Distractions. Delays. Interruptions. Clutter. Confusion. Overwhelm. And it’s not even 10:00 in the morning. If that describes your typical workday, let’s change that.
Right out of college, I entered the teaching profession. I was a high school teacher and basketball coach. If you’ve ever been a teacher, then you know the daily struggle of “always being on.”
While most speakers have the opportunity to spend hours preparing for a thirty minute talk, teachers have thirty minutes of prep for eight hours of talk time. When I was teaching, I had one prep hour toward the end of the day. One hour a day to get everything done. No easy task.
Some teachers saw this time as a break time. Why not walk around and chat with other teachers? Since I was not interested in taking my work home, I coveted that one hour a day and gave high value to it.
The way you create focus on-demand is to take charge of your schedule. You have to own it. If you need some ideas on how to do this, then consider these:
1. Work for yourself first
If you desire to create a business on the side (also known as a side hustle), then you’ll have to carve out time to work on it or else it just won’t happen. I’ve spoken with people who “have been getting ready to start their business” for years. They are waiting for the right time, when their schedule opens up.
Until you take control of your schedule, other people will fill up your schedule with their agendas. You solve this by working for yourself first. When I got serious about being a professional blogger, I dedicated 5-7 am to my blogging before I went to my day job.
2. Change your environment often
If you are easy to be found, you’ll always struggle with focus. If you instantly answer every email, meeting request, text, phone call or door knock, you will struggle with focus. Your best work will be left on the shelf. Being a recovering people pleaser, this was hard for me.
It wasn’t until I began to see that most emergencies can wait till the afternoon that I began to win the battle. For example, when someone asks to meet with me or talk with me over the phone, I send them a link to my calendar using MeetMe.so. I only make certain afternoons available for meetings so I can have my mornings to focus on my best work.
3. Establish regular focus sessions
Another habit that catapulted my productivity was to carve out regular focus sessions on my calendar. I recommend at least sixty minutes per focus session. You will be surprised at how much progress you can make with any project with sixty minutes of uninterrupted time.
4. Reach your flow state with a science primer
Science tells us that it can take almost 21 minutes to get back to the same level of concentration when our focus is broken. Flow state is when you are 100% locked in to a single task or project. One of the tools I use to get to that level of concentration is a site called FocusAtWill.com.
Backed by science, this site plays music that allows the mind to get into that ultimate flow state. It is perfect for writing, thinking, brainstorming, or reading. I’d encourage you to give it a try.
Regardless of which of these tools you use, you can take control of your focus. You can have focus on-demand by taking back control of your calendar.
Question: What tips do you have for creating on-demand focus? You can leave a comment by clicking here.