I have a very short attention span. I am easily distracted. It’s very hard for me to finish the task I’ve started without taking a break to check my phone, scroll a Facebook feed, check Instagram, WhatsApp. I also click on every notification and reply. Sometimes it’s hard for me to say what I spent my day for.
Sounds familiar? We all have been there.
I am quite sure you already went through so many articles while researching on how to avoid this problem or procrastinating your task 😉 And most of them give a very typical set of recommendations, like:
- put your phone in the airplane mode;
- avoid social media;
- put a background music;
- have a glass of the lemon water at your table;
- ask people not to disturb you
… the list can go on really long. But.
I tried. And then what? Still found myself staring at a window or trying to figure out why that plant on the shelve looks so weird. I am happy if it worked for you, but what about others who keep struggling. And I know that things may get really frustrating.
So what am I leading to? What’s the big secret I’m going to tell you which helped me and which will help you to overcome this problem?
There is none. You will not overcome it unless you get your work done.
There is this thing with the concentration, same as with the stages of your sleep. There is a deep one, and there is a shallow one. And first 15-30 minutes of you working you will go through the shallow. And it will hurt. It will heart a lot at the beginning. You will want to go make tea, come back to your comfortable mindfulness scrolling. And it is okay! That’s how our brain works. It was designed to protect us from all the external distractors which make us feel uncomfortable. But if you follow this instinct what will you end up with? It is not me who should tell you, you already know the answer. DISAPPOINTMENT. In yourself, your day, your week…
So my one and only advice – power up through that phase. Bring your brain back to what you were doing.
– Heeey, I got a new Instagram notification, let’s check what my cousin is posting!
– No, bud, we are working on this, here, now!
Be strict with yourself, but also be kind. Identify the moments when your thoughts fly away and bring them back. Just start and keep going. And, believe me, you will end up in a magical place called deep focus. It is the place where work gets done and you enjoy it. It is the place you come up proud of yourself from. You just have to struggle a bit to get there. But the price is fair.
And remember one last thing. Results – those that make you happy and satisfied – do not come from nowhere. They come with the routine, patience, and one person sitting at the table and getting her work done.
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