Often times when we are trying to really dive into our tasks and projects for our business, we get sidetracked very easily by many different things.
The main reason for not being able to maintain focus is that our mind: it worries, wonders, fantasizes, idealizes things, events and circumstances while we are trying to work. Should I mention all new ideas the pop up in the middle of nowhere and interrupt our current work, causing us getting sidetracked?
Even we can find ourselves starting completely new projects in a matter of seconds, neglecting old tasks completely.
As you probably know, when we see the next magic bullet or shiny thing in the marketplace, we get absorbed by it, and old projects become completely neglected.
Starting different things at a same time, without completing any of them is a disaster all by itself.
Helping your employees remain focused is a skill that is beneficial in any leadership position. Learn more about management skills with the B.S. in organizational management at Lubbock Christian online.
“The Grey Zone”
I’ve learned this concept from Eben Pagan. When you do multitasking, mixing and doing different things at the same time, we cannot enjoy or completely focus on any task at hand.
When you are with your family, you think about work, and when you are at work, you think about your personal life’s problems. That’s the “Grey Zone,” your mind simply does not seem to leave you alone.
While you are performing a task, you think about something else … your body is here, but your mind is not present.
When the mind goes to a completely different universe, it is like we are in coma from current tasks, activities and projects.
And eventually things take longer than expected, because while our mind is wondering and thinking about unrelated things, time goes by, and you end up getting nothing done at the end of the day.
There’s this feeling of guilt and obligation to do something else, instead of focusing on what you are working on right now.
How to overtime this temptation in order to maintain focus?
Here’s an exercise for you…
Get a piece of paper and a pen, right now, and start writing everything that’s in your mind. I mean everything!
- Things you should be doing
- People you should meet
- Tasks that are not finished
- Current crisis and problems with someone else that you are having
- Problems in your business and personal life
- Fears about what you are going to lose, if you do not take action
- And … write until you exhaust all possible
Do it now, I am serious, because if you do not you are going to lose your ability to focus in general.
Take about 15-30 minutes to do this and come back to this article…
Did you do it? I am watching you…
Do you see the little camera in your computer, it is me looking at you :-]
Ok, you have to do this, in order to eliminate one the biggest time wasters of the human psyche – the mind.
If you feel a little weird or exhausted from this exercise, take a break!
Now, take a close look of what you wrote…
…there are usually things that are not possible to do right now or to do them yourself…
However, if there are things on that list that frustrate you the more than others, and actually you postpone them for some reason, you may want to read my article on overcoming procrastination that’s going to help you eliminate the temptation to procrastinate once and for all.
Transfer all things that you have control over in a different sheet of paper, from the things you wrote in “part 1,” and see which of these you can do right now to eliminate them.
Our mind stops to wonder about anything only when it is solved. If there is no resolution in your mind, it is going to keep bothering you, even when you have to work.
It is like “a shadow” that’s following you all the time…
That’s why making this list of things that makes you wonder and worry is important to do, and as you look at it, you’ll see what you can do right now to eliminate each one of those things, instead of letting them run wild in your mind.
Let me give you an example.
I worry because my dog is sick, she swings around as she walks, just as if she’s drunk. Do not want to eat, do not want to drink, just lay down on the floor all day long.
Her eyes are just about to close. I get it, maybe she’s at the edge of death. It is normal, you know everybody will die sooner or later.
But this thought of not seeing your dog again may bother you day in and day out, especially as you trying to work. So write down on a peace of paper:
“I worry because my doggy is about to die, and maybe I won’t be able to see her again. But hey, as long as I am alive, I’ll remember the good moments we had together, all the laughs, all the joy, and all the problems she caused along the way. It is time now to move on, because life did not stop for me, I’ve got dreams to feed…”
When you do this, it is going to free up you mind from that fear that’s bothering you – the fear of loss.
Eventually we all have that at some point in our lives, it is inevitable. It may not be just your dog, but people from your family, perhaps friends.
If there’s something you do not have control over, and if it is in our “worry list,” you want to find a resolution in your mind that’s going to allow you to FREE YOURSELF from the trapping emotions of loss, worry and wondering.
For all other things you have control over, but are in your “worry list,” take action today, and eliminate them one by one.
Example: I worry that I do not have enough traffic to my site. Ok, so how to get traffic? Pay per click is the fastest way, social media, writing articles, starting a blog (RSS feeds), etc. When you worry about not having enough traffic, it is clearly something that you have control over, and if you take action TODAY to get traffic to your site and do nothing else until you get some substantial amount of traffic to test out things. This alone is going to completely eliminate that worry just as you’ve identified it on that “worry list.”
You do not want to resist something you do not have control over…
Because when you deny or resist something, it gets bigger and uglier
As you resist the temptation of not wanting something to happen, or worrying too much about it, you are actually putting energy into it, by thinking about it all the time. The more you think about those things, the more your mind calculates possible theoretical resolutions, but since they are not practical, you are going to thinking about them for longer period of time. It’s a mental trap.
Here’s an example: when you have a pain, and when you try to resist that pain as you are experience it, you are actually causing that pain to get stronger, because of that resistance.
I’ve got a friend of mine, who got a surgery, and after the surgery, there was this dull pain in her chest.
And every time she tried to resist that pain by tightening up her muscles that alone was generating even more pain.
So when you have those thoughts in your mind that you do not have control over, like worrying about the weather tomorrow, or worrying about how much traffic you are going to get in a way to work tomorrow… so that you can get on time… those things steal your attention, and you can’t really focus on the moment and work on your current projects and tasks for your business.
If you resist those thoughts, you give yourself reasons to get interrupted, by worrying about those events.
If it is a lot of traffic tomorrow, say to yourself, ok, I am going to leave earlier this morning and that’s going to RESOLVE that issue in your mind.
Every there’s something that you worry about, but do not have control over, you can simply figure out a way to convince yourself that there’s always something you can to do prevent that from happening by taking a certain action.