Tips to Improve Focus…ok, what?

Focusing and maximizing time is a hard thing to do when we are as distracted as we are. We live in a time where many peoples attention span is limited to how fast they slide their finger across the screen of their telephone. This causes several problems.

First, the people we should be paying attention to aren’t getting enough of it. When I moved back to the United States after living in Germany, one of the biggest things I had to get used to was how people didn’t really have conversations anymore. I remember very clearly sitting in a circle with friends, trying to talk about the past, and noticing that all of their heads were down staring at their smart phones. After living here for a few months, I found myself caught up in the same issue, and began trying to force myself to leave the phone in my pocket, on silent, while I visit with people. The need to see what the rest of the world was doing was eating at my productivity. I remember sneaking in occasional peeks at my social profiles while in the middle of homework for my college courses, what’s the big deal? Could this stuff not wait?

So, I’m going to post a few things that we can do to somewhat minimize the distractions we get from our smart phones/social media profiles.

Manage your time:

If we allow ourselves too much time to accomplish a list of tasks, there will not be enough pressure to actually ensure they get done. One method that could make you more productive is giving yourself time blocks to complete certain tasks. For example, when I get home, I know I have to eat, help with the dishes, talk to the wife, hang with the boys, and get my equipment ready for the next day (uniform, tactical gear, etc.). If I get home at 1930 (7:30PM), that gives me two and a half hours to get all of that done. Without setting time-hacks for myself, there is no pressure, and I have found that usually something doesn’t get done. Here’s what a more effective schedule would look like:

Eat dinner-15 min.
Hang out with the boys (before shower)-15 min.
Help with dishes (and send boys to shower)-30 min.
Talk to wife – done while washing dishes
Finish hanging with boys (and send to bed)-30 min.
Talk with the wife (or watch an episode of Supernatural) – 30 min.
Get equipment ready – 15 min.
Check social media – 15 min.

This may seem extensive, and a little crazy, but something strange happens when you add a timer to the equation. The same reason a timer is effective in things like Crossfit, time limits motivate you to get things done while focusing on one task at a time. Also, I have found that I usually finish my small tasks well before the time is up (probably because of my competitive side).

There is an article published in the Crossfit Journal that talks about this. Here is the link:

http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/39_05_Tabata_My_Job.pdf

Give it a try, and let me know what you all think. I will post other tips throughout the week. MTF
                                                                                                                                                         

Make the effort, do your part, fight to make your family better. This is what we’re all about.

Fight on Friends! – The Warrior Family

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