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A good friend asked me the other day how he could focus better. He has trouble keeping his attention on the things he needs to do. I struggle with this as well.
In this Blog, I will give you some tips and share my routine for getting my work done and focusing better.
Turn off notifications
The downside of all your phone and computer notifications is that they take you out of flow. Say you are working peacefully, and suddenly, you get a new message. I’m always curious about that notification (and what to do with it). Recognizable? Refocusing takes an average of 23 minutes when distracted. So, turn off all notifications. It will save you time.
Work in blocks of 20 minutes
This is the well-known Pomodoro technique. Set your phone’s timer to 20 minutes and only work on what you must do during that time. Only after that may you take a break. I often find that after 20 minutes, I am in a flow and still want to keep working.
For better focus, go outside during your breaks to breathe in fresh oxygen. When we still had a trampoline at home, I used to jump on it. Drink plenty of water and occasionally stare out the window instead of watching a movie on Instagram. In his book Focus On/Off, Mark Tigchelaar writes that your brain doesn’t have a break when watching a movie. You do when you stare out the window. I notice my brain doesn’t have a break when I listen to a podcast either (but it does when I listen to music).
I can also be distracted by thoughts or something I see on my desk. What helps me focus better is breathing and becoming aware of my body. This brings me to the present and allows me to continue working undisturbed without thinking about other tasks.
I don’t want to be distracted when writing a blog, reading portfolios, or making quotations. I want to be focused. For that, I have the following routine:
Clean the office
First, I clean up my desk. That’s the books, papers, pens, and stuff lying on the floor. In addition, I clean my office with a vacuum cleaner, and I imagine energetically cleaning the space of any thoughts or emotions that may interfere with my work. Finally, I clean the space again with imaginary light.
Invite the council
In addition to good preparation, it helps me to invite inner mentors or guides to help me with my work. Those inner mentors can be people who are already where I want to go. They can be people who know a lot about a particular subject. To write this blog, I invited my Blog coach and people who know much about focus. These people form my council and can help me with their wisdom. They can also help me to prevent me from being distracted by external factors.
Purify the body
Purifying your body is important now that the space is ready and my council is invited. I clean my third eye (a chakra between the eyebrows) with imaginary light so intuition can flow freely. I also clean my ears with the light to hear the whispers of mentors or universal wisdom that I can use in my work. Finally, I clean my hands (or vocal cords) with light because I work with them.
Add a Scent
A scent can help you be focused on your work. You can choose different scents for different tasks. I use the scent of lavender when I’m blogging. It’s a jump starter.
Use a symbol
You can also use a particular symbol if you want to be focused on a particular task. Maybe you have a special pen when you start writing, but it can also be a piece of clothing you wear or another symbol, such as a picture that reminds you of your work. When I give Haka workshops, I always wear a Māori symbol (the Toki) around my neck, and when I run, I always have the same cap on.
Turn on music
During my work, I often listen to music. I listen to Satie, the Deep Focus playlist, the HU, or Marjo’s work music when I’m almost done. You can find more music to perform better here. By the way, today is quiet as I write this Blog.
Know WHY You Do It
“Maybe I get distracted so often because I’m not working on the right thing,” sighed my good friend, who had trouble focusing.
Of course, we need to do things that are less fun. At those moments, we are more likely to get distracted. The question is whether this work helps you meet your goals and live your WHY. Connecting with my WHY while editing, translating, and formatting this blog (something I enjoy less) gives me more energy and joy to keep going. There is more focus when I think about my WHY and my goals. It also makes me more productive!
Your WHY is the contribution you make that impacts the world. A WHY is unique, positive, actionable, and infinite. You can read more about finding your WHY here.
Discover your WHY
Do you want to discover your WHY so you can stay more focused? We can help. Contact us today for a free intake.
What helps you focus better? Let me know in the comment box below. I, and other readers of this article, look forward to read from you!
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