The world we live in today is full of so many distractions; everything everywhere clamouring for urgent attention. In addition to the overpowering responsibility of being a parent, carer, student or employee, we also have our fragile minds constantly barraged with loads of information from the Internet, Social Media, TV Programs, Radio Jingles, Billboard Adverts, Newspapers, Mobile Phones, Tablets and so on. All these have contributed to the huge amount of distractions we constantly face and, as a result, we are less productive on the things that matter.
The only way to deal with distraction is to deliberately adopt the art of Focusing regardless of the distracting situation. Steve Jobs captured the concept of focus in his statement “Focus is saying no to one thousand good ideas.” Focus is to a person what the lens is to a photographer. And each one of us has the personal responsibility to focus on the right things at the right time in order to achieve something significant, important, meaningful and rewarding.
How to focus on the right things in a world of many distractions?
To prioritise is to keep the main thing, the main thing. To arrange your preferences in order of their importance and the value they will add to you. Create and prioritise your ‘To-do-list’ on a daily basis and clearly define what is urgent and important from what is not urgent but important. For instance as a student preparing for final exams, you wouldn’t be watching movies for 4 hours every day while you only study for 2 hours. That wouldn’t be a good act of prioritising your goals.
To organise is to adequately design and plan your schedule in such a way that would yield you maximum results. Don’t aim to do everything in one day but aim to achieve 80% of results from 20% of your priorities and that strategy will make you more productive all the time. For example as a young professional, you can decide to organise your schedule in such a way that you deal with all emails requiring your attention only twice a day – at 10 am & 4 pm every day.
Discipline is usually a tough word. But, in this case, it’s simply cultivating a habit or developing a culture. So, when you commit yourself to ensuring that you stay focused even in the face of distractions, that’s discipline! For instance, you can choose to make it a point to duty not to do any ‘Facebooking’ or ‘Twittering’ until you have achieved your goals for the day.
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