My name is Pascal Okeke, Just like your body: if you train regularly, you’ll become an athlete; but if you spend your days on the sofa, you’ll become a couch potato.
Whatever you do, you get good at.
I have met people who have in one time or the other asked me questions on how they can become a better version of themselves by being focus, So today, i will list out few habits that drain your focus and hold you back from being able to own your day and get everything done.
PLANNING TO ACTION
I change the same landing page 3 – 4 times a year.
I have this friend on #ZuckerVille who must have sent me 10 different pitch decks of the same thing.
A client used to plan the same spreadsheet every week.
Though one of my favourite quotes is “a battle is won before it is ever fought”, the truth is that planning without action is useless.
When you keep tweaking your plan, colouring up your spreadsheet, changing the top of a landing page…without taking any action, all you’re really doing is planning to plan.
This is a great excuse to procrastinate and avoid taking action. It also disrupts your focus, as it provides an easy way to get distracted.
And not do the actual work.
In 2016, I read two books about dating and relationships. I went on a few dates earlier that year and…let’s say I wasn’t too happy with the raw material. I clearly had to change my strategy.
When I closed the second book, I was pretty confused. I knew what I needed to do: take some action.
The first time I spoke to a girl,, my right leg was shaking so much, I looked like a tip tap dancer.
She said yes. I asked for her number. She said yes.
I hand over my oversized phone (still trembling). Success.
When I felt confused, it was tempting to read a third book.
Would that have got me a girl’s number? I doubt it.
Somehow, we think that reading a book about business will get you closer to being a business owner. Or that a book about dating psychology will make you an irresistible seducer. Reading more makes us feel accomplished.
But actually, whenever you read a self-help book, the work starts when you close the book, not when you open it. That’s why I like to have at least one takeaway from each book, so I can implement it straight away, and see whether it’s for me or not.
When you open another book instead, you are just procrastinating by seeking more information. Without action, you don’t need more information.
That’s infocrastination. Expecting the book (or blogpost) to do the work for you.
Since there are around 1 million new books published every year, it’s easy to get lost down the rabbit hole.
Read. Action. Repeat.
NOTIFICATIONS AND DISTRACTIONS
I kept checking my phone.
It started with me waiting for a message and then…I just kept doing it.
What was I doing?
My phone was training me. Or maybe I was doing it all myself.
By looking at notifications, I was getting used to expecting more. So I would look even when there were none. Heck, I wanted more!
Same with being able to google every useless question that came to mind.
I kept googling things I’d never remember, instead of creating timeless memories.
We love notifications, because they make us feel needed. Like stuff is happening, and it’s happening NOW.
Our brain loves notifications, because every time you complete a task -no matter how small- it gets rewarded with a spike of dopamine, the feel-good chemical.
They’re actually chemically addictive.
Now the choice is this: you can spend your day replying to messages, emails, calls, and all the likes, or you can switch off and focus on making real progress on what matters to you.
In the first case, you’ll feel good throughout the day, and awful at the end of the day.
In the second case, you’ll feel kinda bad throughout the day, and amazing at the end of the day and at the end of the week.
But you have to choose.
You can’t have the constant stream of interruptions and information and also want to never be distracted. It’s either or.
We often want to stay focused on one thing, but at the same time work on many other things.
With phones, tablets, laptops, emails, whatsapps, messages, slacks, instagrams, colleagues, peoples, younameit, we have a constant stream of communication wanting our attention.
Talk about staying focused.
That’s like saying “I want to diet, but I’ll eat whatever I want”.
The best technique to stay focused is to mono-task on one thing at a time.
Studies have now shown that multi-tasking is not only a myth, it’s really bad.
When you multitask your brain keeps switching between tasks very quickly. But your attention is spread (very thin) across all the different things you do. It’s like having one project manager for 100 projects. It won’t end well.
Multitasking is also shown to lower your IQ by 10 points.
When you think that the average IQ is 90 to 100, well, yeah, that’s a big deal.
So, the best way to stay focused is to mono-task.
Do less things, and get rid of unnecessary distractions.
Hide your phone, block your emails.
I like to use Freedom to block distracting apps from my phone and laptop.
It sounds hypocritical, but by working on one thing at a time you will get so much more done. Because instead of opening a lot of different tasks, you will finally start closing a lot of different tasks.
When it comes to sleep, most people max out their sleep Bank Account.
Instead of getting a good night sleep, they stretch their day out as much as possible to fit in more things. This is usual due to either:
Not working on the right things (and wanting to keep going)
Leaving yourself last (and then not wanting to wrap up a mediocre day)
Here’s the issue: when you extend your day into the evening, all you’re doing is borrowing time from tomorrow. You’re not creating new time.
It’s like using a credit card. In fact, tomorrow you’ll be tired, you’ll wake up late and have a shorter day, and be stuck in the negative cycle.
Your focus will be terrible, and you won’t be able to get anything done so…you’ll stretch your day out into the night again.
In other words, you’ll be paying those hours back with interest.
I may not have made good points but then, You can discuss the rest with me on the Comment Box.