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Ever wondered why some people can accomplish so much while others simply drift by? After all, don’t we all have only 24 hours a day and 7 days a week?
The trick is not in doing multiple things at once. In fact, the more multi-tasked you are – checking your Facebook account, listening to a sermon on iPod, reading the papers, and writing an essay – the less productive you will be.
Success in any endeavour lies in being relentless focused. It requires immense concentration of one’s thoughts, energies and efforts on the task at hand, completing it before embarking on the next.
Naturally, there will be longer term projects that you’re involved with where working non-stop for 12 hours isn’t feasible. For example, writing a programme for a new application, designing and building your new home, or organising the company’s year-end ball. For such activities, break them up into smaller bite-sized tasks that you can tick off.
An important thing to note about being relentless focused is to be fully absorbed in the present. Do not let your mind wander along the warm and sweet paths of nostalgia or to drift into the exciting future. Your only responsibility is to throw yourself heart and soul into the moment.
To be relentlessly focused, you need to shut off all distractions. This may be as trivial as turning off all notifications on your iPhone to selling your television set or iPad – whichever is gobbling up more hours of your life.
You need to also find a quiet space to do your work. This can be anywhere from a bedroom, a Starbucks Cafe, to a spot in the neighbourhood park. If at all possible, go somewhere that offer minimal human interference.
Some amount of sacrifice is also needed on the road to success. Instead of partying every Friday night and spending the entire Saturday hungover (and feeling sh*tty), why not alternate it with a healthy activity that will sharpen your mental and physical prowess? Go for a walk or a run, cycle for an hour, or spend two solid hours reading a mind tingling book.
Finally, schedule a fixed time of the day to be relentless focused on the task at hand where possible. Maintain the discipline of writing/dancing/knitting or doing whatever you need to do every day (or every other day if your time doesn’t permit). Make it a part and parcel of your day so much so that it becomes a positive habit that is hard to break.
In a world flooding with information and perpetually connected devices, it pays to retreat to a corner to relentless focus on what’s important as opposed to what’s urgent. Yes, your friends are expecting you to respond to their tweets, but maybe that can wait until you have completed what you need to do, when you need to do it.