Not long ago, I decided to try to keep my brain focused on one thing at a time and to see how long I could keep that up…
I started my little game by washing the dishes and promised myself I wouldn’t stop until they were all clean…
Within moments, literally seconds, I noticed a piece of trash I nearby and decided to throw it out, then my blackberry started buzzing, followed by an interesting magazine cover I spotted on the table and long story short: ten minutes later I realized I had cleaned just one plate!
Intrigued by my lack of attention span, I re-doubled my efforts and this time I thought in my head, “dishes dishes dishes dishes…” while I did them. It was the only way I could prevent myself from getting distracted!
Little things would still come up, but this time I’d tell myself, “NO! DISHES DISHES DISHES DISHES!”
I kept this up until the dishes were done and then turned to other tasks using the same strategy…the result was that I probably accomplished as much in those 30 minutes of remaining focused on one thing at a time as I’d probably have done in 3 hours of working distracted on everything at once.(which of course many times turns into finishing nothing at all!) It also just felt very satisfying to know that tasks were completed!
Despite the obviousness of this revelation, I’ve still struggled to follow this lesson. For some reason, it’s easier to be all over the place or maybe it has just become so routine with everything that goes on in a day.
So, this week I’m challenging myself to remain focused on one thing at a time! (A whole week, insane!)
This will be no easy task for me since I’m usually trying to do three things at once while thinking about another four things I need to do all while checking my blackberry!
FIVE FOCUSING RULES FOR MYSELF:
1) Schedule out my day’s activities and remain focused on them, but also schedule in some time where I can let myself wander as well
2) No blackberry checking during walking, workouts or any other activity that’s schedule. (I will build in blackberry time) * This will likely be the hardest one for me!
3) No Falling asleep with Television Playing
4) On my computer, I will only have one thing open at a time. No Internet Explorer, Outlook, Facebook, writing documents and messaging open at same time! I end up accomplishing nothing!
5) Think in my head about the activity and try to stay very present with that activity.
I think those 5 are a good start for me this week.
Care to join me on this challenge? Thoughts? Ideas?