I watched a Warren Buffet documentary on a plane back from L.A. last year. Buffet was talking about his friendship with Bill Gates. He was talking about the things they had in common and the reasons for their success.
Buffet contributed his success to one simple word.
Our society lacks focus. Our young men and women spend more time browsing the internet than they do contributing or working. This isn’t a “millennials are lazy” article, but rather it’s a call to arms against the forces that be who are constantly trying to steal your attention and your focus away from what really matters.
Your goals and your dreams.
Here are 6 techniques I use to maintain my focus so I get shit done and ultimately get ahead.
The Pomodoro Technique
This is truly my go to if I am having a hard time zoning out all the distractions around me. If I have a deadline, or if I have work that requires deep focus, I always pull out my tide app and use this technique.
Simply put, the pomodoro technique takes advantage of your optimal work flow. As human beings, we aren’t designed to focus for 8 full hours, so this technique breaks your workflow into manageable time chunks.
25 minutes on. 5 minute break. Repeat that three times and on the third break take a 15 minute or even 25 minute break.
I recommend downloading the tide app because it plays great peaceful sounds and will set the timer for you.
Really, check this app, it’s worked wonders for me.
Do No Disturb
Last Tuesday, I was on a conference call with the team for Keep Me Prime. In the conversation, we were talking about cell phones. I said…
Sometimes I wonder if this thing takes away more than it gives…
Something to think about.
Cell phones, screens and little tiny movements are addictive. We can’t help but look at them. Last time I checked, the average person checks their phone 80 times a day.
It’s no wonder why so many of us are depressed or feeling “stuck.” We are giving all of our lifeblood to a devise that doesn’t care about us. We really need to come to grips with the value that our smart phones provide for us.
Your phone is a tool. You need to control it, you can’t let it control you.
So do what needs to be done. Put your phone on do not disturb. Get it away from you. Remove it from the equation so you can work when you need to be working.
Morning Meditation and Care
Jules and I call our mornings the magic hour. We wake up early and we calibrate our days so that we can execute and get the most out of the next 16-20 hours.
Here’s what my morning routine usually looks like.
- Wake up. Make my bed.
- Drink a big glass of water with exogenous ketones.
- Sit down and write my blog.
- Go to Orange Theory (or our garage gym) and get my workout in.
- Get in the shower and do AT THE VERY LEAST 3 minutes of the cold therapy. Sometimes the entire shower is freezing cold.
All the while, I am breathing, I am thinking of all the many blessings in my life. I am preparing myself for the day. I am prioritizing my time so that I don’t waste time working on things that won’t get me any further.
My afternoon walk is one of the most important parts of my day. For the last 2 months or so, I have been slacking on my walk because of the cold and I can really notice the difference.
I walk around our complex and I listen to music or a podcast. I use the time to catch up on phone calls and check in with my family.
We all need to get up and move.
Too many of us spend way too much time sitting down. It has deep effects on our bodies, our minds and our emotions. Too much sitting has been linked to lower life expectancy, depression, anxiety and stress.
It’s not hard to understand why. But health benefits aside, getting out of your chair for 20 minutes and walking around will do wonders for you mood, your perspective and your focus.
So get up, take your break and be proactive in saying “when I get back in there, I am going to stay focused and work as hard as I can.”
Successful people read.
Really successful people read books. Reading a book is a commitment, it’s a dedication, it’s an avoidance of the instant gratification we look for when we Google blog articles or self help YouTube videos.
There is so much to learn out there. Reading books will help you maintain focus and make you smarter. It’s as simple as that.
For me, most of my reading is done in bed. On weekends, I may go on some reading binges but generally, I like to end every day with learning about something that helps me expand outside of my tiny little bubble.
When we read, we put ourselves in imaginary worlds that we are painting for ourselves with the words on the page.
There’s no room for outside distractions. You are fully emerged.
Reading is an exercise of focus and concentration. For me, those 20-30 minutes at night are dedicated solely to putting myself in a new world. A world where no one is asking me questions or hitting me with a banner ad.
I like to end each day with a new perspective.
I wrote a blog post about this a few months back.
Our culture has lost our appreciation for eating. Not food. Not taste, but the act of eating. The practice of nourishing our bodies and replenishing our energy sources.
Most Americans eat alone. Most of us eat terrible food and we give no thought to the act or the practice of eating.
Eating mindfully is a great way to increase your focus and increase your awareness of the world around you.
I will simply suggest that for the next 7 days, try to eat with friends or family. Try to be deliberate about your food. Take your time. Chew your food. Taste your food. Truly appreciate what it is doing for your body.
I’m sure you will come to appreciate eating as an experience, maybe even a spiritual one, and you will leave each meal with a much clearer perspective and intent throughout the day.
The biggest companies in the world have gotten that way because they spend billions of dollars mastering the science behind capturing your attention.
But understand, every second you spend “checking something out” is a second that you are participating in someones else’s dream and not on your own.
There is no such thing as free content. There is always a price to pay. In many cases, the price of your focus and attention is the most costly price of all.