There’s a lot to be said for people who can hyperfocus on tasks and goals with laser-sighted precision — even if it’s a detriment to their personal life and well being. Laser focus is something most entrepreneurs aspire to, yet struggle to ever achieve.
A great analogy about focus I read awhile ago really sums up why being scatterbrained usually doesn’t work:
If you chase two rabbits, both of them will get away.
The same is true when you find yourself working away at your desk or out there getting after it in the streets. You can have plenty of goals, but chasing those two rabbits down at the same time will usually result in you holding up your empty hands at the end of the pursuit. You have to treat each goal like a hunter zeroing in on their first meal in days, lest you continue to starve.
Continue reading for tips on how to achieve the same kind of laser-sighted hyperfocus all the greats have.
1. Write timed daily goals down in order of importance using a sticky note pad.
You aren’t going to be posting a bunch of sticky pads all over the place like I’m sure we’ve all done several times in the past. The reason I suggest sticky note pads is because they offer a distinct advantage for people seeking the ultimate in hyperfocus.
Write your first goal, with a time limit you can adhere to on the topmost piece of paper of the pad. Next, flip the top sheet up without removing it from the pad and write your next goal. Continue until you’ve written down all your goals for the day or for a set time frame (ie., all your to-dos before lunch, or your to-dos before a morning meeting, etc.)
Using this method will make sure that your brain isn’t inundated with a wall of tasks in front of you which can make the finish line seem dismally far away. Remove each goal from the pad when completed, toss it in the recycle bin, then move on to the next one.
2. Install task timers on all your devices to achieve extreme hyperfocus.
If you’re the boss, it’s likely you don’t have anyone busting your chops to get things done on time. I love task timers like this one for Chrome. Check out the screenshots and you’ll see just how many tasks you can plug into it, while receiving gentle nudges from the app as time runs down on a given goal.
There are tons more for all other browsers and devices out there. Don’t just install and not use them, or allow yourself to relax and not take the countdown seriously. You have to train yourself to feel the much needed pressure they can offer!
3. Breathe like someone who’s relaxed.
At first this might be somewhat counter-intuitive, because focusing on your breathing means you’re not single-mindedly focusing on the task at hand. However, breathing is natural and you’ll soon learn that doing it properly is essential to making headway in your work. You have to breathe like a hunter zeroing in on it’s kill (I know, that’s the second or third time I’ve made a hunting reference).
When my dog sets his sights on an unsuspecting rabbit in the wild, he immediately switches from happy-go-lucky and running all over the darned place like a whacked out maniac, to steady-as-a-rock and breathing really deep and slow — purposefully. Predators do this instinctively, because we as animals of the world aren’t programmed to focus when we’re breathing like someone who just had Freddy Krueger jump out of the bedroom closet! We’d never eat otherwise.
Athletes also relax their breathing whenever the opportunity affords, musicians relax so they can focus on generating perfect notes. So too must entrepreneurs if they want to execute the perfect game plan.
4. Phone must be in airplane mode when critical tasks are being worked on.
Seriously, it’s an easy out if you’re feeling bored or frustrated with what you’re doing. Worse, once you allow distractions in, they’ll keep getting in. There’s no easy way to implement this other than turning off all audible notifications and only allowing yourself to look at mobile devices at preset intervals. For instance, when a task is done or once per hour.
Sharing is caring!
If you have any of your own tips that always help you get into hyperfocus mode, I’d love to hear them. Leave a quick comment and help the rest of us get more done during the day.
Main Image Credit: Valerie/Flickr