Greece is fantastic; I’ve had a great time with my friends. But I have a quiet moment now, so I’ve finally decided to sit, watch the sun touch its soft rays against the sea, and write my weekly post. This was a week of challenges, what with my focus being distracted by gorgeous beaches, beautiful women, and landscapes that are so awe-inspiring you almost want to die for the beauty of them. Oh, but let’s not forget the warm and wonderful weather either.
While sitting here, inspired by the gorgeous setting sun, the warm gentle sea breeze, I’ve been reflecting on the topic I wish to share with you. Guided by Google, Quora and other information, as well as my own personal experiences, I’ve decided that the topic of today will be on “Focus.”
How did I become a focused man?
Today, I’m a man of focus, or at least I believe so. From an early age, my mother concentrated on teaching me this technique of concentrated focus. I played instruments, painted images, learned really well, studied up on math, read books; and interspersed all of this with a gifted silence. My mother knew. She supported me in every way. She did not distract me. She knew I was focused on something important.
It turns out concentrated focus is something you can develop over time. I had the fortune of being able to unconsciously teach myself the art of focus (of course with the help and guidance of my mother). Much later in life, I became more conscious of my work style, I consciously worked and performed small focus exercises on a daily basis. I learned that there are basically two types of focus techniques: intuitive and counter-intuitive.
- Sleep is essential to your focus. So you must get more sleep: you spend 30% of your life in bed, so make sure to spend it the best you can.
- Eliminate distractions. Set specific times for reading emails and don’t let them distract you away from the work at hand during your work periods. Avoid opening Facebook at times when you need to remain focused. Keep your mobile on Airplane mode to avoid being distracted by friends. When focusing on a project, don’t let friendly visits interrupt.
- Practice meditation: Performing meditation 10 minutes a day and learning to empty your mind of all thought, trains your focus muscle.
- Work on just a few things in your life: you will have to sacrifice some projects, hobbies and even relationships if you want to focus on something with your full heart.
- Always have a “To Do” list in front of you. This will help you remain focused. Break down big goals into smaller chunks, smaller projects and time frames.
- Invest in great software tools: these teach you to be more focused and productive.
- Take breaks: if you do physical work: work for 50 minutes, take a 10 min break; if you do mental work: work for 55 minutes then break for 5 minutes. Get up and do something else for those few minutes.
- Talk to friends about the things you do with others. This helps relieve stress.
- Read books: read books at different periods throughout your day. Take a 15 min, 30 min or 60 min reading time out.
- Practice on increasing your focus muscle: if you spend time practicing your focus, you will gain from it in the long-term; doing more in less time.
- Find your best work time during a day: there is always a best moment for you to work: spend some time finding it. Work on the more important tasks during this time of day.
- Motivate yourself. Reward yourself for completing a specific goal. Try to focus on a task and if you succeed, give yourself something special. For instance, you can stop working on your focused project for 30 minutes and read a book or an article etc.
- If a great idea comes to you, schedule it for later: that’s sad but focused people know how to retain things for later.
- Listen to music: Andzelika (who co-creates the app with me) suggested this, and indeed, I love to put on my favourite music. It helps keep my mind focused.
- Learn to play an instrument: it develops your thinking on one thing skill.
Bonus: Go to warm weathered countries often. This won’t improve your focus but it’s an awesome experience :).
“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” ~Steve Jobs
“Clarity affords focus.” ~Thomas Leonard
“The successful man is the average man, focused.” ~Unknown
I don’t want to keep this post too long. If you are interested in knowing a bit more about learning to stay focused, feel free to post a comment below or contact me directly. I will be more than delighted to give you a quick answer. Also, remember to subscribe to my Proud waiting list. I have some great time using the app here in Greece as it helped me a lot in focusing on my writing.