You were a kid when you were made to learn and remember that the magic lies outside.
You need a fairy godmother, a magic wand or be the chosen one to really be the CHOSEN ONE.
So you could have the superpowers (flying, going invisible, being able to change forms, being able to read thoughts, being ultra-fast or being inhumanly powerful- I assume we covered the basic ones – for more you can refer to your old comics in the attic).
But there is ONE SUCH POWER, which no one talks about much.
Being able to FOCUS.
You may not call it a power (if you choose that way) but this where every power starts becoming THE POWER.
This time Mojo of Small Things decided to dive into
Why do We love getting distracted and How to reclaim your focus?
(IN order to save my life post publishing,
Here goes the disclaimer –
This is not the science part of it.
This is the HUMAN part of it).
Let us open the box now:
There was a time when artists used to rule the creation part of society.
Focus used to be a state of mind and craftsmanship, the norm.
Then came the ‘MACHINES’ and the Industrial Revolution.
Tools were gone and so was the Artistic Evolution.
Studios started gathering dust and factory floors were shiny clean.
This is when the artist became a worker.
Let’s go deep inside it.
When we grew as a society, the power was redistributed.
The kings somehow gave way to the traders.
The traders traded for stuff and also, for ambition.
They made ‘TIME’ into something that can be brought and sold.
So when people traded their time for money, they also traded their presence and their attention.
The Story of how we got here starts from here:
The biggest asset that we have right now is our ATTENTION.
The companies which are able to make us
Spend time where they want us to,
See where they want us to,
Click on icons where they plan for us to,
In Short, Let go of our attention and decisions on their mercy,
That is the Truth, My Friend.
Why do we love to be distracted?
1. Someone is designing these products to be addictive.
Why will someone do that?
Whether it is food (sugar is the new opium), content, shopping offers or the DEVICES.
They are designed to get you hooked and sap you of your will to say NO.
You spending time consuming these products means THEY ARE MAKING MONEY!
2. We were never trained to spend time with ourselves.
‘Being with ourselves’ was served to us as a punishment.
The pleasure of SOLO (/self) -TIME was systematically transformed into trauma of TIME.
Now, being alone makes us anxious and unwanted.
WHAAM! Door Closed, GO to your room.
The pleasure of SOLO (/self) -TIME was systematically transformed into the trauma of TIME.
3. No one gave us the courage to ask QUESTIONS.
We were trained to accept answers to questions that were already there.
NO one loves a Rebel and that too a curious one – because he/she is going to question the system eventually.
4. Passion is a bad bad word.
It is not going to make you rich (old school).
All this became possible by fracturing our capacity to focus and sharing the story of a Passion ending in penury.
Passion is a good good word.
The Truth behind FOCUS:
Focus is like a muscle, the more you practice the stronger it will become.
Also, If you use it for smaller tasks, it is exhausted when you arrive to do bigger tasks.
Now YOU know the problem, Now What?
Are you going to tell me something or this is where it ends?
Here is What to do?
1. The device in your hand is THE FOCUS LAND-MINE.
The device that you are holding in your hand – was designed to be addictive.
The network, the games and everything was designed to be addictive.PERIOD.
The first step to re-gain your FOCUS superpower is to change your relationship with your device.
Read, Walk, Write, Meet your heroes, Hike, Go close to nature, Think, Spend time with yourself and then go to the device to do stuff.
2. Getting a NOT-to-do List
‘To do or not to do’
To-Do lists are OK, they are meant to get things done.
What we never discount for is the NOT-to-do list that is going to ensure that your TO-DO list is able to survive the productivity pitfalls.
Your list should necessarily include these:
- Not resting before getting tired.
- Not multitasking.
- Not being overly available.
This works only once your TO-DO list is in place and roaring with enthusiasm.
Saying NO to things that don’t matter will eventually mean that You can SAY YES to things that matter.
3. A pinch of discipline is all you need.
Who said discipline was painful? The one(s) sitting on fence while watching people finish the race.
- Become unavailable by choice.
- DECIDE to walk in the direction of your PASSION project.
- Start dragging early morning and steal ME-time.
- Realize that the Device-DEMON needs to be captured (at least partially) before you dive into the pleasure of being able to create something of value.
You are not ready to avoid productivity pitfalls: until you add THE MAGIC INGREDIENT.
Here comes the magic ingredient – A pinch of Discipline.
Even if we consider Focus as a plant – It needs to be nurtured and you need to provide it with the fertile ground.
Find a solo time and ways to refill your life with what matters.
Say Thanks and get grinding.
4. Plan for Mono-tasking
(even if it means planning a WEEK in advance.)
Unicorns are a myth, so is Multitasking.
Even at the most basic level of mind wiring – You can either FIGHT or FLIGHT (not both together).
You can do Shallow work while trying to multi-task, but deep work is consuming and it will never take anything less than full (of your attention).
Not only efficient, it is also more rewarding.
Just imagine being to your child’s first/annual game and relishing every moment of that.
Plan the entire week at once and you will be good to go.
The Mathematics of How are you Spending Your Week:
Total Number of Hours in a Week: 168 Hours.
Sleep (7 hours/day): 49 Hours.
Work (8 hours/day): 48 Hours.
Self Care (1.5 hours/ day): 10.5 Hours.
Reading (1 hour/day): 7 Hours.
Getting Ready for Work and Travel: 20 Hours.
Socializing: 10 Hours.
Remaining: 23.5 Hours
You think you still don’t have time for doing stuff that matters?
5. Be HERE NOW.
Close all the tabs and work on the stuff you need to.
Keep your phone aside and talk to the person in front.
‘THIS MOMENT IS ALL WE HAVE, and THIS IS not going to be back ever’. BE HERE NOW’.
Here is the productivity bonus of it: You win friends, get things done full and for once, and you increase love.
BE HERE NOW.
6. Be biased towards working with REAL PEOPLE.
People are mean!
Great! Let’s start with the mirror first.
We have become so accustomed to working with machines and seeking perfection that we are seeking to find imperfections in whosoever we meet.
It is time, we become positively biased towards goodness in people, and choose to meet, talk and listen to them.
Yeah! Negativity can sap you out of all the energy you will ever need to focus on things that matter.
Is that all
I know it is a lot.
So here is the crux: Put People First, Devices later. Mono-Task. Be wherever you are, and Say Thank You.
You will be good to go.
With much love.
Mojo of Small Things.