“Wherever focus goes, energy flows.”
Nowadays, How to stay focused at one task, at a time, has really been a challenging question for today’s generation.
Focus is really one of the most important traits to be acquired to be successful. Because if you want to succeed more in life then you have to work at your optimum level all the time, you have to become a high performer and do more things done during a day than an average, mediocre can ever imagine. And the only way to accomplish more is to stay focused at the task on your hand.
I hear a lot of students asking the same question;
“Sir, we want to focus, but we cannot. How can we stay focused all the time?”
So, today I’m going to share here some of my best tips to stay focused while working upon your most important tasks. Focus is the most important trait to be aquired to be successful.
“The successful man is the average man, focused.”
Tips to stay focused:
#1: DO WHAT YOU LOVE:
Many a times you would have experienced that you were doing something which you were passionate about; you started upon that and after that, time was never your concern and hours slipped away like minutes. You felt that you are out of time frame, in a totally different world than the real one, and time doesn’t mattered for the time being. And your state? You were working at your optimum level each minute second with 0% distractions. Maybe sometimes you were so busy doing something that you even missed-missing the dinner/lunch.
And on the other side; you would have also experienced something totally opposite to this. You sat upon the table started with something you were least bothered (interested) about; and after a while you stood up for some snacks, thinking that it was long time working (but actually you started to work just 5 minutes ago) and again after some time you got up for a short break followed by checking your social media etc. And you were not focused at the time. You felt like that the time wasn’t passing by, and minutes seemed to be like hours long. You were unable to focus upon the task at hand. The reason being is, you were not totally (Mentally, physically, emotionally) engaged with it.
You felt like that the time wasn’t passing by, and minutes seemed to be like hours long. You were unable to focus upon the task at hand. The reason being is, you were not totally (Mentally, physically, emotionally) engaged with it.
So now the key here is, “LOVE WHAT YOU DO; & DO ONLY WHAT YOU LOVE”
Whatever task is in your hands; do it with passion; be so much engaged with your work that you are too busy to even notice what is happening around. Be emotionally engaged with the task at your hands and you will be able to work at your optimum level with no extra efforts.
“Well, Aditya! That’s a great tip. But you know what? I’m unable to engage myself into my work. I’m unable to create sustainable excitement (engagement) in my job (work).”
Well, if this is your case then I think now you need a change. You should find a new job which is more fulfilling, more enjoyable and most important, a job in which you can find more engagement. Because without engagement and passion for your job (work), I doubt your success in the sense of focused work. The essence of focused work is fulfillment and engagement, the state of being in the present moment, the state of being mindful.
Cutting it short;
“DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO”
#2: CHUNKING YOUR TIME CREATES MORE TIME:
Yes! Again, one of the most important productivity tip is to chunk your time and get the most of it. From when you wake up in the morning until you go to bed, create chunks (blocks) of time according to your priority and to-do list. Have specific blocks of time: categorize your blocks into work-time, play-time, family-time, phone-time, email-social-media time etc. That all depends on your priority and to-do list. Whatever it is, chunk it out and make the best of it.
Have major blocks of work-time, decide, determine & dedicate a block of time for work: say it aloud that, “This 60 minutes; I’m just going to focus on my work; I would neither get distracted by phone calls or any random thing, I’ll just be blocked by this block of time for the next 60 minutes.”
Similarly, have play-time blocks in which you will get refreshed and would not think of work at all. Have some snacks, get refreshed, get your coffee etc. And after that you will see a noteworthy difference in your productivity level. You will surely observe the increase in your productivity level after getting refreshed.
So, key is here: Whatever tasks you have for the whole day, chunk them all into small-medium-large blocks of time and decide, determine and dedicate yourself to that blocks for the time being. Try this out you will experience more openness and more time from your day without getting stressed by your work.
An important notice:
Never ever try to mix the block’s time. Never ever mix up the family-time block with work-block or work with play block etc. If you do so, you would pay a higher price for it, not more than what you are already paying right now!
#3: Keep Distractions Out Of your Imagination:
Study this scenario:
“Anup is a website developer and he was busy building up one of his old client’s new website. He loved what he did; he was focused, concentrated and he was totally lost in making up the website look as best as possible.
Suddenly, his phone rings up!!! He picks up the phone and now he gets lost in the conversation with his friend. (15 minutes have slipped) Keep reading until he finishes his call… … … (Now it’s 30 minutes) Yes, he is still talking dear, I’m also waiting for him to know the story ahead. (1 hour) Oh! My god, I cannot wait further, how could he be so long upon the call? (1 hour 1 minute 3 seconds) God’s grace! He just finished the call. Wait a minute, it took 1 hour 1 minute and 3 seconds!!! In this time, he might have completed building the core pages of the website.
But what’s more interesting is this. After the whole long call, Anup gets back to the work thinking that it would be better if he had not picked up the phone. Anyways, now the scenario is something like this, Anup is under pressure now, because it’s already 6.30 pm he has to anyhow submit the site latest by 12.00pm the next day. He has to work faster and he knows, doing that will affect the quality of the site. But anyhow, now he would have to compromise with that.
Another more interesting thing is this, as soon as Anup gets back to work, first of all, he had to spend 15-30 minutes to catch up with the rhythm. I mean to say that now he would have to spend a good time getting back to the point from where he had left, and to recapture it and get back in the flow! And this happens every time, with you too, whenever you get distracted from whatever you are doing. Science says that, ‘it takes at least 15 minutes to get back to the state of flow once distracted.’
So, the key point here is, KEEP THE DISTRACTIONS OUT OF YOUR IMAGINATION! And always be so much engaged with whatever is at your hand that you just cannot even think for distractions anymore. You mind shouldn’t have any space for distractions.
#4: Keep the ‘Instant Gratification’ bug away!
Many a times; our focus is eaten up by the poisonous bug of ‘instant gratification’. We are always looking for something which can provide us instant pleasure some sort of enjoyment for a moment and a temporary feeling of fulfilment. We sometimes tend to fail to understand the simplest and most fundamental principle of success.
“Instant gratification kills long term satisfaction”
Yes! You heard it right! That’s how it is. Instant gratification bug would of course provide you some sort of pleasure for the time being, but at the same time it will cut off your long term feeling of fulfilment, satisfaction, accomplishment by distracting you from the task at hand.
So? What’s the way out?
The simplest way out is to visualize your long term goal! That will keep you motivated and far away from the bug of instant gratification. The mechanism here is, if your mind finds more pleasure in your long term goal, then it won’t go for short term pleasure.
#5: Have a list:
Though it seems simple and you will say, well Aditya, it’s just a common sense that everyone have. But you know what? Common sense is sometimes not common practice. A lot many people tend to fail to have a list with them before starting. They just casually start their work and… I’ll show you, what happens further.
Many people just casually sit upon to work without a list; just because they have to work. They have no strategy at all. What happens with them is really interesting. They just sit upon a couch and start working with their task A. After a while another task B comes to their mind and they are like; “Oh my God! That one is more important, let me first do that.” And then they go with task B. As soon as they set upon task B; they recall that they have another task C which is more important and urgent than B, so again they go with task C. And after starting task C… (Yes! You guessed it right.) They realize that they have another task D which is more important, most urgent and much more significant than all. And so likewise their journey goes on! And at the end of the day they are neither finished with any of their tasks. And then they blame their circumstances or people around or some sort of shit.
So, the key here is, “Start with a priority list!” because if you don’ t have anything planned strategically then I bet you would complete all the alphabets A, B, C, D…,Z and yet you would feel dissatisfied.
#6: Stay Tuned with music:
This is one of the best tip for staying focused for a long time on any task at hand. (Right now when I’m writing this, I have plugged in my favourite relaxing music). Music keeps us focused and it prevents us from getting distracted. Music here is in the sense of some soft, calm, gentle music. Never ever plug-in your favourite songs when you are working on some important task. It will anyway divert you. Songs you can plug-in whenever you are in a gay mood. If you are working on something important, reading or studying, then songs would do nothing but divert you. In that case; just plug-in some natural music, may be sounds of rain, or a calm atmosphere or water stream etc. Whatever you feel good! By doing this you will feel like you are in a different world and this will help you to stay focused for long chunk of times.
Try this once, from now whenever you start reading or writing something important to you, just plug-in some natural sounds and you won’t be distracted at all by the small things happening around you!
I personally am a fan of this technique! I read 1-2 hours daily. And in that time, I just don’t like getting distracted by gossip of my family mates or the quarrel going on in TV serial. So, I just plug-in some music and I feel that I’m in heaven. Reading my favourite book! That feeling is indescribable! You just need to experience it once.
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(This article is an excerpt from our brand new book BE SUCCESSFUL, to discover your full potential, grab your success today!)