FindFocus https://findfocus.net The Ultimative Resource To Boost Your Productivity Mon, 12 Feb 2018 18:24:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 https://findfocus.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/cropped-FindFocus_Logo-32x32.png FindFocus https://findfocus.net 32 32 Interview with the Creator of SelfControl Steve Lambert https://findfocus.net/interview-selfcontrol/ https://findfocus.net/interview-selfcontrol/#respond Wed, 15 Nov 2017 11:53:22 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=1042 SelfControl is an OS X application which blocks access to incoming and/or outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time.For example, you could block access to your email, facebook, and twitter for 90 minutes, but still have access to the rest of the web. Once started, it can not be undone by […]

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SelfControl is an OS X application which blocks access to incoming and/or outgoing mail servers and websites for a predetermined period of time.

For example, you could block access to your email, facebook, and twitter for 90 minutes, but still have access to the rest of the web. Once started, it can not be undone by the application, by deleting the application, or by restarting the computer – you must wait for the timer to run out.

SelfControl is Free Software under the GPL. The Sourcecode and wiki are available on Github. Free Software means you are free to use, modify, and redistribute the application and the source code. Free Software and volunteers have made a Linux version and a Windows version possible as well.

Martin: Hi Steve, thank for the opportunity to talk to you. A lot of people know and use your program SelfControl.

Can you tell us a bit why you made SelfControl? 

Steve: I wanted something that would block my email while I worked, so the SelfControl website blocker was originally used to be a simple command line script to serve just that purpose.

It was the time were everything you do is meant to be with an open license and I thought maybe I’d put this out and it’ll help somebody.

Steve: It turned out to be the most popular project I’ve ever made. It was like a total accident. It was just like the classic programmer thing where you scratch your own itch, you know.

 Steve Lampert 

 Creator of SelfControl 

quote-left

I wanted something that would block my email while I worked, so SelfControl was originally used to be a simple command line script to serve just that purpose.

Martin: It was the same for me when starting FindFocus. I was trying to start an online business about working part time and stress reduction, but always ended up being distracted. I was on Windows at that time and tried all the programs out there, but was never really satisfied with the solutions because they lacked flexibility.

All the other programs on the market were developed by single programmers but despite some of the programs being commercial none of them build a real business on that.

If I would walk into advertising with the skills I have I could probably be a millionaire but I cannot do it.

That’s when I decided to develop my own website and distraction blocker FindFocus. I wanted to build a tool to help people to stay away from distractions. The more I dig into the research the more I feel programs like Self-Control and FindFocus are needed.

It’s so scary what the internet and big company’s do to us. 

Steve: I try to keep my perspective in balance. Of course some people say: ‘Oh the Internet is destroying the way that we think and is racking humanity’ but if you study history this has been said about every new technology. Look up the term “bicycle face”. People used to believe that your face would deform  because we were not meant to travel at that speed.

Additional Info: Bicycle face:

A little over a century ago, women were discouraged from riding their bicycles. A bicycle face was considered a serious health issue. In the 19th century, medical professionals came up with a disease called ‘Bicycle Face’ to discourage women from cycling.

Because of the increasing availability of cycles women became more independent and were able to travel alone. This of course threatened the male hegemony.

The definition varies from source to source, but the general opinion was that women who biked too much would develop a chronic look of exhaustion and strain including tight lips, a flushed face, harsh wrinkles, and bulging eyes with dark circles underneath.

Martin: Yes, I heard the same about the invention of the railroad.

Steve: Yes, all technologies have this sort of thing around it. I try not to fall into that. For me it started different in a way. I don’t know why you cannot make a decision about when you receive your email and when it would send. For most people that seems to be like such a difficult thing. Everybody says “It’s not possible. It’s so difficult” and I think “Why?”

I think for a lot of companies it’s not in their interest to control that. You know what I mean?

Martin: Yes, when I first contacted you I really liked the contact form on your website. The form, that was inspired by Dan Ariely. I haven’t seen Dan’s tool before but I am huge fan of his work and I think it’s pretty awesome!

How many emails do you get through Your “email gate”?

Steve: I still get a good number of emails but it’s helpful when they indicate “Oh you don’t need to write me back” or say “you can write me back next month”.

I can see that much on my phone when it comes up and I won’t even look at it further. The form is not meant to intimidate people, so they won’t write to me. It’s just for me to get some more information.

Just to know if they want me to write back is super helpful. And then when I do write back something like “Thanks” then they are like:  “Wow”.

Basically I changed the expectations about the response. If I write back “Thanks” it actually means something to them, where if they expected me to write back and all I say is “Thanks” they would be insulted.

STEVE'S "Email Gate"


Martin: Yes. It’s the same philosophy that Cal Newport describes in his book “Deep Work”. Have you heard about it?

Steve: No.

Martin: Cal uses the same approach for filtering email.

Steve: I used to get a lot of customer service kind of emails saying: The program should do this and say: Yes you should create that feature then. It’s basically mismatch of expectations. I don’t know how familiar you are with the world of free or open source software. One thing I have to say about putting self-control out and making it free is that people don’t understand “free software”

Martin: I stumbled upon Richard Stallman and watched his Ted talk, recently.

Steve: Richard Stall man, of course. (laughs)

Martin: I did not completely agree with him but I think I got his point of view. For example I tried to use Linux when I was studying engineering at the University. It was just so customer unfriendly. Because of that I still prefer using Windows or Mac’s OS X. But he definitely right about using free software at universities and schools and teaching people how to code. I think his view is quite extreme. Especially for people like me who still want to have some control over the software. To build a real business on Richards’s model is quite difficult I think.

Steve: His argument is that the profit comes from service instead of sales. Like you are doing these in-person orientation, where you could say maybe the first one is free and the follow-up one costs money. It’s just a different profit model of customisation and service instead of software licenses.

Richard Stallman is like and idealist. No that’s the wrong word. He’s simply uncompromising. It’s a good challenge to study his approach. It’s so easy just to dismiss it but this guy has been acknowledged as a genius. He made most of LINUX.

So just try to work with this idea for a minute. This challenges push me in a way.

Understanding of open source software was just not there and shifting expectations was almost impossible.  I was saying you do it and people were just thinking I was a jerk.

One of the things we were talking about was being a customer and having expectations about software instead of being a participant and saying it would be really great if this feature was existing.

I pay you to code it.

Then I say, why don’t you pay someone else to do that? Shifting this expectation was almost impossible because understanding of open source software was just not there. I was saying you do it and people were just thinking I was a jerk.

But the good thing about releasing self-control for free is that it is way more popular than if it would be a commercial software. People downloaded for free and I hope they understand it as a gift and instead as of the product. I think, Self-control is useful for me and want people to use it, if it’s useful for them two. A lot of people understand it that way and use it because of that. And then they think: “Oh God this is so helpful”.

That’s the reason I get a lot of emails from doctoral students, from law students, people finishing medical degrees that say: “I could not have done this without the software. Thank you.”

I teach at the University and one of my students was like at the end of their senior year said “I did not know that you made that program” I don’t know if I would have graduated from high school if I haven’t found SelfControl. They were just so stunned and grateful that I was the person that designed the program.

I don’t know if any amount of money would have been worth Zadie Smith not publishing her novels, or students not finishing high school. I rather have all those things happen.

It helped a lot of people to write novels, too. A lot of authors acknowledge the software in their novel. Zadie Smith was one, which was a big deal. For me I don’t know how much money I could have made because there would be less users if I charged for it. And I don’t know how much money I would charge.

I don’t know if any amount of money would have been worth Zadie Smith not publishing her novels, or students not finishing high school. I rather have all those things happen.

Martin: That’s one of my motivations as well for creating a software like this. Maybe somebody will find a cure for cancer or something like that because they are able to stay focused.

Steve: Yes culture, science all of that stuff. In the same style of Richard Stallman extreme, I challenge you, I would challenge you to think about how you could help and lower the barrier so you can help the most people and still have a viable source of income. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about that because I have always had other ways of making money and I never depended on making money from self-control.

The other thing is that working in places like South Africa and Kenya the amount of money would be totally different. How do you make it accessible to everyone? Two people who cannot afford it but need it? And to make the people who can afford it to pay for it.

Martin: I always ask myself what’s the right approach for this. However, I found that if people actually pay for a software like this, especially if it’s a bit more they by definition “value” it. They put more effort into using the website blocker and appreciate the software much more. When I was releasing the software for free in the beginning nobody cared. The cool thing was, when I started to charge for FindFocus, literally my first customer that paid about 100$, was Brett McKay who runs “The Art of Manliness Blog”. This was a huge success for me.

Steve: Yes I heard about that blog. In social change stuff they have a thing they call: “The commitment pledge” for example if you want to quit smoking, a lot of smoking decision programs include a document that says “I am gonna quit on this day” and you need to sign it. And you don’t give it to anyone. It’s just you sign the document. And the psychological commitment that goes along with that is enough to help you be more successful.

I think your in person on boarding calls are really smart because your customers think: “I am meeting with this guy, I am gonna do quit my distraction problems. And they become more serious.”

I think your in person on boarding calls are really smart because your customers think:   “I am meeting with this guy, I am gonna do quit my distraction problems. And they become more serious.”

The other thing I was gonna say about making the software is that SelfControl is gonna save this problem for you about people that really need it. You can say that FindFocus is a professional, robust software with a lot more features and details. If you just want to block sites, try Self-Control. It’s free.

When you’re ready and need a more specific and flexible solution, FindFocus is here.

That you be a way of doing that. You don’t have to solve all the problems.


Martin: Would you be willing to support FindFocus?

Steve: Yes, of course. I mean, your software has timers and stuff like that.

What I want to say is: In open source software people make bounties like “I want this feature added but I don’t know how to do it or I don’t have time to do it but I put $15 towards it or I put a hundred dollars towards it”. One of the most popular features that was requested was a timer. At one point there was a bounty of $300 on this feature. So if someone would have coded that future he would have gotten the $300. This was for timer. And someone made a separate program that when self-control on a timer but it was a hack.

You had to edit a text file and to put in times. It was really particular but it worked. But not that well. That’s the kind of thing. It’s been years that people wanted it and no one made it. Your software has this automated breaks, and with your code it wouldn’t be that difficult to add new features like in the morning from Monday to Friday I don’t want to get emails until 10 in the morning, etc.

That’s the Thing With Free Software... It’s Been Years That People Wanted This Feature And No One Made It.

Martin: I will just show it to you. I am on Windows right now but it’s the same program for Mac as well.

Steve: It’s a different program and you have a whole lot more. For example people ask about the Pomodoro thing, too.

Martin: In FindFocus, you can use different profiles. I use a white list approach, where I only allow the sites that I need for work. That means I allow all the websites and services that I need for my business and block everything else. At the same time I can run multiple profiles. For example if I want to do some research my email and Facebook is still blocked. And then I just schedule these profiles throughout the day. I allow myself to pause a profile for two minutes, so I can do a quick search. After the timer is up all websites except the ones for work are blocked again. I’m forced to go back to my writing or work.

The thing about FindFocus is: It’s 100% flexible. You can design any schedule you want. For example you can block “Steam” throughout the day and allow access to emails only twice, etc.

Basically you can do all the advanced stuff that you’re not able to do with self-control. I really like it and especially for Mac it’s by far the best website blocker out there.

What I really like about the software, is that you have difficult unlock modes. You can have a delay, you can type in some text, like “Martin, do you really need to check your email right now”. You can even combine this with an unlocked delay.

Are you can put the software into Fort Knox mode, which basically does the same as self-control. You’re not able to reverse your preferences.

Steve: Wait. Let’s say you are in the middle of the block, does that mean you can unlock it but have to wait a certain amount of time?

Martin: Yes.

Steve: So you don’t get the immediate gratification.

Martin: yes exactly. I did a lot of research in behavioural science. It shows that putting a reward just five minutes away, is a really big thing to stay on task. You can even just pause the program for a few minutes and then the software will force you to go back to work.

Steve: Nice. This is great.

Martin: And of course FindFocus can block applications as well.

Steve: Has anyone asked you to make mobile apps yet?

Martin: No.

Steve: They will.

Martin: I want to do that in the future, but at the moment I really need my own software. You saw that I run it all day. I am getting distracted all the time. I am heavily influenced by the Quaker approach. It’s a religious group from the UK. And one of my professors from Cambridge taught us this philosophy:

“The process grows the people who do it. The product grows the people who receive it. The profit grows the community.”

This is the philosophy behind everything that I do. I’m always questioning, if I’m doing the right thing. For example with pricing and being exposed to all the Internet marketing stuff, where you always walk this thin ethical line between manipulation and ethics. So I am questioning myself a lot.

Steve: I think that’s good. It’s what has made your software more successful, because you care about people being successful instead of your product being successful. FindFocus will be successful as a byproduct. And that’s a great attitude to have. It will make the product better.

You can see other software, where you clearly can see that the #1 priority is to make sure the sales are successful, and #2 is the actual product. It’s a real subtle difference but it changes the way you think and approach it. In the end you will make something more valuable. For cultural production, for scientific production, for well-being…

This is the thing I had to get comfortable. If I would walk into advertising with the skills I have I could probably be a millionaire but I cannot do it. (Laughs)

You care about people being successful instead of your product being successful.   FindFocus will be successful as a byproduct. And that’s a great attitude to have. It will make the product better.

Martin: Yes. I get that. I am an engineer but I love artists and like people who create the live they want to live. For me it’s not about the money. Lately I had a PhD asking if he could use FindFocus for a research project and I gave him a few licences for free. On the other hand the official price for FindFocus is $1000 for lifetime license.

If you really think in terms of value it worth it. For example if you just save 10 hours and value your time at $100 you will get a positive ROI already. In Western countries this is not that uncommon. Most people will see a positive ROI after only one month.

Steve: You are right. Maybe there is some kind of Stallman idea. You done all that research and you have the expertise of the software. Both together are helping people to stay on track. You could do coaching, where you can charge a bit more and talk about that kind of value.

Martin: Yes, I will probably do webinars in the future and add online coaching programs, where maybe they will get FindFocus as a bonus.

Steve: With all of the Stallman stuff, just think of it as a prompt, not a command. He came to one of my talks once.

Martin: Wow, cool.

Steve: I saw him in the audience and I had not been that nervous in a long time and hoped he was gonna like what I had to say. But he was really good about it.

Martin: Awesome. Thank you so much for the interview.

Steve: Sure. Thanks for reaching out. I really appreciate it.

Martin: Thank you for your time. Really appreciated it as well. 


About Steve Lambert

Steve Lambert made international news after the 2008 US election with The New York Times “Special Edition,” a replica of the “paper of record” announcing the end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other good news. In the Summer of 2011 he began a national tour of Capitalism Works For Me! True/False – a 9 x 20ft sign allowing people to vote on whether capitalism worked for them . He has collaborated with groups from the Yes Men to the Graffiti Research Lab and Greenpeace. He is also the founder of the Center for Artistic Activism, the Anti-Advertising Agency, Add-Art (a Firefox add-on that replaces online advertising with art) and SelfControl (which blocks grownups from distracting websites so they can get work done).

Steve’s projects and art works have won awards from Prix Ars Electronica, Rhizome/The New Museum, the Creative Work Fund, Adbusters Media Foundation, the California Arts Council, and others. Lambert’s work has been shown everywhere from museums to protest marches nationally and internationally, featured in over fourteen books, four documentary films, and is in the collections of The Sheldon Museum, the Progressive Insurance Company, and The Library of Congress. Lambert has discussed his work live on NPR, the BBC, and CNN, and been reported on internationally in outlets including Associated Press, the New York Times, the Guardian, Harper’s Magazine, The Believer, Good, Dwell, ARTnews, Punk Planet, and Newsweek.


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FindFocus Website Blocker Awarded 4.5/5 Stars by Softpedia https://findfocus.net/softpedia/ https://findfocus.net/softpedia/#respond Thu, 29 Jun 2017 15:25:40 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=890 This post is an independent review done by Sergiu Gatlan from Softpedia. The original article can be found here: Complex yet easy to use app designed to help you focus on the task at hand, to avoid distractions and to take well-timed breaks to stay productiveDepending on your ability to fight procrastination, you may or may […]

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This post is an independent review done by Sergiu Gatlan from Softpedia. The original article can be found here

Complex yet easy to use app designed to help you focus on the task at hand, to avoid distractions and to take well-timed breaks to stay productive

Depending on your ability to fight procrastination, you may or may not need an application to help you stay focused on a particular task, and to avoid getting distracted by social networks websites, by your friends or an unexpected e-mail that just arrived in your inbox.

To help you stay motivated and focused throughout your work day, you can install FindFocus, a multi-faceted anti-procrastination macOS utility created from the ground up with a single purpose in mind: to give you all the tools you require to get your work done.

Create custom focus profiles meant to keep you productive all day long

Even though FindFocus might seem intimidating at first sight, as its user interface features a multitude of tabs, each of them designed to add a different tool in your anti-procrastination arsenal, using it is actually quite straightforward.

Using FindFocus is actually quite straightforward. Every feature is designed to add a different tool in your anti-procrastination arsenal.

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The best way to get an understanding of what it is capable of is to go through the video tutorials available on the FindFocus Video Tutorials web page, but we'll also give you a quick rundown below if you're in a hurry.

First things first, you need to create a new focus profile via the Profiles tab, which will allow you to design custom website and application blocking configurations that suit specific tasks.

While creating profiles, you can also define the amount of protection each focus mode profile you create comes with, from no protection whatsoever to entering a text to stop or pause the profile.

Softpedia guarantees that FindFocus is 100% Clean, which means it does not contain any form of malware, including but not limited to: spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors. This software product was tested thoroughly and was found absolutely clean; therefore, it can be installed with no concern by any computer user.

Automated breaks and blacklist mode support.

If you want to go even further, you can also enable the Fort Knox protection mode for any of your profiles which will prevent you from disabling focus mode while they are enabled.

The profiles you create can later be used in the Sequences module to design intricate focus schemes and, afterward, included within custom schedules via the Schedule module. Moreover, FindFocus also helps you configure flexible or scheduled break plans, as well as postpone or disable focus profile protection settings via the Breaks tab.

If you are not a fan of elaborate anti-procrastination designs, FindFocus can also be used to devise a website and application profile, which will allow you to input which websites and applications you don't want to have access to while the blacklist mode is on.

Powerful anti-procrastination utility designed to boost your productivity

During the testing period, FindFocus worked perfectly; however, we found a small bug: the last entries in the profiles and sequences list cannot be manipulated (i.e. edited, removed or copied) as the bottom toolbar will disappear.

There is a workaround though: you can regain access to the toolbar by clicking on any of the profiles above the last one.

All things considered, despite its apparent complexity, FindFocus is a must-have application if you find it hard to stay focused and ignore distractions on your own.

FindFocus is a must-have application if you find it hard to stay focused and ignore distractions on your own.

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Moreover, once you've mastered its Sequences and Schedule modules, you will most likely become unstoppable in your fight for boosting your daily productivity.

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5 Tactics To Build A Powerfully Productive Mind https://findfocus.net/productive-mind/ https://findfocus.net/productive-mind/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:00:07 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=711 How often do you feel busy, but feeling as if you’re not actually getting anything done?Days go by and you feel consistently overwhelmed with so many things on your plate, but you don’t actually make any real progress on anything meaningful.Then we look around and wonder how so many others we look up to seem to get […]

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How often do you feel busy, but feeling as if you’re not actually getting anything done?

Days go by and you feel consistently overwhelmed with so many things on your plate, but you don’t actually make any real progress on anything meaningful.

Then we look around and wonder how so many others we look up to seem to get so much more accomplished…

We Live in the Most Distracting Era in All of Human History.

 While there are a ton of tools, apps and notebooks to help us prioritize and schedule our tasks, our mind only has limited processing power. When too many things are going in, it gets bogged down and our focus will constantly be switching all over the place. This leads to that wonderfully frustrating feeling that is procrastination.

A mind that is overwhelmed cannot effectively take anything new on.

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Creating a powerful mind capable of focus and productivity starts with taking back control of everything entering it.

Here are 5 tactics I’ve used and shared with many others that you can implement to dramatically boost your minds ability to focus and fend off procrastination

1. Control your Physical Clutter

How does your environment look around you? Is it organized or chaotic with items scattered all over your desk or bedroom?

Our physical worlds tend to be a reflection of our mental worlds.

You may wonder how this matters in being more productive, but a messy physical world actually draws energy from our mind. Energy and focus we could be using towards more meaningful things…

If our room is a mess or the kitchen needs to be tidied, every-time we see this it will draw energy as we’re reminded of what we need to do. An excellent resource on this, is Marie Kondos book on “The Magic of Tidying Up.”

“When you put your house in order, you put your affairs in order too.” – Marie Kondo

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The more minimalist of a life we can practice the more productive space we can create in our mind.

Going through old items and clothes and removing them (I recommend donating clothes) can make you feel like you lost 10 pounds of mental load.

Steve Jobs actually wore the same outfit each day so he didn’t have to exert any energy thinking about it and could instead focus on the tasks of the day ahead. This is an extreme example, but it emphasizes the power of this…

The more “out of control” our world around us is the harder it becomes to dive into powerful focus to get things done.

2. Control your Virtual Clutter

How many notifications are on your phone right now?

Better yet, how many unread emails are in your inbox?

A few years back I reached a point where I had several thousand unread emails in my inbox. It was to the point where even just opening my inbox made me instantly feel overwhelmed. Much like physical clutter, virtual clutter is a VERY real thing and can cause us to expend tons of unnecessary energy each day.

What is virtual clutter?

It’s all those digital distractions we are so fortunate to have surround us now everyday. Facebook notifications, emails, Instagram photos, Youtube Ad’s, push notifications from apps on your phone etc..

Imagine your brain as a funnel and more and more things keep pouring into it.

We eventually hit a blockage as the funnel is overwhelmed.

In our case, our brain simply cannot process so much coming at it at once and still be focused on something else.

What can we do about it?

Unsubscribe to emails you don’t find any value in, ask to be taken off email chains that you don’t need to directly respond too and really decrease the amount of email coming in. Once done, I highly recommend practicing inbox zero to really optimize your time spent there.

Social media can also be a huge energy drainer with the amount of negativity that seems to be rampant on it recently. Clean it up just like your email. Be relentless, your mental energy and state is yours to protect.

Un-follow people who post things that you find are taking you find are negatively impacting your mindset.

There are a number of apps and tools as well that can help us with this. Facebook newsfeed eradicator, RescueTime and of course FindFocus can help us reclaim our productive time.

The more of this energy we take back the more we can use it towards important things.

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Don’t be afraid to use the “airplane mode” setting on your phone when you want to really get things done.

For more details on ways to do this check this out.

3. Become unafraid of saying NO

If you find yourself in the state we described above, of constantly feeling overwhelmed and busy you should probably be saying no more often then you say yes.

Think about it, if we are already procrastinating and behind on things, how will saying yes to taking on more items or event invitations possibly make that any better? Many people (including myself at a time) are afraid to say no to people, don’t be.

Darren Hardy, former publisher of success magazine tells a story of a company trying to bring on Richard Branson as a speaker. They called three times to Bransons assistant, offering more money with each call, but each time the assistant did not pass on the message.

Why? Branson was locked into his 3 current strategic objectives he was working on, and speaking was not one of them. He had specifically instructed to say NO to anything note related to those 3 objectives.

While I believe we should always make time for important events but it is only by saying no that we can truly control our energy, focus and time.

4. You lack a defined schedule

One of the bluntest pieces of productivity advice I ever received was the following.

“If it’s not on your schedule, it does not exist.”

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We need to create non-negotiable scheduled time to complete the important tasks we need to get done to reach our goals.

 When we try to accomplish things without setting aside planned time to do them usually one of two things happen.

  1. It never gets done.
  2. It gets done bit by bit taking far longer than we wanted.

Saying "No" becomes most important when people ask you to do things during this time.

Think about someone who wants to get into better shape. If they simply just try to “fit in a workout when they’re free”, we know will probably never or very rarely see this person in the gym.

We need to plan the time when we will workout and ideally have it at the same time each week. Being productive toward your business, career, or almost any goal should be handled the same way.

5. Upgrade your lifestyle

In order to help create a powerfully productive mind, we need to build a lifestyle that creates energy to be our best self.

If you are frequently tired and without energy you may need to look at your daily habits.

Don’t neglect your sleep, your nutrition or your fitness. Treat and care for your mind and body like a Rolls Royce and they will give you the energy you need to get more done, battle procrastination and get you exactly where you want to go in life.

My own life changed dramatically when I emphasized all of the above, having more energy in my 30’s then I did in my early 20’s.

Our billionaire friend, Richard Branson also agrees and says how he finds working out each day gives him 4 extra hours of productivity.

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What Are the Three Daily Practices to Stay Young? https://findfocus.net/3-daily-practices-stay-young/ https://findfocus.net/3-daily-practices-stay-young/#comments Mon, 09 Jan 2017 13:06:58 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=515 Wow! I never expected that such a simple answer would resonate with over 1.000.000 people. I am deeply grateful. Therefore, I wrote a little add-on to this question.Let me make an assumption first. You already know a lot about productivity and are looking for ways how to improve your life.However, the more you read the […]

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Wow! I never expected that such a simple answer would resonate with over 1.000.000 people.

What-are-the-three-daily-practices-to-stay-young

I am deeply grateful. Therefore, I wrote a little add-on to this question.

Let me make an assumption first.

You already know a lot about productivity and are looking for ways how to improve your life.

However, the more you read the more confused you get.At least this was my own experience.The more I read the less I did.

I was simply overwhelmed.There are so many experts, so much conflicting advice to be found on how to be healthy, how to be productive, how to live your life…

There are so many rules, so many opinions…

And The worst part … it’s often contradicting…

How are we even supposed to find out what’s right for US?

I don’t even know for myself what’s right and what’s wrong.

Just take a look a dieting advice. Some people recommend eating only veggies while other swear on the Paleo diet, while other people say they don’t care and eat pasta and drink beer in the evening and are still able to break one world record after another.

How to make sense of this? It’s just too much.

I struggled with this for years till I made a simple observation.

It does not really matter what other people stay! We’re all different. Everyone has differnent problems, different struggles, different opinion on what is right.

The fact is: Some advice works for a certain person while at the same time it’s harmful to the person next him.You are different from the every other reader of this blog post!

However, …

I noticed one detail that most people seem to overlook.

I cannot even trust myself. How can I assume that somebody has the perfect solution for my problem? Most of us don’t take the time to look at ourselves and what we already know.

We humans are conditioned to always crave for new things. Probably that is the reason why you are reading this blog post.

You want to know about the latest life hack, dieting advice, productivity tip…

Yet,... we tend to underestimate what we already know.

Here is the thing:

Even if we don’t know what works BEST for us, all of us have a pretty good understanding what’s NOT GOOD for us.

For example, taking heroin, eating sugar and junk food, drinking alcohol, spending too much time on the internet, …

We Act Against Our Best Knowledge

Thousands of years before Facebook, YouTube and Quora the ancient Greeks used the word “akrasia” to describe the act of doing one thing when you know you should do another. The term appears several times in the New Testament.

In fact, in the words of Richard Bach, “You teach best what you most need to learn.”I’ve had to devise my own behavioral hacks to regain control over my own bad habits and deal with the struggles that happen to me (especially last year).

It will never become easier, yet…

I Found A Simple Technique to Be Very Effective

Just eliminate the bad stuff and your life automatically will get better.

Click to Tweet

Just by getting rid of the stuff you already know is bad for you will see major improvements.

Sticking to this simple formula I was able to achieve amazing results:

For example:

  • loose 10kg without doing more sports or making (big) changes to my diet
  • stop watching porn completely
  • leaving a job I don’t like in order to start my own company
  • living at the place where I really wanted to live
  • build relationships with amazing people

The thing is I don’t know what’s right for you.

You have to decide for yourself.

However, I know about a lot about the things that are bad for all of US.

We’ve been oversold the value of more and undersold the value of less.

Click to Tweet

If you like to know more about the simple strategies that I use to get rid of the bad stuff, please join my newsletter and let’s make this journey together.

I invite you on this journey with me.

Let’s Make the Best Out of 2017 Together.

Make a huge step forward by doing less things of the things that are not good for you.

Live life on your own terms.

Have a great start into 2017!

Cheers,

Martin

PS: Even if you decide not to join. You made the right decision because you have to decide for yourself what’s GOOD FOR YOU.

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A Surefire Way to Create the Perfect Work Balance with the Magic Wheel of Life https://findfocus.net/wheel-of-life/ https://findfocus.net/wheel-of-life/#comments Fri, 23 Dec 2016 07:54:15 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=221 Time management requires practice and preparation. You need to practice various techniques to improve your ability to manage time, as well as take steps to be prepared each day. Though, in addition to planning your work schedule, you need to find a way to balance your work commitments with your life commitments. You cannot let […]

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Increase Productivity and Focus

Time management requires practice and preparation. You need to practice various techniques to improve your ability to manage time, as well as take steps to be prepared each day. Though, in addition to planning your work schedule, you need to find a way to balance your work commitments with your life commitments. You cannot let life get away from you.

One method of striking a balance between work and life is to use the “Wheel of Life Exercise”. This simple technique is used by millions of people on a regular basis. So, if you struggle to balance your work demands with your own personal happiness and growth, then take a moment to complete the wheel of life exercise.

What is the Wheel of Life?

First, it should be pointed out that the wheel of life exercise is not connected to the Buddhist wheel of life. That is more for spiritual and mental awareness. Instead, the wheel of life that you will be using is designed to help you figure out how you are currently spending your time.

You can find a copy of this wheel in the FindFocus Productivity Planner. Print out the planner and fill it out as you follow along with the rest of this article:

Wheel of Life

The wheel of life is divided into 8 categories representing different aspects of your life. Take a look at the image above. The 8 categories cover everything from personal growth to your physical environment. All of these categories are integral to your satisfaction with life. If you want to find the perfect work/life balance, start with the wheel of life exercise.

Rate Your Level of Satisfaction

After you print out the Productivity Planner, you will rate your overall level of satisfaction in each category on the wheel of life. Do not rush through this process. It is important that you are honest with yourself. Take your time filling out the chart. Rate your satisfaction on a scale between 0 and 10 – 10 being the highest score. Here is a closer look at each of the 8 categories:

  • Personal Growth – Are you satisfied with your personal growth? Do you try new things and explore new ways of improving yourself?
  • Money – Are you happy with the amount of money that you earn? Are you happy with your career?
  • Health – Are you happy with your level of physical fitness?
  • Fun & Recreation – Do you take the time to enjoy yourself? Do you have hobbies that you enjoy?
  • Significant Other / Romance – Do you actively work on your relationships? Are you satisfied with your current relationship?
  • Family & Friends – Do you support the interests of your family? Do they support your interests?
  • Career / Mission – Are you doing everything in your power to advance your career and reach your goals?
  • Physical Environment – Are you happy with your current living situation? Does your current environment support your goals or interfere with your plans?

Give each of these categories some thought. Go through them one at a time, but do not spend too much thinking about your satisfaction level. The first number to pop into your head is often the most accurate estimate.

Rate your satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10. On the Productivity Planner, fill in your level of satisfaction. You will see that there are 10 sections to each pie in the wheel. Color in the section, starting from the center of the circle, until you reach your satisfaction level.

Evaluate Your Results

After you have finished filling out the wheel, you need to evaluate your results. Scores between 8 and 10 are fantastic. This means that you are spending enough time on these categories.

Continue what you are doing to maintain your happiness in these areas. You do not want to slack off or take these scores as a sign that you can spend less time on these categories. Otherwise, your satisfaction level can start to slip.

Any category that received a score between 5 and 7 requires some exploration. You should come up with ideas to increase your satisfaction level.

If you have any categories that received a score of 4 or less, then you need to reconsider your current routine. You are neglecting these areas. You may need to devote less time to certain categories and more time to these categories.

Creating an Action Plan

When you have scores that you want to improve, you need to create an action plan. You need to put the wheel in motion. Use the ratings that you gave each of the categories to prioritize your time. You should start with your weekly schedule.

Look at your entire week and determine which days you will be able to devote more time to specific categories. Afterward, you will need to mark these days on your calendar. Once you have a general outline of what you need to accomplish for the week, you are ready to come up with a plan for the day.

Each day you should look at your weekly outline in order to determine your goals for the day. Remember to add these to your daily planner and consult your wheel of life to set your life balance for the day.

You should place a priority on tasks related to the categories that need more attention. For example, if you have been neglecting your social life, then find time during the day to chat with some friends or meet up for lunch. Write down the names of the people that you should reach out to today.

Continue to Use the Wheel of Life

The wheel of life is not an exercise that you perform once and forget about. This is something that you should continue to use on a regular basis, which is why it is included in the Productivity Planner.

Too often people lose focus in life and start to procrastinate. Do not fall into this trap. Every day, take a few minutes to fill out the wheel and decide what you can do today to improve these areas of your life.

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The Right Way Take Breaks from Your Work https://findfocus.net/breaks-from-your-work/ https://findfocus.net/breaks-from-your-work/#respond Thu, 27 Oct 2016 09:58:37 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=229 Taking a regular break is an essential part of remaining productive and focused. When you have a deadline to meet, it can be hard to pull yourself away from your computer. But, you need to force yourself to do so. Breaks are a necessary part of working from home or managing your own time.The problem […]

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Stay Focused with Regular Breaks

Taking a regular break is an essential part of remaining productive and focused. When you have a deadline to meet, it can be hard to pull yourself away from your computer. But, you need to force yourself to do so. Breaks are a necessary part of working from home or managing your own time.

The problem with skipping breaks is that your productivity will start to drop. A task that should have taken you an hour in order to complete may take several hours. You have then wasted a couple of hours when you could have simply taken a couple short breaks.

If you have trouble forcing yourself to take a break, then discover the right way to take breaks from your work. You will feel more refreshed and ready to tackle any challenge.

The Benefits of Taking Breaks

As mentioned, taking regular breaks helps improve productivity. But, this is not the only advantage of getting away from your work. Here are a few other reasons to give yourself a break:

  • Increase your creativity and gain inspiration
  • Improve the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain
  • Get a chance to boost your energy with caffeine
  • Give your eyes a chance to rest and avoid eye strain

When you take the time to get away from your workspace and do something else, you can increase your creativity. When you sit in the same position for an extended period of time, your mind begins to wander and your thoughts become dulled. You also limit your blood circulation and could end up with eye strain – which can lead to headaches and fatigue.

By taking a break, you will avoid these issues. You can gain inspiration during your break by talking to a friend. You can improve your flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, which helps prevent mental exhaustion. You also have the chance to refill your energy level with a quick shot of caffeine.

So, those are a few of the main reasons why you need to take a break. But, how do you go about taking a break? You would think that this should be simple. Unfortunately, it is easy to allow your break to go on too long or waste valuable time browsing the web. Use the following tips to avoid those mistakes, so that you can get the most out of your break time.

Get Up and Walk Around

When it comes time to take a break, it is not a good idea to remain seated in the same position. You will limit the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain. After several hours, you will definitely notice the signs of fatigue setting in.

Instead of staying in your seat, you need to get up and walk around. As mentioned, this gets your blood flowing and gives you a chance to get away from whatever you are working on. Even if you do not go anywhere or do anything during your break, you should at least walk around the room and stretch your legs.

Take a Short Cat Nap

While there are benefits to napping, if you sleep too long you will find yourself more tired than you were before the nap. The reason for this is that after about one-hour of sleep, you enter a deeper sleep. Awakening from this slumber you are disrupting your sleep cycle, which can lead to drowsiness and mental fatigue.

If you feel that you must take a nap, then take a short cat nap. Sleep for 10 to 20-minutes. This is enough time to help refresh your brain. You will awake feeling refreshed and ready for work.

Take a 5-Minute Break

A cat nap in the middle of the day can do wonders for your mental energy, but you do not want to fill your day with these naps. For the majority of your breaks, you should limit yourself to 5-minutes of break time. These breaks are meant as a momentary solution for getting away from your work and clearing your mind.

Learn How to Block a Website

Spending 5-minutes on Facebook can quickly turn into 30-minutes, as you scroll through the feed. If you tend to have trouble avoiding social media sites during your break, then learn how to block a website.

You do not need to completely block all websites. But, you can block specific URLs. For example, if you visit Facebook or Twitter constantly, then block those two URLs. There is software available to help with this, but they are difficult to use. That is why I am currently hard at work on software that will allow you to restrict access to the internet. You will be able to use this software to keep yourself focused on the task at hand. Once you complete your daily tasks, you could feel free to browse the web. 

Find Focus with Simple Website Blocker Software
Set a Hard Stop Time

For example, if you are using the FindFocus Productivity Planner to properly plan out your day, then you should have set a “hard stop” time.

This is a set time when you will call it quits for the day. With the software that I am developing, you will then be able to block yourself from visiting specific sites during this time.

Make Sure That You Start Scheduling Your Breaks

It is not always easy to remember to take your breaks. If you are not careful, you may end up working for far too long, which leads to mental fatigue, resulting in a major drop in productivity. The FindFocus Productivity Planner can help you remember to take these short breaks.

Take a 5 Minute Break

If you look at the first page of the planner, there is a column on the right-hand side, where you can write down your activities throughout the day, divided into 15-minute increments – from 6AM to 10PM. Within every 30 to 60-minute block, place a mark when you take a break. You can then check and see the last time that you took a break.

The average US adult works about 47 hours per week. Many of us struggle to find the time to take a lunch – let alone a 5-minute break.

If you want to find focus and remain productive, you need to take regular breaks. Every 25 to 55-minutes, you should take a 5-minute break. Get up and walk around for a few minutes, stretch your legs, and do not waste your time browsing the web.

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7 Reasons Why You Should Learn How to Block a Website https://findfocus.net/7-reasons-why-you-should-learn-how-to-block-a-website/ https://findfocus.net/7-reasons-why-you-should-learn-how-to-block-a-website/#respond Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:33:35 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=281 How often do you get distracted from your work and find yourself endlessly browsing the web? If you have trouble answering this question, then you are probably spending too much time surfing the net. You may find it hard to complete your work and stay focused. But, there is a solution to prevent these distractions.Learning […]

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Website blocker

How often do you get distracted from your work and find yourself endlessly browsing the web? If you have trouble answering this question, then you are probably spending too much time surfing the net. You may find it hard to complete your work and stay focused. But, there is a solution to prevent these distractions.

Learning how to block a website and restrict your internet access throughout the day will lead to better focus and actually give you more spare time at the end of the work day. Don’t believe me? Here are 7 reasons why blocking a website can help improve your time management. By restricting or blocking access, you will:

  1. Not get distracted as often
  2. Spend less time checking Facebook
  3. Be able to increase your productivity
  4. Force yourself to stick to your routine
  5. Be able to stay focused on the task at hand
  6. Complete your daily commitments on time
  7. Find yourself reaching the long-term goals that you have set

#1 – Prevent Distractions

Time management is all about managing the time that you have available so that you can complete your daily goals in a timely manner. The biggest obstacle to this is the internet. When you work from home and are required to use the internet to complete your tasks, then the internet is both necessary and a threat to your productivity.

Blocking access to the websites that you visit most often will help prevent these distractions. This is hard to do without help. This is why I am currently developing software that will allow you to automatically block access to specific sites, set internet time limits, and more. My goal with this software is to help you increase your productivity and stay focused. Make sure that you check back so that you can get access to this software as soon as it is released.

#2 – Waste Less Time on Facebook

Along with blocking access to websites on your computer or laptop, you may benefit from an app blocker for your smartphone. Facebook and other apps keep you from getting everything accomplished during the day. The time that you waste using these apps could be spent on your actual tasks.

#3 – Increase Your Productivity

The benefit of both website and app blockers is that they will be able help increase your productivity. Imagine that you spend six minutes every hour browsing the web or checking an app on your phone. Over the course of ten hours, you will have wasted an entire hour of your time. If that’s not a drain on productivity, then what is? Not sticking to your daily routine.

#4 – Stick to Your Daily Routine

Planning out your morning routine is a great way to stay on track. But, these plans will mean nothing if you cannot keep yourself from opening a new tab in your browser and wasting time browsing the net.

With the FindFocus Productivity Planner, you can actually plan out every single stage of your day – from your morning routine to your evening routine and everything in between. Though, it all starts with your morning routine.

Productivity Planner

You can fill out this planner in the evening, before you end your day, or early in the morning, as a part of your morning routine. It will also come in handy throughout the day, for helping you remember to take your breaks and stick to your routine.

#5 – Stay Focused on the Task at Hand

Blocking or restricting your internet access will also help you stay focused on the task at hand. Multitasking is not real. There is no benefit to trying to juggle multiple tasks because your brain needs to process the transition between these tasks. Six-minutes wasted on a website could result in ten minutes of getting back on track.

#6 – Complete Your Daily Commitments

Procrastination is the root of all evil. It drains your productivity and prevents you from completing your daily commitments. But, you are not alone. Studies show that about 20% of people are chronic procrastinators. This means they regularly find themselves putting off their daily tasks.

Again, you will find it easier to stay focused and manage your time if you cannot spend a few minutes here and there browsing the web.

#7 – Reach Your Long-Term Goals

Along with your actual commitments, you should find it easier to reach your own personal goals. The plan that you set out for the week, the month, or the year will be easier to reach. You will not reach these goals overnight, but you will never get there at all if you cannot find ways to manage your time.

You need to take everything one day at a time while continuing to look at the big picture. You should occasionally check your long-term goals and make sure that you are taking small steps to reach them. Again, there is a spot for this in the Productivity Planner:

Set Your Goals

How Do You Block Access to a Website?

So, you now know the reasons why it is important to block internet access, but how do you go about this? You will need to install a program on your computer or smartphone that is capable of restricting access. There are currently a few programs available, but I have not been satisfied with how they work. As mentioned, I am in the process of developing software that will provide all of the benefits discussed. 

Staying focused does not need to be complicated. But, it can require practice. App and website blockers can help. But, the currently available programs may not meet your needs. Though, there is a way to start improving your focus now. I suggest that you fill out the Productivity Planner. As mentioned, it will help you plan out your entire day, helping you stay focused.

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7 Time Tested Solutions for Creating the Perfect Morning Routine That Will Shock You https://findfocus.net/morning-routine/ https://findfocus.net/morning-routine/#respond Wed, 28 Sep 2016 11:11:40 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=186 Do you hate getting out of bed in the morning? If so, you are definitely not alone. The idea of getting out of bed and facing the day, especially when you have a lot of work to accomplish, can make you want to hit the snooze button a few more times.The way that you handle […]

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Do you hate getting out of bed in the morning? If so, you are definitely not alone. The idea of getting out of bed and facing the day, especially when you have a lot of work to accomplish, can make you want to hit the snooze button a few more times.

The way that you handle your morning routine can have a profound impact on your ability to get things done throughout the day. If you constantly struggle to balance your tasks for the day, then it may help to look at the way you deal with the morning.

Below, I have provided several easy solutions that will help you create the perfect morning routine. You will learn how to develop an effective routine that can carry you through the rest of the day.

Why is Having a Routine So Important?

Before getting into the various ways that you can create a morning routine, it may help to know why having a routine is so important. There is a science to this process. By setting a morning routine, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Improve your physical and mental health
  • Become more organized
  • Develop positive habits for life
  • Be prepared to start the day properly

Setting a routine helps to lower your stress levels. You will wake up already knowing what you need to accomplish. Your mind will have fewer challenges to deal with, as your schedule is already set. This gives you the ability to remain more focused on your tasks.

By creating a routine, you can also enjoy improved physical and mental health. Following a morning routine will set the frame of your day. 

How often did you start off with a bad habit like eating an unhealthy breakfast like a croissant or a donut and think: Now it does not matter matter anyway. This day is screwed. Therefore you eat junk food at lunch, eat sweets during the stay and finish your dinner with even more junk food? 

However I have a an established morning routine it sets the tone for the whole day. It becomes a habit that you can continue to use for the rest of your life. You will naturally become more organized and efficient.

I am still surprised that even though I still eat way too much sugar and sweets I am getting stronger and even lose weight (!!!) just because I follow my morning routine. It's all about starting right and follow a proven system. That's will contribute up for about 80% of your success. 

But wow do you get started? What can you do to create the perfect morning routine? Pay attention to the following tips.

Make Sure You Get Enough Sleep

The first step to creating the perfect morning routine begins the night before. You need a good night’s rest in order to be productive the next day. While you are sleeping, your brain is resetting. You are uploading the input that has entered your brain throughout the day so that your mind will be clear when you awake.

Getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night will help you with problem-solving and focus. Your brain needs sleep in order to work properly. Set a bedtime and stick to it. Additionally don't use any technology one hour before you go to bed. You will find this habit alone will reduce your stress level in a way that you cannot imagine right now. 

Develop Positive Habits for Life

Making sure that you get rest is essential. But, there is more to having a great start that simply getting enough rest. As part of your morning routine, you should plan a few activities to help you start the day.

I prefer to follow the advice of Hal Elrod. This guy truly has a remarkable story. After being hit by a vehicle, Hal was declared dead for a total of six minutes. He then spent the next six days in a coma. Upon awakening, Hal transformed his life and developed a simple system that anyone can use to prepare the perfect morning routine. He refers to this as the Miracle Morning.

What is the Miracle Morning? It’s a simple six-step routine that uses habit stacking to help you develop positive habits for life.

I added the shower because it has had a huge impact on my life and energy level. I suggest that you read through this routine and choose 3 to 5 things to work into your morning routine. Over time, you can try to incorporate all of these habits:

  • Silence
  • Affirmations
  • Visualization
  • Exercise
  • Reading
  • Scribbling
  • Shower (I added this one)

Together, these habits can be remembered with the acronym – Life S.A.V.E.R.S. Check out each of these and then add them to your routine. If you take a look at the FindFocus Productivity Planner, you will see a spot for writing these into your schedule. Don’t forget to include exercise – there is a spot for it on the right side of the page.

Productivity Planner

Silence

A few minutes of silence can go a long way towards drowning out the noise. When you first wake up, you do not need to immediately begin thinking about all of the work that you need to accomplish. Instead, you should spend a few minutes in silence. Let your thoughts pass by and relax your mind.

Meditation can help, if you tend to dwell on your thoughts and worries. Find a quiet spot to sit comfortably. Close your eyes and begin focusing on your breathing. Inhale through your nose and then exhale through your mouth. As thoughts enter your mind, acknowledge them and let them pass. If you get stuck on a thought, return your focus to your breathing.

Affirmations

You have probably heard of affirmations before. While the concept may seem silly, at first, affirmations are used by some of the top entertainers, entrepreneurs, and successful people in this world.

Here are a few examples of affirmations that you can use. Ask yourself, “What do I want, why do I want it, and what do I need to do to get there?” These questions help you determine what steps you need to take today to move towards reaching your goals. Remember to consider the big picture. Consider your weekly, monthly, and yearly goals that you have outlined in your copy of the Productivity Planner.

Set Your Goals

Visualization

The next tip is to visualize want you want to achieve today. Consider your affirmations, as they can go hand in hand. When you are thinking about what you can do to accomplish your goals, you should actually visualize yourself performing the actions needed to complete the task. For example, you could visualize yourself completing an assignment or wrapping up your work for the day.

Exercise

Exercise provides a great way to get your blood flowing. Not only will this help wake you up, it is good for your health. You don’t need to incorporate a full workout into your morning routine.

Just start with a few simple exercises to get your heart pumping. This could include push-ups, jumping jacks, leg raises, a short yoga routine, or even a quick jog around the block.

Reading

Once you get up, after a good night’s rest, you should read for a short while. Spend up to 30 minutes reading in order to help wake up your brain and get the wheels churning. You could read a chapter from a book that you're trying to complete or read an article from the daily paper. If you feel that you do not have enough time for 30-minutes of reading, then you could at least spend a few minutes with a book.

Read

Scribbling

The last habit that you could adopt, as a part of your morning routine, is to scribble. Write down what you have achieved and what you want to achieve. Set your commitments for the day. Again, I suggest that you use the Productivity Planner to set your commitments. It helps to keep everything organized, so you have a single sheet to look at.

Taking a Cold Shower

A study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE has found that habitually taking cold showers shows a significant reduction in days taken off from work due to illness. The randomized controlled trial, which involved over 3000 participants, looked at various parameters, and found a statistically significant reduction due to cold showers. 

Yes it's cold, I know. However the benefits are so much that I will write a separate blog post about it. Next time you take a shower just try to finish it cold. Just for one minute and notice how you feel.  

Make Your Routine a Daily Habit

You can use all of six of these habits or choose a few that you want to add to your daily plan. But, the main goal is to actually stick to your routine.

Make sure that you continue to follow the same routine each morning and write your plans down on a piece of paper. That's what my Productivity Planner is for. It does not become a routine until you have repeated it several times. In fact, on average, it takes at least 2 months of repetition for an activity or routine to become a habit. So don't overwhelm yourself. Start with one small thing of this list and follow through. Even if it's one one minute of silence or 10 pushups and soon you will find that you adjust every detail of your routine over the next weeks and months. 

 

 

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How to Stop Procrastination and Accomplish Your Daily Goals https://findfocus.net/stop-procrastination/ https://findfocus.net/stop-procrastination/#respond Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:17:21 +0000 https://findfocus.net/?p=180 Procrastination can be a major roadblock, no matter what your destination. Whether you are a student or work from home, time management is essential to your success. Unfortunately, it is easier to avoid tasks than to simply accomplish them.Find out how to find your focus and double your productivity in any given day. In this blog post […]

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Procrastination can be a major roadblock, no matter what your destination. Whether you are a student or work from home, time management is essential to your success. Unfortunately, it is easier to avoid tasks than to simply accomplish them.

Find out how to find your focus and double your productivity in any given day. In this blog post you will learn what experienced freelancers and people that work from home do in order to remain on track. You will discover the best tips to stop procrastinating when working from home or tackling school work.

Common Excuses That Lead to Procrastination

First, it's important to understand some of the most common excuses that people use to justify their lack of motivation. Simply realizing that you are making some of these same mistakes could help you avoid the pitfalls of procrastination. This includes the following excuses:

  • I need to wait until everything is just right
  • I prefer to work under pressure and tight deadlines
  • I have other chores that I need to take care of
  • I am not sure if I am ready to get started

Many people use the excuse that everything needs to be 100% right before they can begin a task, let alone finishing it. They wait until they have the right equipment, time, and mood. This is actually the most common reason that people delay a task. They believe that they are waiting for everything to be perfect when really they are just procrastinating.

However 99% of the time it's probably follow this simple motto:

Better done than perfect - Will Bauer

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Some people use the excuse that they work better under pressure and tight deadlines. Again, this is just an excuse that is used to put off work. While some people do thrive under pressure, the vast majority of individuals work best when they are able to keep themselves focused.

Another reason for putting off a task is that you have too many other chores to handle. Instead of tackling a major project, you suddenly decide that you need to wash the dishes or do some laundry.

The truth is that these chores can wait until after you complete your task. The only reason that they come to mind now is that you want to find a reason to delay your work.

On occasion, you may avoid work because you believe that you are not ready to get started. You may feel that you do not have everything you need to begin your task, so you put it off.

The answer to all of these excuses is that now is the right time. You can always get started on a task now and stop when other issues arise. Telling yourself that you need to wait for the perfect conditions is just a way of putting off your task.

In case of doubt just answer this question and take action immediately. ​

What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?

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This is the No. 1 Focusing Question that I learned from the book "The One Thing" and will prevent that your first step is a misstep as Gary Keller outlines in his book.The amazing thing is when you ask yourself the question, you will find out that your are almost always accurate. Everybody instinctively know what matters most.

Science Agrees That Procrastination is Bad

According to a study published in Psychological Science in 1997, procrastination often results in lower quality work and higher stress levels. Researchers examined the effects of procrastination on a group of college students.

At first, the students that procrastinated seemed to enjoy less stress, as they were putting off their studies in order to have fun. The end result was that their grades suffered and the resulting setbacks led to increased stress and risk of illness.

Expert Tips to Help You Stop Procrastinating

Understanding these common excuses is only half of the battle when it comes to fighting procrastination. You also need to have a plan in place. If you want to find focus and double your productivity, you need to plan ahead. Here are some easy to use tips that will help you get more done with your day.

I always notice a huge difference in productivity if I plan the day in advance. Therefore I tend to follow the advice of Jim Rohn who said:

Never start your day until you finish it on paper - Jim Rohn

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While procrastination may have a short-term benefit, that benefit is overshadowed by long-term drawbacks. So, if you are guilty of using the excuses mentioned above, it is time to evaluate your daily routine and find a better way to structure your day.

For example my One-Page-Productivity-Planner. 

Plan Your Entire Day

The best way to do that is following a framework that will make sure you won't forget important tasks and use every day to move closer to your goals. 

When you work a 9 to 5 job, you often have a set schedule that is given to you by your boss or your job description. You may even have a scheduled lunch and other breaks. It's much more challenging if you have to set your own schedule because you are working from home or study for an exam that is not yet due. 

Make a list of the top tasks and then plan out the rest of your day. Decide what you are going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with your snacks.

You should also set a time frame for your tasks and meals. Decide when you are going to start working and when you are going to stop.

Take a 5 Minute Break

When you start getting antsy and find yourself going back to the excuses mentioned earlier, you should take a 5-minute break. Reset your mind and relax for a few minutes before resuming your tasks. Try to take a 5-minute break every 25 to 55-minutes.

Get Rid of Distractions

The perfect, uninterrupted day is impossible. Your have to figure out what matters most to you, and when you’re doing that ONE Thing, eliminate distraction.That means often times that you need to restrict access to distracting websites that will steal your time. There are many ways to do just that. By learning to restrict access to websites, distracting games, news sites or the complete internet, you can avoid one of the biggest temptations that lead to procrastination.

As it turns out this is actually quite hard to do. Email, Facebook and Youtube often trigger the same areas of your brain as slot machines or games which will make you addicted.

Therefore I am currently developing an app that will allow you to ​stay focused even if you would like to go on Facebook. 

Restrict Access to Website

Make a list of the websites that are the biggest distraction to your daily chores. This could be news sites, entertainment sites – anything that commonly distracts you from the task at hand. Then, use a distraction blocker or website blocker to block access to these sites.

Pay Attention to Rest and Daily Meals

You need to be well-rested and well-fed in order to work efficiently. It is easy to get distracted when your mind is tired. If you want to remain focused throughout the day, you need to be rested and get enough nutrition.

The average person should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night. As with the rest of your day, setting a sleep schedule will help you develop a regular sleeping pattern.

Get Started Right Now

You can get started right now. Begin planning out your day using the tips discussed. Or, if your day is already finished, then start planning for tomorrow. I want to make it as easy as possible to plan out your day. For this reason, I have created the FindFocus Productivity Planner. This downloadable PDF will help you stay focused. Create the perfect work-life balance with daily planning.

Procrastination does not have to be an ongoing problem. You just need to stop using common excuses and actually get to work. Use these tips today to start planning for a more productive tomorrow.

 

 

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