most powerful distractor, but rather the chatter of our own minds.”

4 more ideas

What To Focus On

To focus you need to eliminate the distractions, commit to one thing and become great at it.

To know what to focus on, try different things for some time until something comes easily a...

Deciding On What To Focus

To know what's coming easily to you, what you’re performing well on, pay attention and measure the indicators of success in the chosen activity.

At some point, you won't need more information, you will need to make a choice between sticking with the activity or switching to a new one.

Volume Of Work And Simplification

Once you have experimented enough and overcome the need for extra information and fear of committing, it's time to put in a consistent volume of work and persist through the grind.

Only through the grind you will be able to bridge the gap between competent and excellent. Then you can simplify because you know what is essential and what is unnecessary.