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You Need Extreme Focus If You Want To Be More Effective

(Adopt extreme focus, create distraction-free zones & set yourself up for success - These strategies will be a game-changer in helping you achieve all you set out to achieve)

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Extreme focus is that place where nothing else matters because you’re focused on:

One. Single. Thing.

We are overwhelmed by information overload, both on and offline. 

Think how complicated it can be these days even to order a simple cup of coffee! There’s mochas, and lattes, flat whites and frappuccinos, Next you need to decide if you want regular milk, oat milk, almond milk and more. Then what toppings? Whipped cream, chocolate, cinnamon and so on. That’s before you’ve even decided whether to take it out, or drink in. The list is endless and it can be overwhelming.

One decision we can make easily to bring back control into our lives is to manage our time well. We all have 24 hours in a day, the trick is to learn how to make those hours count.

Will you look back on life and wished you’d worked harder, or been smart & savvy with your time?

Enter extreme focus.

This level of focus is not a new phenomenon, but once you start practising extreme focus you will be amazed at how much work you will get through in a short space of time.

What could you do with an hour or two extra in your day:

  • Learn a new language or hobby? 
  • Meet up with friends?
  • Spend time with your partner?
  • Plan your next marketing campaign, or write that presentation?

Here are three top tips on how to get extreme focus:

1. Notice your time distractions

Where is your time going? Once you know where your time is going, you’re much better able to manage it. 

Are you going down the social media rabbit hole, checking your inbox twenty times a day, or being unproductive because you don’t know what to do first? Maybe those nagging red icons on your phone, telling you that you’ve got notifications, are driving you crazy. You just have to pick up your phone to check them. 

If you’re constantly emailing backwards and forwards to set up meetings/appointments, set up an online calendar.

If you’re constantly on social media, set limits. Decide how much time you want to spend online, and then set yourself some specific times that you check.

If you’re constantly checking your inbox, remove the app from your phone, or the icon on your desktop so that you have to physically log in to read your mail.

When you think about what you’d like instead of working harder, know what you’d like to achieve. If you want to take Fridays off every week (which is blissful by the way), then what needs to happen in your week so that Fridays off becomes your new norm?

2. Work in time blocks and focus on ONE thing

Sometimes getting started is the hardest part. I love to work in small bite-sized chunks of 25-minute time-blocks. The premise is simple, using the Pomodoro Method, you set a timer for 25-minutes and just start the job. 25-minutes might be too short, or even too long for you. Make the time right for the way you like to work.

Before you start, set a very clear goal about what you want to achieve in that time block. 

Remember those distractions. When you do the 25-minutes, you want to turn off ALL notifications. You need to be in distraction-free mode. This isn’t just about focus, it’s about EXTREME focus. You focus only on that ONE task in hand.

Shut down all of your windows, turn the phone off, move your mobile into another room. If anything pops into your head that’s not relevant to the task you’re working on, write it down in a notebook and carry on.

Gary Keller, author of ‘The One Thing’  had it right when he said that you need to work on ONE thing at a time. This extreme focus enables you to block out everything that’s irrelevant. You know multi-tasking is a myth, right?

3. Set yourself up for success

  • Create the right environment – One that helps you get really focused. Sitting at your kitchen table might be the best place for you to be productive, it could also be the worst! 
  • Create a playlist that helps you get into focus mode. Neuroscientists tell us that our brains connect with different anchors. Let’s help our brains by tuning into music that helps us get into the zone
  • Set clear boundaries – tell other people what you’re trying to achieve. You may have trained people well to interrupt you. Now you have to untrain them, so that they allow you to focus.

Extreme focus is a gift you can give to yourself. It’s simple, but not easy. All it takes is a bit of thought and a lot of discipline.

This smart and savvy focus can be the answer to all of your dreams, if you take it seriously.

Here’s a quick recap of the 3 tips:

1. Notice your time distractions

2. Work in time blocks and focus on ONE thing

3. Set yourself up for success

It’s time to adopt extreme focus. 

What will you do with all of this new time on your hands?

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