Today marks week 42 of my Turning 30 project, which means that there are only 12 weeks left until the project comes to an end (my calculations must have gone wrong somewhere). Shortly before I started the project, I posted a list of goals I wanted to achieve this year. While I have already achieved some (such as 'travel more', 'blog on a regular basis' and 'quit my dayjob and live off creative work'), there are a few important things left to do (most importantly 'live off acting and filmmaking').
For the most part, I am standing in my own way. My biggest problem is that I just can't seem to focus. I can't focus on one particular job but also just day to day on what to do. My mind just wanders and a day can go by without me doing anything. So, I thoroughly researched this topic today (i.e. I googled it and it took me several hours to go through the research because I accidentally clicked on a kitten photo and it went on from there). Here is what I found:
1. Pick your top 2-3 tasks each day and do them first thing!
In Scott Dismore's post about 11 Ways to Insane Focus, he suggests to do the most important things for the day first thing in the morning, before you even check your email. That way you don't have time to get distracted and you can definitely get the important things done.
2. Turn off email pop-ups and other notification. Or turn off the internet full stop!
In pretty much every article about procrastination or how to focus the author suggests to turn off the internet (or at least notifications). And it makes perfect sense. Even though for certain types of work you need the internet, most of the time you don't and it's just a huge distraction.
3. Just do one important thing per day!
This post (which I assume is part of a book) talks about 8 things that everyone ought to know about concentrating. The author suggest to only do 1 important thing each day instead of trying to cramp loads of stuff in.
4. Create the right Space and Time!
In this video the amazing John Cleese talks about 5 factors you need to make your life more creative. What stuck with me is that he suggests that in order to concentrate you need a good space and some time. He claims that it'll take your brain about half an hour to get all the distracting rubbish out before you can start to concentrate on the actual task at hand.
5. Stop thinking about it and just do it!
Henrik Edberg suggests that you should stop thinking about all the things you need to do and to plan out how you will eventually do them. Instead you should just do them. That way you don't have time to get caught up in the details.
I hope these suggestions will help you get a bit more focused and to get more things done. I'll definitely give them a try. What helps you concentrate better?