In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!, Damon Zahariades provides tools and strategies to manage your ability to focus.
What is focus?
Focus is the concentration required to consciously block out the noise and the distractions while performing a task.
The ability to focus can be a natural talent. But for most of us, it is a built-in habit, a skill which means it can be learnt.
Why do you need to effectively manage your attention?
Focus can positively impact your life. A lack of focus will reduce your effectiveness and your work quality.
Lack of focus or mind-wandering is not all negative. It helps us get in time with our creative side and find solutions to difficult circumstances.
However, gaining better focus will help you finish all your tasks on time, make better decisions, solve problems, become more productivity, get a successful work/life balance, embrace failure and learn from your mistakes.
By improving your focus, you can reserve your energy for relationships, build stronger connections, become more present, increase your memory, achieve greater self-confidence, handle and overcome adversity.
Why are people so unfocused?
Nobody is impervious to distraction. People are easily distracted because they usually:
- lack interest, are unable to commit or stay engaged to a particular task.
- lack emotional intelligence and are submerged by fear.
- are disorganized and don’t structure their day.
- lack energy. They don’t sleep, eat or exercise correctly.
- lack control or discipline.
Creating an environment to focus
Designing the proper environment is the first way to zero in on your task and to harmonize your workflow:
- Light up your work environment and always take advantage of your natural light. A low lighting makes you drowsy, strains your eyes and decrease your learning abilities.
- Some people feel comfortable working with background noises while others enjoy silence. Experiment and find out which one works best for you.
- Consider your level of physical comfort. To do so, you can adjust your clothes, your stationary, your sitting position, your sitting time and your sight line.
- Monitor the temperature of the room. For example, a too warm room will cause you to sleep.
- Breathe clean air.
- Practice aromatherapy. Some scents have a direct impact on your mood, mind and effectiveness.
- Avoid social situations if you want to work. Human nature makes us drawn to people but interacting with people decrease your focus.
- Organize and declutter your workspace. Clutter affects your focus more than you think because it decreases your processing abilities, hurts your creativity and occupies your memory space.
- Monitor your time to measure your progress.
- Write down your ideas and tasks so they don’t monopolize your thoughts.
Strategies to overcome mind-wandering
There are several tactics to increase your focus, to relax and to avoid the biggest distractions in your life.
- As stated above, it is essential to monitor your time, to set realistic deadlines, to reward yourself and break down your tasks in smaller steps.
- Don’t set too many daily goals and limit yourself to 5 tasks daily or else you will feel overwhelmed and pressured.
- Identify the purpose for every task.
- Exercise first thing in the morning.
- Avoid ignoring the ideas and thoughts floating around in your head. Log them down quickly before you forget them.
- Identify “internal or external stimuli” that break your concentration.
- Record every task that you must undertake by putting them down via a to do list.
- To sharpen your focus, to enter the zone and boost your performance, listen to music or nurture silence.
- Take regular breaks and naps to refresh your mind, to refresh your mind and to avoid boredom.
- Restore your focus by taking a short walk instead of remaining at your desk.
- Multitasking is valued by society. However, attacking one task at a time will help increase your performance and your work quality.
- Pack all similar activities into one and execute them in a row while monitoring your time.
- Break down your day into several tasks and allocate the time necessary for each task.
- Stay away from internet.
- Spend less time in meetings or avoid meetings all together as they can clog up your day and as they hold little value.
- Set boundaries and expectations about your time and your focus.
- Turn off your phone for long periods of time.
- Observe how your energy fluctuates during the day and use moments where your energy is high to achieve high productivity.
- Mediate and take care of your inner peace.
- Stop checking your mails frantically. Instead, keep track of your inbox once or twice a day.
- Define a daily routine and follow it. Routines facilitates your life, enables ow brain processing. You can use that same brain power to accomplish your tasks.
- Stay away from perfectionism.
- Completely edit the first draft then come back to correct your mistakes.
- Stop “consuming too much caffeine” because it is unhealthy and reduces your ability to concentrate.
Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time! is a pragmatic, complete, quick and easy to read self-help book.
In Fast Focus, a quick-start guide to mastering your attention, ignoring distractions, and getting more done in less time!, Damon Zahariades shares valuable tips on how to increase your productivity and your focus.
Damon Zahariades shares his preferences and also incorporates practical links and tools to enable your productivity.
It is a step by step guide, written for leaders, for people from all walks of life, for those who are easily distracted by social media, for those who procrastinate, who daydream easily and those with low productivity.
I like the fact that this books highlights the fact that so many things, concepts and institutions in life are purposely set up to distract us from reality: from the local bully to the background music in the stores to technology and internet.
All these distractions are the reason why most people procrastinate and never achieve their version of success.
When we lack a specific purpose, we become more susceptible to distractions. We focus on whatever our brains tell us to focus on, rather than the other way around. We become passengers rather than drivers.