Lately my mind has been a mess. There is so much going on at work, at home, on twitter, on facebook, in the inbox, and on a plethora of other areas around my life and the internet. I thought I had control of it, but man. was I wrong. Enter focus. I recently read some books by Leo Babauta called The Power of Less and Focus. In these books, Leo talks about his manifesto on how to concentrate on specific tasks you need to get done and at the same time not get overwhelmed by everything else around you. This should be common sense for most of us, but in the information age, it is not easy.
Twitter, Facebook, the dreaded "inbox", app notifications on your phone and iPad, your spouse, your co-workes, your dog, your cat... the list goes on and on. How are you suppose to get anything done with all of this going on? We are all guilty of dealing with most of these things while trying to work and I for one, am starting to turn them off.
Focus. Simply focus on the most important task at hand. This doesn't even have to be related to a work task. Leo Babuata asks when the last time, while you were eating dinner, you took the time to appreciate the meal you were eating; the texture, the smell, the taste, the way the plate of food looks, acts, shines... focus on it. Don't touch your phone, read the news, or even talk to someone else(this may be hard...); simply focus on the task of eating a delicious (or not so delicious) meal. If you can successfully turn off the distractions and focus on the task at hand, you will get more things done, and feel great about it.
I personally started to log everything I have to get done with Basecamp for projects and Actionmethod for my project tasks and personal tasks. Every morning I will go into my main task list and jot down the three Most Important Tasks that need to get done that day(another suggestion by Leo Babuata). Its hard, but I try to get one of those tasks done before even thinking about opening the dreaded inbox. By focusing on that one task, and not letting anything else bother me, I have been getting more things done. It is also making me feel better about tackling the long list of tasks that are ahead of me.
But, why Focus?
Simple. As Andy Wright just mentioned recently on Twitter: "No Focus. No Progress."