I was puzzled what to write about and then I realised that the unchecked box in my to do list today is – ‘Refocus’. I scribbled this down before the sleep yesterday and it is time to explore it now.
So what do I mean? I have to readjust my focus towards my important goals as I have been drifting away since last week. Get the important work done instead of being distracted by the menial tasks.
Crisis at work in this case, disrupted sleep hours, clutter at home, easy distractions – feeding instant gratification monkey – all of those distanced me little by little from my goals recently. What’s really difficult to achieve when drifting away is pulling yourself back on track and keeping your eyes on the prize.
I found myself understanding and feeling the drift yet unable to take action against it. Resistance becomes stronger and stronger until I reach the point when I start to forget what I should focus on completely. Then it takes minutes to hours to begin remembering what I should really work on instead of wasting the time on easy distractions like watching videos on YouTube.
When all seems tough, there are a few ways to get back quickly to where I left off. Here are my Top 5 ways to refocus.
1. Keep Your Eyes On The Prize
Write 10-15 goals every morning without looking back to what you have written the previous day. This is a very powerful exercise to put your focus back on track. It is a bit time-consuming but greatly increasing your ability to remember and put things back in place.
2. Long Quiet Walk
Steve Jobs was a huge fan of walking, he got the best ideas and dealt with the biggest issues Apple faced while taking long walks. It takes about 40 minutes for our mind to declutter when strolling along the streets or nature.
I found it hard to believe, but all it takes is one try. Go out and walk for 45 minutes without listening to music or anything else, just walk. Everything seems to fall back in place after less than one hour. Time well spent.
3. Good Night’s Sleep
The number one productivity killer is fatigue. It is incredibly difficult to stay and remain focused on a task for a longer period of time when tired.
If you find yourself keep on being distracted, consider taking a quick 20 min power nap to refuel. This technique works wonders at times as it may refresh your mind and refuel you for the better results.
If that doesn’t help, consider taking 1 hour nap.
But the best of all is to make sure and get the good night’s sleep. Invest into a good pillow, comfy mattress and a decent bed and you’re pretty much set for success.
4. Force Start
When all else fails to motivate me and I feel like I can not get to do what’s necessary – the answer is brute force. Forcing myself to sit down, eliminate all the distractions and get down to work.
Even if I struggle to begin, I will keep on working on the task. It will feel bad, the pain will be strong but eventually I will start to make progress and get through it.
Set a goal. If I am writing an article, I will set myself a goal of 600 words to complete. If I can not reach this limit, then I will sit and stare at the screen if I have to until the task is finished.
5. To Do List
It is impossible to hit a target I can not see.
Therefore I must create a ‘To Do’ list for the next day in order to organise the tasks I have to complete and then work through each of those step by step to completion.
It is best to be done one last thing in the evening as that’s when we can organise everything that happened during the day and create a good plan for the next day. Do NOT try to create the ‘To Do’ list in the morning, it simply won’t work.
Going to bed with the best intentions had me waking up puzzled about what to do in the morning. Our minds can not organise that well early, instead it is much better at working to get already set tasks done.