What is it about focus that is so important? Why must we be so concerned if focus is something we lack?
I know that I am more successful at a task when I focus. Concentrating like a laser beam on the task in hand increases the chances of completing the task. Probably more than any one thing.
If we want to improve our ability to complete tasks we must improve our focus.
What is it that causes a lack of focus?
Rarely is it the initial motivation. In fact the initial driving force behind your goal can sometimes blast through any lack focus if it is strong enough. But mostly, after a short period we get distracted, something else catches our eye, we feel we need to check out email, you know the drill.
For me the basis of distraction is the thought that there is still more possibilties for options out that. Even though I have decided on one task I have an irrational feeling to gather as much information as humanly possible. Coupled with the seemingly infinate knowledge base that is the Internet makes it an eternal distraction. I have to learn that when I gain enough knowledge to complete the task the research should be over.
What can you do to stop being distracted by infinite information fatigue?
I have to plug out. I take a piece of paper and a pen and sit away with from the computer and the Internet. I sometimes take the time to go to a Coffee bar and get a capuccino. Fermentation of current research needs to take place for the ideas to reach fruition.
I used to get distracted a lot from the computer games, if I could only get paid for playing Civilisation or Age of Empires. I solved that problem by simply de-installing them and hiding the CDs. Drastic action, but it has worked.
Be ruthless with your bookmarks.
Regularly go through your bookmarks and get rid of all high time suckage websites.
Place a time limit on your research time.
When developing an information project like a blog post or an ebook research can be never ending. Think how profitable the task is and create specific time slots to gather information.
Create your workspace
To work without disturbance gives you no chance to use it as an excuse not to work. Have you notice that after 15 mins of hard work you actually get into a mode of focused work that feels like you are a super hero and can achieve anything. This feeling is a result of the power of focus and it’s important to run whilst in this mode. Make sure when working on an important project you give the required quiet time you need.
Focus is the biggest problem facing knowledge workers today.
Distraction is the evil cousin of focus and should be negated
Here is what distracts me
- Browsing the internet.
- Reading E-books
- Check website stats
- Reading email
- Interacting on social network sites
When I research a blog post I find it difficult to stop collecting information. I find the more information I find the more information I have to find. Usually the first information is enough, but for some reason my brain is sending out the signal to search for more. This could be because I have not properly valued the initial information. If I took time away from the computer screen to mull the information I would be able to acess it more thoroughly.
And there is the rub. The computer and the internet have become the destination rather than a mere tool. It is such a huge and magnificent beast that most of us have not worked out how to tame it yet. At present I would say that this problem represents one of the biggest reasons why more people are not successful.