18 May The Structure of Focus
I want to have an important conversation with you about ‘focus.’ It was just the other day when I had a coaching client say to me, “Colin, I have so much going on at work. I’ve got distractions, I’ve got emails, I’ve got people asking me for my time… How do I get focused in the midst of all of this?”
I’ve heard a lot of great advice about productivity over the years, like “get focused” but how do you actually do it? Many people say you should get focused, but I haven’t heard someone tell me HOW! So I’ve done that for you… I think there are three key elements to ‘focus.’
Let me introduce you to what I call the Structure of Focus.
1. A clear task — It’s a specific outcome or task that you’re trying to achieve. Sometimes people say, “I want to get a project done” but that’s not really a clear task. A specific task might be making three phone calls or sending out a specific email. You need a specific task that the brain can focus on.
2. A distraction-free environment — For you, it might be a cafe; you’ve got some buzz in the background or it might be a meeting room where you’re not going to get distracted.
3. A set time frame — Rather than saying “I’m going to work for six hours or seven hours today” — I would suggest: for ninety or fifty minutes, you work on a specific thing. Set an actual countdown timer on your iPhone (not a stop watch as it has no alarm).
I’ve built a Venn model for this. Let me explain it:
When you’ve got a clear task and a distraction-free environment, what you get is clarity, so you’re able to concentrate. When you’ve got a distraction-free environment and you’ve also got a set time frame, what that creates is flow; in other words, you’ve got the right amount of time to get absorbed in your task. When you’ve got a set time frame and you’ve also got a clear task, that creates hustle; in other words, you’re not procrastinating — you’re getting things done.
When you have a sense of clarity, flow and hustle, you will have real focus.
That’s today’s tip.
Question: What is your biggest distraction? Please share this in the comments below.
Look forward to speaking to you soon. Look after yourself.
Discover the secrets of the Super Productive.
Join Colin for a free masterclass on productivity.
In this training, you’ll discover:
- How to create a Super Productive Mindset (the exact thinking you must have to produce incredible results)
- The secret to leveraged energy – this is like a Red Bull for your daily productivity
- 3 critical brain rules – and how you can use them to work with your brain, not against it