Photo Credit

Everyone talks about being productive, everyone keeps saying I want to be productive and get better results from my work. Everyone keeps saying it but how do you get it?

Simple Answer – “FOCUS”

“With focus, you can be sure of being productive not just being busy.” – Dr. Frank Eve.

This article is divided into two (2) sections.

  • How To Stay Focused
  • How To Maintain Focus

How To Stay Focused:

1. Surround Yourself With People Of Focus

This is the first and most important step to focus. Find people of focus that you can easily approach and surround yourself with them.

“Align yourself with other people that have a great outlook on life. Positivity definitely attracts more positivity into your life,” says Nicholas Dutko of Auto Transport Quote Services.

When you surround yourself with people of focus, you get to contact this positive energy of focus from them. You learn from them, you grow through them, you get inspirations from them, and they also tend to serve as a support for you when you derail from your focus.

2. Simplify

“Simplicity is ultimately all that matters to be focused.”  ~ Ann Voskamp.

Simplifying is all about removing, and de-cluttering things. When you simplify your work, you tend to look at the work in an easier way, and giving the work an easy look gives you an ultimate focus.

It is not always that we need to do more, but we need to simplify and focus on less. Save your time and energy by simplifying your work. When you simplify you know what to do first, what to do next and when to do it.

3. Don’t Doubt; Don’t Doubt At All

Once you had simplified and made your work easier, launch into it. Don’t doubt yourself; you don’t need it. Doubt drains, doubt kills, and doubt destroys. With doubt, it’s impossible to focus on that which is truly productive.

If there appears to be a thing that you feel you are not capable of handling, instead of staying choked doubting and worrying, all you need to do is to involve yourself in wide research about various way in which to get it solved.

To be productive, you have to stay focused on whatever you want to do and eliminate every doubt in yourself.

4. Set Periods OF Unavailability

“Concentration is an inspiration. At certain periods, you must be completely overtaken by your work and your subject. Only then do all your influences and experience come up to the surface.” ~ Daniel Moayanda.

Designate specific periods of the day when you are going to be unavailable.

We really need some quiet and productive time. Time to create, time to analyze, time to strategize, we all need these time. You set time that works best for you. (You might be required to let people know about these unavailability periods of yours; your relatives, your folks, your friends, your workers, your relatives. Just make them know your policy.)

For me, it’s just as simple as getting out of the house without my mobile phones and go to the farm, or move to my teacher’s house, where I spend my unavailability periods wisely. Yours might be for you to just turn off your wireless router, or close your browser connections temporarily so you can focus on productive works without distractions. Just realize what you can do to break distractions, then do it for as long as you can during your unavailability period. During this period, make sure you are doing nothing but your work.

5. Kill Any Trace Of Distraction

After you had set your period of unavailability, the next thing you should do is to kill all traces of distractions; especially during these period.

Yes; we live in a world of constant information, communication, and entertainment. Everyone wants to get an update, everyone wants to communicate, everyone wants to chill out and everyone wants to live.

Sure distractions are everywhere; whenever we are working, we have distractions coming from every direction. We get distracted even without realizing.

It is even more defined for people who work online; they experience the likes of – Online forums, Podcast, Instant messenger, Emails, Google alerts, Skype, Online games, Online music, Online notifications and lots more.

However, with so many distractions it’s never possible to focus on that which is truly productive. And that is why it’s very important to kill these distractions.

6. Appoint A Disciplined Backup Self.

“Backup self.” This is the last step to focus.

Now that you are unavailable to people and you have killed all traces of distractions, you need to appoint a backup self; and not just a backup self but a disciplined backup.

This must be someone who has the same/similar perspective with you. You appoint someone who knows your way of attending to matters, someone who you trust and have a level of confidence in. This backup self will take your place whenever you are unavailable in other to totally avoid distractions.

Note; you might need to train and equip this backup to your taste. State carefully your expectations, as well as little limitations to certain issues. You will also be required to compensate your backup whenever s/he meets your expectation; this will encourage him/her to continually follow your guidelines.

How To Maintain Focus:

It is not just enough to stay focused. You must maintain your focus if you really want to be continually productive. The ultimate rule is – Stay focused on your works, and maintain your focus to make the work more productive.

To help you maintain your focus to productive works, I recommend -:

1. Self-Discipline.

Self-discipline caps it all, without discipline it becomes difficult to maintain your focus to productive works. Without discipline you cannot keep company with people of focus, without discipline you cannot simplify, without discipline you cannot erase self-doubt, without discipline you cannot set periods of unavailability, without discipline you cannot kill just a single trace of distraction (Not even in this modern day of technology), also without discipline you cannot appoint a disciplined backup self.

“Self-discipline is often disguised as short-term pain, which often leads to long term gains. The mistake many of us make is the need for short-term gains (immediate gratification), which often leads to long-term pains” ~ Charles F. Glassman.

Always be disciplined in your approach to things in general. Set boundaries, set self-limits and carefully abide by them. It helps you to maintain your focus.

2. Stay Healthy.

Don’t neglect your health. Everything becomes difficult when you are not in a good state of health.

“Always do your best, your best is going to change from moment to moment, it will be different (more productive) when you are healthy as opposed to when you are unhealthy” ~ Don Miguel Ruiz. When you want to maintain focus to really productive works, you need to stay healthy; when you are in good state of health, you feel energized and empowered to maintain focus to real works.