This is the third article in the series describing Leo Babauta’s ideas from his book Power of Less, The: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essential…in Business and in Life by Leo Babauta. I highly recommend it.
The other articles can be found here:
Focus is your most important tool in becoming more effective.
Leo says focus on less to become more effective: Focus on one goal to achieve it, focus on a single task at a time and you’ll be more productive, and focus on the present to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Focus on a goal. The most important factor in achieving a goal is focus. Not self-discipline, willpower, or rewards but simply maintaining focus on a goal or habit at all times.
- Focus on the present. Focusing on the present will reduce stress and help you live life to the fullest. (see below)
- Focus on the task at hand. Clear distractions and get into the flow of whatever task you decide to work on. (see below)
- Focus on the positive. Eliminate complaining and eliminate the constant focus on problems. Instead focus on the good things and how good you’ll feel when you accomplish whatever you are working on.
How to Focus on the Present
“If we spend most of our time thinking about the past or future, we are missing life itself. It’s passing us by while we’re elsewhere. You can’t get the most out of life unless you learn to focus on being present, while things are happening. Thinking about your childhood, or your kid’s future, is useless if your kids’ childhood is passing by without you being there.” –Leo Babauta
Here are three links to being present Leo has published on his blog. The first is the most comprehensive.
- A Simple Guide to Being Present for the Overworked and Overwhelmed
- 5 Inspirations for Being in the Moment
- Practical Tips to Practice Being Present
Focus on the Task at Hand
Single-task and do not multi-task. Studies prove over and over again that given the same tasks, people who serially process them and single-task instead of multi-task are much more efficient at getting things done. Total time to complete all tasks is much shorter. Multi-tasking also creates stress. Keep yourself sane!
How to Single-Task
- Do your most important task or tasks (MITs) first thing in the morning. Don’t do anything else until these are done.
- Block Interruptions. Go to a private conference room, shut your door, turn off email, cell phones, etc.
- Do small similar tasks like email, phone calls, blog reading, etc. periodically and in batches. So maybe work on a MIT for two hours and then batch process your email.
- Every hour take a five to ten minute break and drink some water. Every few hours eat a small healthy snack. During your breaks completely disconnect from work and enjoy the moment. Go outside and get some nature.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.
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