7 Strategies to Be More Focused

It is difficult to stay focused in a world filled with constant distraction. 

Leveraging a few simple daily habits to shield us from the unimportant will help you focus on what matters most.

1. Make Time Your Ally

Time is by far your most precious asset.

It moves forward regardless of how we chose to use it.

We can invest it on things that matter or waste it on frivolous things.

2. Health Matters

Health is a key contributor to our ability to focus. Eating quality whole foods and living an active lifestyle make it easier to concentrate and stay engaged with important tasks.

3. Go With the Flow

Your energy levels ebb and flow daily according to predictable patterns based on the way you are wired. Some people are early risers and more focused in the morning, while others are more productive in the afternoon or evenings.

You will be more focused and productive by scheduling your most important work during periods of peak energy. 

When by Daniel Pink is a fantastic book on this topic.

4. Follow the Map

It is hard to know what to focus on if you don’t know where you are going. Most people do not operate from a strategic plan for their life or work. 

Without this guide, it is impossible to know how where to invest your time to reach your goals.

I recommend three books on this topic: Why4 Disciplines of Execution, and The 12 Week Year.

5. Environment

The environment you are working in has a significant impact on your ability to focus. The ideal environment depends on your personality and the task at hand.

I enjoy working in coffee shops and find them to be a productive environment. 

Where do you do your best work?

6. Block and Tackle on Paper

I have developed a hybrid digital and paper-based productivity system to help me maximize my time. I use OmniFocus as a master task list.

Each morning, I review my calendar, goals for the week, and master task list to decide on the most important tasks for the day. I hand write these tasks and block out time in my paper planner.

Writing out my daily tasks and organizing my day around them makes me much more likely to complete them.

7. Work in Sprints

I am a fan of the Pomodoro technique. Work hard for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. Repeat for 4 cycles and take an extended break.

One thing I have learned with this technique is to take full advantage of the breaks. Completely unplug from your work so your mind can rest and work on processing things in the subconscious. I try to take a walk or do something active to keep my energy levels up during the break.

Wrap Up

None of the things I shared above are rocket science. In fact, most people know they need to do these things.

What steps can you take today to be more focused and productive?

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