Fast Focus By Damon Zahariades

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Some people feel comfortable working with background noises while others enjoy silence. Experiment and find out which one works best for you.
  3. 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.
  4. Monitor the temperature of the room. For example, a too warm room will cause you to sleep.
  5. Breathe clean air.
  6. Practice aromatherapy. Some scents have a direct impact on your mood, mind and effectiveness.
  7. Avoid social situations if you want to work. Human nature makes us drawn to people but interacting with people decrease your focus.
  8. 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.
  9. Monitor your time to measure your progress.
  10. Write down your ideas and tasks so they don’t monopolize your thoughts.

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Strategies to overcome mind-wandering

There are several tactics to increase your focus, to relax and to avoid the biggest distractions in your life.

  1. 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.
  2. Don’t set too many daily goals and limit yourself to 5 tasks daily or else you will feel overwhelmed and pressured.
  3. Identify the purpose for every task.
  4. Exercise first thing in the morning.
  5. Avoid ignoring the ideas and thoughts floating around in your head. Log them down quickly before you forget them.
  6. Identify “internal or external stimuli” that break your concentration.
  7. Record every task that you must undertake by putting them down via a to do list.
  8. To sharpen your focus, to enter the zone and boost your performance, listen to music or nurture silence.
  9. Take regular breaks and naps to refresh your mind, to refresh your mind and to avoid boredom.
  10. Restore your focus by taking a short walk instead of remaining at your desk.
  11. Multitasking is valued by society. However, attacking one task at a time will help increase your performance and your work quality.
  12. Pack all similar activities into one and execute them in a row while monitoring your time.
  13. Break down your day into several tasks and allocate the time necessary for each task.
  14. Stay away from internet.
  15. Spend less time in meetings or avoid meetings all together as they can clog up your day and as they hold little value.
  16. Set boundaries and expectations about your time and your focus.
  17. Turn off your phone for long periods of time.
  18. Observe how your energy fluctuates during the day and use moments where your energy is high to achieve high productivity.
  19. Mediate and take care of your inner peace.
  20. Stop checking your mails frantically. Instead, keep track of your inbox once or twice a day.
  21. 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.
  22. Stay away from perfectionism.
  23. Completely edit the first draft then come back to correct your mistakes.
  24. Stop “consuming too much caffeine” because it is unhealthy and reduces your ability to concentrate.

Review

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.

Favorite quote(s)

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.

Ratings 2.5/5

Author

Damon Zahariades

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Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself By Henri Junttila

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila is a self-help book that encourages people to find their passion and get the life they want.

Finding your passion is about exploration, living the life of your dreams, getting out of your comfort zone, overcoming obstacles and bringing out your inner joy.

Passion is waking up energized and motivated to do the things you love. It means being able to persist through adversity.

To identify and live your passion, Henri Junttila poses 25 questions that will help you assess yourself, overcome roadblocks and successfully create your life goals.

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself By Henri Junttila

Self-Assessment

First, you must get to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your interests.

Your definition of passion

According to Henri Junttila, you must first discover what the word passion means to you and what it means to people around you. You must also be able to envision yourself living a passionate life and find out how it feels to be passionate.

Keep in mind that your passion is personal, internal and intrinsic to your being. It is not what society, friends and family tell you it should be.

Talents, strengths and weaknesses

Everyone has a gift and it is your duty to find out what you are gifted at because most of the time, your passions lie within your gifts.

Besides, tapping into your strengths will make you a happier person. Not doing so will definitely make you feel miserable, out of focus, burnt out.

It is therefore detrimental to:

  • Explore every single one of your interests and natural inclinations. For example, what do you find yourself naturally talking about? People can have several passions. They should explore all of them and see which ones resonates the most.
  • Remind yourself of your dreams, strengths and passions as a child.
  • Analyze the reasons why you are interested in certain activities.
  • Evaluate the advice that is requested from you and the advice that you give.
  • Take strengths and weaknesses assessment tests.
  • Analyze your situation, how people feel about you.
  • Do things that are out of your comfort zone.
  • Value your natural gifts.
  • Find out how you can apply your strengths in different areas of your life.
  • Don’t take advice from people but instead follow your gut.
  • Strengthen the connection to your inner voice. Your intuition has your best interest and can never lead you astray.
  • Determine what angers and disturbs you so you can avoid settling for mediocrity.

Making A Life Plan

Goals ate milestones. They are there to measure your progress and your passion.

  • Figure out your life goals in five or ten years.
  • Identify the pros and the cons of success. Check if they are worthwhile and if you can tolerate them. Usually the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.
  • Work like you will succeed and dream like you cannot fail.
  • Visualize your goals, yourself living a successful life and take the steps needed to achieve that.
  • Detail your plan and the life you want.
  • Improve your problem solving sills.
  • Don’t make assumptions.

Finding Your Passion and Self-sabotaging

We are sometimes our worst enemy. Our assumptions about people or about ourselves are hard to shift or to disable. And sometimes, they can hold us back.

To get rid of the debilitating assumptions that you make about yourself:

  • Find out what you hate, what would hinder you as a human being, what you wouldn’t do, what would go against your core values.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Don’t impose limits to your imagination.
  • Change your perspective on your problems.
  • Review your systems of belief and integrate the ideas needed to succeed.
  • Don’t listen to naysayers. This is hard because naysayers are mostly family and close friends who are afraid of facing their own realities and who are afraid that you will outgrow them.
  • Dream big but don’t settle.
  • Don’t give up on yourself and your dreams.
  • Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed.

Overcoming Factors Out Of Your Control

In life, there a numerous obstacles to success and to happiness: money, death and other factors.

Indeed, money or lack thereof is limiting. People need money to go after their passion, to recover from failure, to have the opportunity to explore, to remove fear.

However, finding your passion is all about being resilient and understanding that not everything is going to go your way. You must also:

  • Understand that to every problem there are multiple solutions.
  • Understand that nothing will never be perfect and that there is no right time to start.
  • Don’t be afraid of failure or of success. Work like you cannot fail.
  • Follow your passion whether you have money or not.
  • Even when facing obstacles or feeling stuck, take baby steps no matter what.
  • Think about your own death and the legacy you want to leave. Thinking about your own death will help you prioritize and focus on the essentials.

Review

Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself by Henri Junttila is a relatable, quick and easy to read book that helps you to get to know and love yourself just the way you are.

It is primarily written for people who feel lost in the world, who are fearful, who go through life without passion or without a clear purpose. The silver lining is that it’s never too late to find and follow your passions.

In Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself, Henri Junttila was able to share all this useful information in such a concise book. He also provides us with additional insightful questions and a complete workbook, which makes the book completely unreadable without a paper and a pen.

It is imperative that you keep this book close by, that you take your time to answer these questions and that you don’t censor yourself. Your answers may not come to you at first but you can always revisit the book.

Be authentic with the world and with yourself and you will never fail.

Favorite quote(s)

When I see people limit themselves, I get angry. I see the potential in people, but they don’t do anything about it. They settle for mediocrity, and they believe they can’t do better.

Living a passionate life doesn’t happen overnight. It’s hard work, and it’s not as glamorous as people make it out to be. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after it. It simply means that it takes more work than you’d expect.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Henri Junttila

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy

In Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want, Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy suggest that we define a plan for our lives. They introduce us to the concept of Life Planning and show us how to implement the process.

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What is a Life Plan?

According to Hyatt and Harkavy, “A Life Plan is a short written document, usually five to fifteen pages long“. The Life Plan is personal, describes your priorities, the steps to reach your goals and the legacy you want to leave.

It is a life long process, that can continually be adjusted and improved. A Life Plan doesn’t shield you from life challenges and failures. Instead, it will help you create intention for your life.

It is common to have a career plan but no Life Plan. The Life Plan enables you to:

  • Set priorities and stick to them.
  • Stop sacrificing yourself, to stop trading health and time for work, career advancement, accolades or money.
  • Filter out opportunities. As you get older and as you get experiences, opportunity coming your way will multiply. It is therefore important to know where your priorities lie and what opportunity to choose.
  • Avoid distractions, confront and deal with reality.
  • Avoid the feeling of being stuck and allow you to keep your eyes on the future.
  • Avoid regrets and increase your level of control.

The drift and its consequences

Most people drift away from their dreams because:

  • They are unaware that their ideas and assumptions are inaccurate and harmful.
  • There is a discrepancy between their beliefs and reality.
  • They are distracted, are spread too thin or too busy to focus on their lives and to start prioritizing.
  • They don’t understand that there is hope, that they can change and that they have more control over their lives than they think.

When you drift away from your dreams and when you don’t have a Life Plan, you tend to:

  • Lack meaning and purpose.
  • Waste your time and other valuable resources on meaningless tasks.
  • Lose opportunities and their sense of urgency. People who drift away procrastinate and are unable to discern a good opportunity from a bad.
  • Experience trouble more intensely because they are unprepared.
  • Take a passive approach to life, shift blame and live in regrets.

Designing and implementing your Life Plan

To design your Life Plan, it is necessary to outline your legacy, to set your priorities, get clarity on your objectives and to reserve one day to build your Life Plan.

Outlining your legacy

To design your Life Plan, keep in mind that everybody leaves a legacy, face your mortality and begin with the end in mind. It is critical to write your Life Plan like you are writing your eulogy, to imagine how you want others to remember you and to stay committed to the process.

Setting your priorities

Getting more clarity on your objectives will definitely increase your commitment. To do so, you must steer clear from external expectations and do what is right for you.

Getting clarity on objectives

  • Identify your purpose.
  • Project yourself into the future, picture yourself in it and imagine all the different positive outcomes. To make your vision much more compelling, write down in the present tense what you hear, feel, see, smell and taste.
  • Find and apply a quote that inspires you.
  • Make an honest assessment of your current progress.
  • Commit to specific, measurable, actionable, realistic and time-bond goals.

Devote one day to your Life Plan

Hyatt & Harkavy recommend that you schedule one day to create your Life Plan. Needless to say, the Life plan should be implemented starting the next day.

It is necessary to allow yourself to dream, to not expect perfection and to not get distracted.

Implement your plan

Implementing the Life Plan is the most challenging part. It is necessary to:

  • Include your Life Plan in your everyday routine.
  • Fight the feeling of being overwhelmed by life’s drama.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no or to disappoint others.
  • Read your plan daily and review it often.

Review

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy is an easy to read self-help book that is based on some of their traumatic experiences. It is destined to increase our focus, to helps us find out what matters most, to acquire meaning and fulfillment in our everyday life, to allow us to prioritize our lives and to contribute effectively,

This book is written for people who are looking for a better direction for their life because they are either:

  • unsatisfied with the current state of their lives,
  • lack purpose,
  • seeking more balance,
  • unable to overcome life challenges,
  • noticing that their lives don’t fit their vision or dream,
  • not reaching their full potential.

The earlier we start creating and implementing a Life Plan, the better.

Favorite quote(s)

Living Forward will heighten your sense of what’s truly possible for you in life. If you feel out of balance, aware that your current pace is unsustainable; if you are making great gains professionally but don’t want to neglect personal priorities; if you want to have better focus to succeed financially; if you have gone through a recent tragedy and suddenly become aware that life is short; if any of those are true, this book is for you.

I know that how we lead ourselves in life impacts how we lead those around us. Self-leadership always precedes team leadership. We must have a balanced approach to accumulating net worth in all of the critical accounts in our lives, not just one or two. Ultimately this allows us to make the greatest difference and adds the most value to those around us. It is possible to grow at work without diminishing other areas of our lives. Living forward helps us find and maintain our balance.

Ratings 4/5

Author

Daniel Harkavy

Michael Hyatt