How Long Can You Keep It Up?

I’m talking about Focus. For how long can you keep focused? Test yourself. Grab a timer of some sort any timer will do. Pick a task and start both. The first time you find you have wandered off task, check your timer. You have to be brutally honest, there’s no point in kidding yourself. I’m going to guess it wasn’t very long. Unless you are practiced or fresh from studying, I doubt you made much more than five, maybe ten, minutes.

We get distracted very easily. We are bombarded with input, audio and visual. And there’s all the internal stuff that goes on. Focus for any length of time becomes difficult. If you’ve ever tried meditation you will know exactly what I’m talking about

But, like top athletes and sports men and women you can train yourself to focus. If you take the time to train, you too will get better at it and get a lot more done in a shorter time.

So here are a few tips to getting things done with laser sharp focus. For now, I’m assuming a computer task such as writing an article or building up a site. However, the principle can be applied to practically any task that you want to complete.

  • Start by knowing exactly what you want to accomplish.
  • Make sure you have everything you need to complete the task before you start. If the task requires research, then complete the research before you start. Collate it and file or bookmark it. You could even treat this as a separate focus task.
  • Have something to drink on your desk, a glass of water or cup of tea or coffee or whatever. Water is better for you!
  • Turn off email, Skype and any other computer distractions. Difficult I know, but just do it.
  • Background music works for a lot of people, me included. Avoid Rock, Pop, Rap or anything similar. They are distracting. Best is instrumental, smooth jazz or light classical. Did I hear you say ‘elevator music’?
  • Set a count- down timer and start. Twenty minute bursts are good. Then take a five minute break. Reward yourself with another cup of coffee maybe. Then start again.
  • Challenge yourself to complete a task or section thereof within the twenty minutes. Working to a deadline aids both the thought process and focus.

You need to do something productive and focused every day, in order to move your business forward. Forty focused minutes are worth 3 times that of unfocused time.

This task and post complete, I’m off to get another coffee!

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