How to Focus in the Age of Distraction

Focus-mindmap-for-web

I absolutely love this mindmap (originally found here). Becoming effective is an ongoing process, one that I became increasingly aware of in my final undergraduate year. Writing an honour’s thesis was my greatest research task to date, an eight-month long project. I was genuinely inspired by my topic, but had to be mindfully aware of my work habits and inclinations.

I like to believe that my own effectiveness skills have increased dramatically in the past couple of years (although of course I can still readily blow an entire day making cookies, absorbed in a novel and mindlessly perusing the interwebs). For me, using a timer is especially helpful for focusing in on a task, whether for long or short amounts of time. Gently talking down perfectionist tendencies has been another important step. Putting off a task because conditions aren’t perfect, because I think I don’t know enough, or because I feel I’m not in the right frame of mind doesn’t mean things get done better later.  I try to remember that getting things done just feels good, and I likely know more than I think I do.

There are too many important and interesting things to be done in the world – why waste time?

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