The Entrepreneur Forum | Startups | Entrepreneurship | Starting a Business | Motivation | Success

Tips for Focus/Work Ethic

ExaltedLife

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 10, 2015
330
655
272
27
Hello fellow Fastlaners,

I recently began a new habit that I think is great, especially if you are hyper-creative like me (sometimes referred to as ADD).

I must give credit where it is due, which in this case is over to the folks at Fabulous, which is an incredible habit/lifestyle design app, good enough that I gladly pay for a subscription. Quite simply, it's the best of it's kind that I've seen. I expect them to dominate that space in a few years because their product rocks.

So what's the habit?

If you're like me, when you're working on something, you can get easily distracted because you can find yourself having a lot of different ideas about other things, and often you might feel like you need to address them right away.

Here's a way to fix that: Next time you're working on something which requires extended focus, put a little notepad titled: "Distraction pad", and put it on your desk next to you.

Then, proceed to work, and whenever one of those ideas pops into your head - the kind that makes you want to get up and pace and think about it before you forget - just turn to your distraction pad, write it down, and get back to work.

The genius of this is in the simplicity of it. It might seem insignificant, but what often happens with a distracting idea is that you feel an urgent need to address it while its in your mind because you are secretly afraid to forget about it, which would then mean it would never get addressed. So you feel like you need to address it now, and suddenly your important but not urgent work (Stephen Covey, anyone?) has been forgotten.

The solution is simple yet elegant. You write it down. It doesn't get forgotten, you've just guaranteed that, so now the need to address it is no longer urgent, and you can get back to work. I love it, and I do it all the time now when I need to focus for an extended period of time.

Let me know if it helps you. I made this a thread so if anybody else has any other tips and tricks for improving work ethic, feel free to post them here. Part of my goal for this year (as referenced on my homemade whiteboard in my progress thread) is to develop a killer work ethic - so I figure if I can drop some helpful hints here, maybe I'll get some more in return.

Cheers.


PS (to moderators): if there's a similar thread to this already that I don't know about, feel free to add this to that to make things easier for everybody.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

D

Deleted52409

Guest
Definitely going to try this out.

One important thing for me... I try to avoid listening to music while working because then I start to focus on the music rather than actually working. Music gets me lost in my thoughts and forgetting what I was initially doing.
 

Thoelt53

Gold Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Dec 8, 2016
349
1,070
363
Boston, MA
Cool tip, I'm guilty of doing this myself. Definitely will give it a go.

Definitely going to try this out.

One important thing for me... I try to avoid listening to music while working because then I start to focus on the music rather than actually working. Music gets me lost in my thoughts and forgetting what I was initially doing.
Music is good for drone work. It's naturally attractive, and therefor distracting from anything that requires thought and focus.
 

SolopreneurGrind

Contributor
Feb 26, 2019
24
42
19
Definitely going to try this out.

One important thing for me... I try to avoid listening to music while working because then I start to focus on the music rather than actually working. Music gets me lost in my thoughts and forgetting what I was initially doing.
I'm the same way, so I only listen to music without lyrics (if I choose to listen to music while working, which is about 25% of the time).

My go-to's are Hans Zimmer soundtracks and the lord of the Rings soundtrack. Also there are some good hour + long soundtracks on YouTube that are supposed to "help with focus" that have no lyrics that are decent too, just YouTube search "focus music"
 

Roli

Gold Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Jun 3, 2015
1,334
2,062
570
Definitely going to try this out.

One important thing for me... I try to avoid listening to music while working because then I start to focus on the music rather than actually working. Music gets me lost in my thoughts and forgetting what I was initially doing.
I'm okay as long as the music doesn't have any lyrics. So sometimes listen to classical which seems to relax and focus me.
 

Mark Fobo

Contributor
Feb 19, 2019
106
68
58
31
London
Hello fellow Fastlaners,

I recently began a new habit that I think is great, especially if you are hyper-creative like me (sometimes referred to as ADD).

I must give credit where it is due, which in this case is over to the folks at Fabulous, which is an incredible habit/lifestyle design app, good enough that I gladly pay for a subscription. Quite simply, it's the best of it's kind that I've seen. I expect them to dominate that space in a few years because their product rocks.

So what's the habit?

If you're like me, when you're working on something, you can get easily distracted because you can find yourself having a lot of different ideas about other things, and often you might feel like you need to address them right away.

Here's a way to fix that: Next time you're working on something which requires extended focus, put a little notepad titled: "Distraction pad", and put it on your desk next to you.

Then, proceed to work, and whenever one of those ideas pops into your head - the kind that makes you want to get up and pace and think about it before you forget - just turn to your distraction pad, write it down, and get back to work.

The genius of this is in the simplicity of it. It might seem insignificant, but what often happens with a distracting idea is that you feel an urgent need to address it while its in your mind because you are secretly afraid to forget about it, which would then mean it would never get addressed. So you feel like you need to address it now, and suddenly your important but not urgent work (Stephen Covey, anyone?) has been forgotten.

The solution is simple yet elegant. You write it down. It doesn't get forgotten, you've just guaranteed that, so now the need to address it is no longer urgent, and you can get back to work. I love it, and I do it all the time now when I need to focus for an extended period of time.

Let me know if it helps you. I made this a thread so if anybody else has any other tips and tricks for improving work ethic, feel free to post them here. Part of my goal for this year (as referenced on my homemade whiteboard in my progress thread) is to develop a killer work ethic - so I figure if I can drop some helpful hints here, maybe I'll get some more in return.

Cheers.


PS (to moderators): if there's a similar thread to this already that I don't know about, feel free to add this to that to make things easier for everybody.
I do that all the time, I write every idea that comes to my mind. Apparently we are 42% more likely to achieve something we wrote down.
 

RazorCut

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2014
1,476
4,691
1,146
England UK
Let me know if it helps you. I made this a thread so if anybody else has any other tips and tricks for improving work ethic, feel free to post them here. Part of my goal for this year (as referenced on my homemade whiteboard in my progress thread) is to develop a killer work ethic - so I figure if I can drop some helpful hints here, maybe I'll get some more in return.
Nice post. I can attest to it working. I have 8 post-it notes in front of my keyboard right now. Using a Pomodoro timer also helps with staying focused.

@LightHouse has a great GOLD thread here:

GOLD! - Achieve Laser FOCUS + PRODUCTIVITY With The System Legendary Fastlaners Use...

That might benefit many if they haven't come across it.

I'm the same way, so I only listen to music without lyrics (if I choose to listen to music while working, which is about 25% of the time).

My go-to's are Hans Zimmer soundtracks and the lord of the Rings soundtrack. Also there are some good hour + long soundtracks on YouTube that are supposed to "help with focus" that have no lyrics that are decent too, just YouTube search "focus music"
I have a folder full of those. Winter Storm, Busy Cafe, Ocean Waves, Rain etc.

One I find particularly striking is the sound of a Submarine. For some reason I can go really deep (no pun intended) with this droning away in the background. It sort of takes me away from everything.

Here is the track:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDJsXIBxpQw&t=6s
 

Mark Fobo

Contributor
Feb 19, 2019
106
68
58
31
London
Se
I do that all the time, I write every idea that comes to my mind. Apparently we are 42% more likely to achieve something we wrote down.
Search for the study published by the doctor Gail Matthews at thetDominican University in California. I read it few months ago. It is quite interesting!
 

B. Cole

In thine hand is power and might.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 5, 2017
588
1,785
552
38
East Coast
I’m ADD as hell.

If I’m scrolling through emails, I’ll latch onto one that has nothing to do with what I was working on, just because it’s unread and in my face. Then I’ll have to mark it as unread if I can force myself not to act on it, and now I’ve got another pending distractive action stored in my brain, throwing my focus off. It’s a wonder I get anything done in a day.

It leaves me in a constant state of “crunch time” because I had a bunch of non critical crap mixed in with my important stuff. I get it all done, but it’s stressful lol.
 

scott wisniewsk

Bronze Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Aug 23, 2007
54
163
152
wisconsin
Wow ,write it down that's brilliant ! Your reading my mind as to distraction, it happens all the time . Even when I'm totally focused I find sometimes I just get into something else and after awhile its how did I get here?
 

LightHouse

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2007
4,062
5,825
1,316
Northern VA
I’m ADD as hell.

If I’m scrolling through emails, I’ll latch onto one that has nothing to do with what I was working on, just because it’s unread and in my face. Then I’ll have to mark it as unread if I can force myself not to act on it, and now I’ve got another pending distractive action stored in my brain, throwing my focus off. It’s a wonder I get anything done in a day.

It leaves me in a constant state of “crunch time” because I had a bunch of non critical crap mixed in with my important stuff. I get it all done, but it’s stressful lol.
This is a fairly easy one to overcome though, depending on how much it really bothers you.

If you get easily distracted by your email, schedule times to check it and log out and set in chrome to clear cookies for that site upon exit.

If it's your phone thats the issue, Set out your top 2-3 priorities the night before, and charge your phone in a different room, then get to work on those two priorities before looking at your phone for the morning.

Most people will say, "but I...." it's really rare that you NEED to look at it before anything else. It is an addiction, you just really want to. That is ok, it's pretty common, and it can also be easily overcome.
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

LightHouse

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2007
4,062
5,825
1,316
Northern VA
I'm the same way, so I only listen to music without lyrics (if I choose to listen to music while working, which is about 25% of the time).

My go-to's are Hans Zimmer soundtracks and the lord of the Rings soundtrack. Also there are some good hour + long soundtracks on YouTube that are supposed to "help with focus" that have no lyrics that are decent too, just YouTube search "focus music"
I had never thought of this. I looked some of hans zimmer up as I thought about it all night after i read this. I didn't like it though, it was way to calm and slow, more of the type of music i use to read sometimes. Rep + either way for the ideas!

So i took your second suggestion and looked up focus music on youtube, as i typically use edm type lists in google music but i wanted something new. I found a decent playlist that had some good ones in it.

Up-tempo Work/Study Music
 
Last edited:

B. Cole

In thine hand is power and might.
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Mar 5, 2017
588
1,785
552
38
East Coast
I had never thought of this. I looked some of hans zimmer up as I thought about it all night after i read this. I didn't like it though, it was way to calm and slow, more of the type of music i use to read sometimes. Rep + either way for the ideas!

So i took your second suggestion and looked up focus music on youtube, as i typically use edm type lists in google music but i wanted something new. I found a decent playlist that had some good ones in it.

Your browser is deprecated. Please upgrade.

Listening to it now, thanks -
 

Bryaninbangkok

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Feb 4, 2018
19
31
22
37
Bangkok
My problem is I open a new tab on my browser every time I have an idea or a job to do, now I have over 500 tabs open! I need to have a good few months to go through them, which is no problem.
 

LightHouse

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Summit Attendee
Speedway Pass
Aug 13, 2007
4,062
5,825
1,316
Northern VA
My problem is I open a new tab on my browser every time I have an idea or a job to do, now I have over 500 tabs open! I need to have a good few months to go through them, which is no problem.
I bet if you dumped them all, you would never miss them and you would be a bit less anxious....

The biggest productivity tip i give anyone is that a clear mind is paramount. The more you get out of your head either by removing or moving somewhere else, the better you can focus and make decisions moving forward.

the little stuff really adds up and builds over time. Declutter ASAP!
 

SolopreneurGrind

Contributor
Feb 26, 2019
24
42
19
I had never thought of this. I looked some of hans zimmer up as I thought about it all night after i read this. I didn't like it though, it was way to calm and slow, more of the type of music i use to read sometimes. Rep + either way for the ideas!

So i took your second suggestion and looked up focus music on youtube, as i typically use edm type lists in google music but i wanted something new. I found a decent playlist that had some good ones in it.

Up-tempo Work/Study Music
Yes there are definitely different forms/styles so find what works best for you. I love Zimmer's "greatest hits" videos, but that's just me. Will give yours a try!
 
OP
OP
ExaltedLife

ExaltedLife

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 10, 2015
330
655
272
27
Here's a method of measuring your ability to focus, and therefore tracking how much you improve over time.

It's called the Distractibility Score. Here's how it works:

When you sit down to work on a project, start a stopwatch. Every smartphone has one.

As soon as something distracts you, stop the timer. That time is your "Distractibility Score".

This morning I did it and my attention got distracted for just a moment so I stopped it. I could have ignored it and kept working but I figured I'd record it anyway. So my first one was 2 mins and 13 seconds. Lol.

Highest score wins.
 

Lee H

Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Aug 8, 2018
36
68
112
That's a great tip and reminds me of the fact that Richard Branson doesn't go anywhere without a notebook, so he can jot down ideas and notes to review later, as he goes through his day.

If it works for him...
 

andyhaus44

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 17, 2017
190
282
181
35
St. Charles, MO
Here's a method of measuring your ability to focus, and therefore tracking how much you improve over time.

It's called the Distractibility Score. Here's how it works:

When you sit down to work on a project, start a stopwatch. Every smartphone has one.

As soon as something distracts you, stop the timer. That time is your "Distractibility Score".

This morning I did it and my attention got distracted for just a moment so I stopped it. I could have ignored it and kept working but I figured I'd record it anyway. So my first one was 2 mins and 13 seconds. Lol.

Highest score wins.
Thank you for sharing this. There’s an awesome app called Timer+ and you can name your stopwatch, timers, etc. as well as create certain sounds for them
 

PureA

Winners never quit
Speedway Pass
Dec 24, 2013
542
1,723
496
24
UK
I can only see the skill of 'focus' (and it is a skill) increasing in value as our attention spans continually dive.

At this point I basically organise my whole life around 'focus'.

More (meaningful) output = more bats
More bats = more home runs
 

RazorCut

Platinum Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
May 3, 2014
1,476
4,691
1,146
England UK
Thank you for sharing this. There’s an awesome app called Timer+ and you can name your stopwatch, timers, etc. as well as create certain sounds for them
I'm old school. :happy:

IMG_6289.jpeg
 

Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe.

struka

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 22, 2018
108
131
132
TN
It's called the Distractibility Score.
I tried this yesterday and I feel like it really worked. I have a hard time cold calling for a long period of time so this was very helpful. Thanks for the advice and plan to use this more often.
 
OP
OP
ExaltedLife

ExaltedLife

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Nov 10, 2015
330
655
272
27
I tried this yesterday and I feel like it really worked. I have a hard time cold calling for a long period of time so this was very helpful. Thanks for the advice and plan to use this more often.
When I did it at a job I used Tenfold to track my calls so my competiveness drove me to keep going till I hit 100 calls
 

struka

Bronze Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Feb 22, 2018
108
131
132
TN
When I did it at a job I used Tenfold to track my calls so my competiveness drove me to keep going till I hit 100 calls
I am also tracking where I make 100 calls a day but this is at work so I have to use a different CRM and spreadsheet. Good info though.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account on our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.



Don't like ads? Remove them while supporting the forum. Subscribe to become an INSIDER.

Post New Topic

Please SEARCH before posting.
Please select the BEST category.

Post new topic

Fastlane Insiders

View the forum AD FREE.
Private, unindexed content
Detailed process/execution threads
Monthly conference calls with doers
Ideas needing execution, more!

Join Fastlane Insiders.

Top Bottom