I call it polarizing. Better workers are able to polarize their time better. These people can work harder and play harder than other people.
When we put in a half-assed effort, things take twice as long than if we put in a full ass effort. If we can figure out a way to MAXIMIZE our focus when we are working, and to be able to sustain this MAXIMALLY INTENSE focus for indefinite periods of time, we can get anything done.
When we are able to be more focused, we don't need to work as long, because we don't waste time distracting ourselves with things other than what we're trying to get done.
Here are a number of things that can help you focus more:
- Pomodoros. Google it.
- Playing harder. If you want to work harder, party harder. You will feel it easier to work, because you've got all the partying out of your system.
- Be alone when you work.
- Listen to songs on repeat.
- Work close to a source of water and a bathroom.
- Monotask. Don't sit down to doing more than one thing at once. See the next one too.
- Limit task switching. Just because you're mono-tasking doesn't mean you're focused. If you do one thing for five minutes, and then constantly switch, you won't be able to really finish anything. Switch between tasks as little as possible to allow for maximal focus into important tasks.
- Work early in the morning, or really late at night when everyone is asleep and can't distract you.
- Play a movie in the background to keep you company.
Even after we increase our focus, we still may have to work a lot. We may even have to work harder, because with our new increased focus, we will have extra time that we didn't have before. We will feel we need to fill this time with more activities, and may busy ourselves to the point of doing unnecessary work.
With our MAXIMAL focus at our disposal, we are able to crush tasks extremely quickly, but we still must be sure we are picking the right tasks. If we use our new-found magical power on unimportant tasks, it is entirely gone to waste. Are you doing a third set of practice problems for a class that you're comfortable with because you're procrastinating studying for another class that you don't like as much? That's not focusing, that's procrastination.
If we focus on doing our most important tasks first, then our focus can be used for good not evil. Ultimately, the more things we can deem unimportant and not worth doing, the less we will have to work. The most productive people are EXTREMELY selective about what tasks actually make it into their lives and how they actually spend their time. If we spend time doing things that are unimportant, then we will become unimportant.
And what a shame that would be.