In these times, distractions are the biggest albatross to your productivity. Every now and then, you get notifications on your devices or a phone call from someone whose agenda may not really be in tandem with your goals of becoming an A-player at what you do. Certain, with these unending distractions, your ability to produce meaningfully is constantly diminished.
What I have come to understand in my own life is that focus is more valuable than intelligence. All the top performers on the planet are the way they are because they prize focus very highly as essential to their productivity.
Here are four ways to increase your productivity a 100 time:
Use the 90/90/1 Rule
Mastery Coach and bestseller author, Robin Sharma describes this rule as spending the first ninety minutes of your work day, the next ninety days one the single most important thing that will significantly impact the accomplishment of a major goal you want to attain in your life this year.
Create a Domain of Total Focus
‘B’ and ‘C’ performers do not really pay attention to their environment and how it can be a source of multiple distractions. For A- players, setting up a domain of total focus is a must. And at this point let me say this to you: Be very hard to reach during times of the week this year when you are busy creating. Or have creative days when you go device free to starve off interruptions.
Choose Your Peer Group
This one I can’t emphasize enough. I tell my sons this secret everyday as I drive them to school. The number one way to improve your productivity is to change your social orbit. Choose your peers carefully. Have people who are super-performers as friends and co-creators. And while I can’t emphasize this more strongly, always remember that you are the sum of your five closest friends. This is concisely why you need to keep a social circle of people who are playing at the level you want to be playing at. No matter the area of your life, whether financial, spiritual or vocational, populate your life with the high performers who are already doing or achieving what you want.
The science of this, is that there’s a mirror neuron inside the brain that helps us model the behavior of the people we are consciously spending time with. So if you’re always around victims, you start behaving like one. If you are around mediocre performers, you will be mediocre and so on.
Another reason why it is important to keep within a particular social orbit is emotional contagion. Simply put, we pick up the dominant emotions of the people we are around most often. Avoid people who display negative emotions often because of the way negative emotions immobilize and hang out with people who display a great degree of positive vibes for the sake of your own emotional well being.
Practice Learned Minimalism
Learned minimalism is a design philosophy that simply portrays genius as stemming from simplicity and not complexity. It’s the idea of being mono-maniacally focused on a few things. Instead of trying to read several books at a time, read one. Instead of attempting several projects at a time, do one. Learned minimalism communicates quality rather quantity and this is what the truly successful grasp perfectly that others don’t.
Improving your productivity is about improving your focus and starving your distractions. And as you set this kind of tone for the year, it would be apparent that you have taken a stand to make 2017 your best year yet. Focus is everything!