How To Gain Laser Focus And Cut OUT Distraction

Wednesday LIVE with Evie #51

  • Here’s the scenario – you’re at your desk, trusty to-do list at your side and you suddenly find yourself wondering how you ended up scrolling through this FB group or on this website And what is it you’re actually WANTED to be working on anyway? (1:54/-17:51)
  • Here are my top 3 ways to avoid that scenario: (2:26/-17:19)
    1. Getting enough sleep
      • “Many people are surprised to learn that researchers have discovered a single treatment that improves memory, increases people’s ability to concentrate, strengthens the immune system, and decreases people’s risk of being killed in accidents. Sound to be good to be true? It gets even better. The treatment is completely free, even for people who have no health insurance. It also has no side effects. Finally, most people consider the treatment highly enjoyable. Would you try it?

        You probably should. For most people, this treatment would consist of getting an extra 60-90 minutes of sleep each night. Both psychologists and psychiatrists have been arguing for years that one of the most significant and overlooked public health problems in the U.S. is that many American adults are chronically sleep deprived. That is, very few Americans regularly obtain the 8 or more hours of sleep that almost all adults need each night. The consequences of this chronic sleep deprivation can truly be disastrous. Laboratory experiments on the effects of sleep deprivation have shown that failing to get enough sleep dramatically impairs memory and concentration while increasing levels of stress hormones and disrupting the body’s normal metabolism. Research outside the laboratory further suggests that long term sleep deprivation leads to greater susceptibility to motor vehicle accidents and may even lead to premature aging.”

      • So, if you’re having problems focusing or being distracted, maybe you need more sleep
    2. Have a to-do list (6:33/-13:12)
      • Why have a to-do list?
        • As David Allen says “Your brain is for having ideas, not holding them”
          • having a to-do list means you don’t have to remember what needs to be done, you have a list
          • And when you finish one task you don’t have to mentally go through everything to decide what to work on next (trying to remember what your priorities are) – you’ve already done that
          • So, you can easily move on to the next item
        • Your brain can only hold about 7 pieces of information at once. In David Rocks book “Your Brain at Work” he describes our brain as a theater and only so many thoughts can have our attention (or be on stage) at once. So, if you’re trying to remember everything you need to do – you’re bound to forget something – even if it’s waiting in the wings.
      • Pomodoro Technique (9:12/-10:33)
    3. Minimize distractions (10:29/-9:16)
      • What is most likely to distract you during your day?
        • Social Media or email on your computer? Close the tabs and decide what time you’ll look at them and for how long
        • Text messages or alerts (from social media or email) – turn off the sound on your phone OR if you still find yourself looking at your phone at regular intervals to check it – put your phone in another room
        • Something else? Think about what you can do to prevent or manage that distraction
        • Maybe it’s the phone, but you need to be available to answer it? Can you carve 1 hour (or more if needed) where you aren’t available?
    4. And a bonus tip is to take regular breaks (15:30/-4:15)
      • Your mind and body need breaks!
      • Go get (and drink!) a glass of water, go to the bathroom, play with your dog or cat for 5 minutes, take the dog for a quick walk – or just take yourself for a walk around the block (or down the cul-de-sac)
      • Something to give your brain something else to do for a bit and move your body
  • So, 4 questions to ask yourself to stay focused (16:55/-2:50)
    1. Am I getting enough sleep?
    2. Do I have a to-do list?
    3. What can I do to minimize my distractions?
    4. What will my breaks look like today?
  • Let me know what you do to stay focused and cut out distraction (17:25/-2:20)
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