Focus has been getting a lot of attention in our household lately. We’ve been working hard to create and so I wanted to share my experiences, as to what it’s taken of me to really GSD (get stuff done)!
When my fiancé and I first started working together, I was of the opinion that talking throughout the day, listening to music, singing the lyrics, multi-tasking, giggling, surfing the internet, all at the same time as having a snack/drinking a coffee was perfectly normal.
Being interrupted by phone calls throughout the day was welcomed and desirable! I had worked in the corporate world for 10 years, so I knew how to be productive! That’s what happens when you’re at work, right?
I used to give him a hard time because when he was working, he was working. There was no in between. No multi-tasking. No phone calls. No talking. Not even to me. And I hated it.
Fast forward a bit over a year, and that’s now become me.
It’s been a long and hard journey to get there, but it was something that I had to learn when I realised that although I was sitting at my computer for long periods of time, my productivity levels really weren’t that high.
Now, when I’m working, I’m completely there. I’m in the zone, completely focused and in the element.
I’ve taught myself to put my phone on silent. I’ve had to learn to not respond to emails each time they flash up on my screen, instead I save it until the afternoon. I control my urges to browse the internet, to check facebook, to check email and then repeat!
I’ve learnt to set boundaries. And through setting these boundaries, I’ve enforced them and as a result I’ve been able to create something that’s truly important to me.
In order to set these boundaries though, I had to become very clear on why it was that I wanted to make my ‘dream’ happen. Why am I doing this? Why do I want to make it happen? Without these, it’s very difficult to keep focused and to stay on track.
All my lives I’ve been taught that multi-tasking is good! Women are supposed to excel at it. But by multi-tasking, I actually wasn’t able to execute as much as I should have if I had focused on one thing at a time. Which reminds me of that phrase, “Jack of all trades, master of none”.
It takes extreme perseverance, commitment and constant reminding yourself (consciously bringing yourself back to what you’re supposed to be doing) before focus becomes a natural instinct. It takes getting used to. Especially if you haven’t been doing this, it’s like any other skill you learn – like riding a bike.
It takes practice to stop focusing on all the things that are pulling at you for your attention. It’s not natural in today’s digital age. But in time it gets easier.
Start with the why. Why do you want to do the thing that you want to do? Then start bringing yourself back to what you’re creating, one step at a time. To what you’re deep down want to focus on.
Learn to pick your priorities and eliminate distractions. This is crucial in reaching that destination, otherwise, you’ll be working without producing any tangible results.
Pay attention to your habits: what are they? Why are they there? Are they serving you? Or are you just continuing because it’s a habit? Are you afraid of change? What are you afraid of?
The more focused you are, the quicker you’ll get to your goal. And the less your life is full of distractions that aren’t moving you in the direction of your goal, the more power you’ll experience in achieving them.