Life would be much easier without obstacles. We could achieve everything we need. I always have this feeling that if some situation would have been better, then I would have achieved all my goals. But, I realized that we are held back due to disturbances and not due to obstacles. This might sound confusing. For, e.g. You might want to go to next level in your organization. The tough competition from your colleagues is your biggest obstacle, as only the best gets the promotion. But, Instead of focusing on performance we involve ourselves in gossiping, complaining and many more negative situations and those are your disturbances.
I always knew that I have to take action if I need to achieve something in life, but still I lose focus most of the time. This is not because the path is difficult, but because my mind involves me in disturbances. Our mind is not conditioned to focus. Even if we are busy in preparing for exam or for any critical report in the office, we tend to go for surfing the net or messaging. We never realize this as it has become our normal way of life. Now for one moment imagine that you don’t have any disturbances and all your focus is on your task. Do you think that you can get better result? Off-course you can and you know that. All we need is to condition our mind to focus where we really want to and order it to stay there for a longer time. Let us see how can we do that.
Make the list – Prepare a list of tasks you want to finish for today as a first step itself. Here, you are setting up the tone for the entire day and this also gives a message to your mind that it better focus on the tasks. I list down the most important things I need to finish today. It helps me to work on them as we are bombarded with many things to do. If we don’t make the list, then we get confused and end up spending time on social networking site as that is easy and fun to some extent.
Disconnection – Completely disconnect yourself from disturbances like net surfing and messaging during the time you want to focus. I have stopped all the notifications in my mobile except call and SMS. You can also avoid distractions by putting your phone away or by disconnecting the net or by blocking the sites through software. Don’t leave any way where you can go back to your old habits, at least during productivity time. You will still try to reach your mobile or will try to read the news site, but now they are out of your reach. Slowly you will develop the habit of spending time only on the tasks and you might not have to consciously block sites or phone.
Morning routine – How you spend your morning will decide how will you spend your entire day. Please make sure that you start your day with positive habits like prayer, gratitude or soft music. Do not reach out to your mobile. World will not stop if you do not read your social messages first thing in the morning. I had this bad habit of checking WhatsApp messages as soon as I get up. My mind used to tell me that someone might have sent you urgent messages. I was in this trap for a long time, but as the time passed, I realized that no one has any urgent requirement. It is also logical that if someone needs you urgently, then they wont send you Whatsapp message. They had better call you.
Allocate special time – I know that it is important to stay connected and we all love to see what is happening in other people’s lives. It is difficult to completely stop it. For me, I have allocated 5 mins of the day to check any social sites. This allows me to not peep into Facebook every 15 mins. The important thing is that you need to stick to this 5 mins.
Unsubscribe – We get so many emails everyday from the sites we registered as we wanted the free gifts they were offering. This is a big marketing scam where they take our email ids for all their future advertisement. Whenever you see such mails, click unsubscribe at the same moment or you can just send it to spam.
Stare – I learned one technique called “Tratak” in yoga. In this, we have to just stare at the candle without blinking. It help to clear your mind and improve your focus. As many of us cannot follow this in daily life, we can stare at some object for some time. Only thing you need to ensure is that you don’t allow your mind to wander.
Ask for help from your family – Strong family support is very important for our milestones in life. Without their support we cannot reach higher. Similarly they can help in handling your disturbances. Inform them that they have full right to trouble you or hit you if you move your fingers for surfing during your productivity time. You can also help them in the same way.
Reflection – It is a good habit to reflect on what we have achieved at the end of the day. I don’t do it daily, but many times I try to review if my day went as I had planned. Unfortunately most of the days don’t go as per our plan. Don’t get upset. In fact, it help us to plan our next day better. We come to know as where time was spent inefficiently and can avoid it on next day. At least you won’t have a question of “How did I spend my entire day?”
Exercise or go for a walk – Exercise is oversold, but less implemented. We see many articles and videos and advertisements to force us to do exercise and they all make it look very difficult. In reality it is easy. Just go for a walk. It will help you to keep your body and mind fit. Most of the successful people spend their morning with some kinds of exercise. It helps them to stay energized and focused during the whole day.
Relaxation – Don’t you feel rejuvenated after that stunning spa session? You don’t have to spend money and go to Spa every day. You can relax at home by turning soft music and by lighting scented candles. Relaxation helps you to get rid of anxiety and stress which are the main enemies of your productivity. Stress does not allow you to make the right decision as you are always in fear. Get rid of it and become more productive.