I have asked myself over and over again, what is the common denominator of all those personalities that I admire, who have known how to follow their intuition and develop their talents in a way that transcends the normal, and they become extraordinary beings, who manage to transform entire societies, or even generations.
The realm in which these people have succeeded appears to be irrelevant. Whether they are prominent people in science and psychology such as the great thinkers of the ancient time of humanity (Galileo, Socrates, Aristotle …) as more recent scientific figures (Newton, Einstein, Kepler), successful entrepreneurs of the modern world, or people outstanding in sports or the arts; in reality, no matter what area I investigate, I always find similarities in the way these people managed to break through the barriers of the common and catapult themselves into the world of the extraordinary, of the divine.
It does not matter so much where do you come from; nor what intellectual abilities you have. In fact, talent alone does not lead to success either – it is the focus and discipline combined with the constant effort of performing tasks and activities over a period of time- that makes you reach more than you ever thought possible.
Talent without focus is like wanting to travel from one point to another, say, London to New York, without choosing a specific route and just following all possible directions. A millimeter deviation in direction may not mean much in an instant, but if applied consistently, it can take you to a completely different place than you planned
How to achieve focus and concentration on the important areas of our lives? It is a question that constantly haunts my head. After all, we live in a world full of distractions. Just when you get up every morning, a check to your mobile, or turning on the television, results in huge amounts of information reaching your head and flooding you completely.
Here ‘s how you can improve your focus powers:
1. Connect your life purpose with a strong desire to make it happen
Having focus and discipline seems like easy task, but in reality, it requires enormous will power. Beyond the will, I dare to say for sure that it requires unconditional love and an unwavering passion for what you do and what you want to achieve. It’s connecting that desire for purpose with your deepest love. In this way, it is not possible not to be able to focus, or to concentrate, on what is really important.
2. Be aware of your thoughts
What are you letting into your mind every single day? Do we unconsciously let others bombard us with their own opinions, dreams and demands? Take the conscious decision to pay attention to your thoughts and assess if those are helping you in keeping the right focus in your daily activities.
3. Block large batches of time (minimum 2 hours) to work on a single thing
Most people prefer to schedule their day so that they spend at most an hour on each thing and then want to jump to the next. That usually doesn’t work when you want to do work that has a certain degree of complexity, like preparing a successful Marketing strategy, or developing Software code.
There is a famous term that justifies it: “residual attention”. When we are working on a project in a concentrated way, and suddenly something in your schedule distracts you, for example, the phone rings, or the reminder that you have the next meeting, when you stop and try to work on the next thing, your mind keep thinking about the previous problem or topic; so it takes a long time (approximately 20 minutes) to effectively transition from one topic to the next. That is why, if you fracture your schedule with different things to do each time, it becomes more difficult to focus on the task at hand and you end up doing things superficially.
4. Delegate administrative activities to dedicate more time to deep and creative work
The great physicist and Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman has mentioned on different occasions what works for him to stay productive in his discoveries and scientific investigations: “To do a good job in the field of physics, you need to have long periods of time available to work on the subject itself … you need a lot of concentration … if you have a job where you also have to do administrative work, then you will not have enough time. So I made up a myth about myself: I’m irresponsible. I am actively irresponsible. I tell everyone that I am not going to do anything. If someone invites me to boards or committees to be part of something I tell them: No, I am irresponsible”.
5. Do less but more valuable things
When doing the activities that are important to you, make a commitment to concentrate fully on what you are doing and avoid losing too much time on things that are irrelevant. A good life is a deep life, which is focused and consistent with your vision and dreams.
Do not fill out your day with things that do not serve your purpose. Be picky, and strict with your time and schedule. Learn to say no. You will be surprised how many things you can achieve and how far you can go, when you maintain your priorities straight!