Focus

Focus Triggers


Focus

Photo credit: StockUnlimited.com

I have to admit it’s not easy to focus here while I’m writing these words. Although I’m sitting in my home office, there are too many distractions. My youngest boy is sleeping in the room next to me, and there’s a good chance he wakes up in only a few minutes.
My eldest son is watching the Olympic games next to me, and one of his judo friends is fighting now. Therefore my son is more than excited. I guess he’s got an almost as big adrenaline rush as if he were the one on the tatami in Rio.

Still, I try writing. I keep trying.

My desk sees to our backyard, which is a quiet area. Birds come and go, and as I watch the grass, I realize that it’s time to mow the lawn. I’m glad the gardeners come tomorrow.
And also, I realize I should declutter my desk.
And do the laundry.
Too bad the maid just canceled the next two weeks unexpectedly.

And I want to read at least twenty books.
It would be great sitting in my favorite chair in our backyard, with coffee in my favorite mug, and just listen to the birds, drink my coffee slowly, and read a good book. Maybe eat some ice cream, too…

But wait. I should finish this blog post today.
And I have a deadline for another article in less than two days.

I should focus now.

I HAVE TO focus.

I’m sure you also know this feeling. When there are so many things to do, and several deadlines get closer and closer, maybe you even miss some of them. And while getting more and more stressed about the zillion tasks you have to do, you cannot finish any of them.

I learned the hard way that working and living this way is not sustainable.

The technique I use on days like this might be still not perfect, but it works for me.

First of all, it needs some self-awareness. You have to know what takes you into Flow. For example, I write like a charm after a long walk or intensive exercise. Also, I like writing in a café.
So the first thing is to observe yourself and find out what makes you work the best.

Then, use this observation the other way.
If you’re like me, and can be inspired by a walk, then do a walk before you sit down to write.
If you have some music that makes you feel inspired, listen to that music before or while you write.
Maybe you have to touch your forehead three times with your left thumb before public speaking.
Maybe you have to drink a special tea before important meetings.
Or dance. Or jump. Or wear a special gadget or jewelry.

You get the point.

These anchors or triggers can help you to get into Flow whenever and wherever you want if you know how to use them for your benefit. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Identify what makes you focus better on what you do. Let’s call these anchors to be your “triggers.”
  2. Make small rituals before you start working / writing / speaking / etc., which include the proper trigger.
  3. Use trigger, do the ritual EVERY TIME you want to do your particular task. It makes your brain learn that it has to switch to TURBO mode whenever the trigger fires.
  4. Enjoy your new power to enhance personal performance!

I practice this every time I want to focus on my writing. Like now. You see, even this blog post is done. Time to focus on my next article!

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