Stop thinking. Start doing.

Overview

Productivity and focus aren’t reliable resources you can tap into at any given moment. Our ability to focus and be productive are influenced by a variety of external forces. So how do you get shit done when you can’t seem to focus? The answer is simple, “start doing”.

 

Stop Thinking

Often times our inability to focus comes from our brain trying to process multiple things at once. If you’re thinking about 10+ things you’ll never be able to concentrate and focus the way you need to. You must find a way to allow your mind to process or disregard the external forces vying for your attention.

Here are a few ways you can clear your mind:

Meditate

Meditation is a great way to relax and clear your mind. Even if you’re not into meditation, you can always close your eyes for a few minutes, put on some relaxing music, and let your mind wander.

Talk

We’re not robots. We can’t shut off our minds and our emotions, and suppressing them often makes things worse. Instead, embrace your humanity, and talk with a trusted friend about the external forces that are influencing you. You’ll be surprised how much of a difference it makes.

Create a “Focus Routine”

It’s as straight forward as it sounds. You create a routine you do consistently before you start a period of focused work. Doing so trains your body and mind to know it is time to focus. Read Staying Focused in a Noisy World to learn more about Focus Routines and other focusing tips.

Once you have a clear mind you can stop thinking about the task at hand, and start doing the work needed to accomplish your goals.

 

Start Doing

At some point shit needs to get done. Even if you feel like you’re not ready to tackle the project, you need to start. The truth is you’ll never be truly ready for what’s to come. No matter how much you prepare, you’ll be sure to encounter roadblocks you never planned for.

Another reason to start is momentum creates momentum. Often times you’ll find the ability to focus as you start taking the first steps into a project.

If you’re still struggling to get started, set aside 30 minutes. During those 30 minutes force yourself to focus only on the project at hand. By the end of the 30 minutes you’ll most likely want to continue on the project and now you have the momentum to carry you through.

 
Now it’s time to start doing. Close this tab, clear your mind, and start working on your next project.