>ping< “I can’t believe he said that.” >ping< “Cool. She liked my comment.” >ping< “Hmm, that looks like an interesting video.” >ping< “Oh yeah, let me email him back.” Every >ping< in your life; email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, txt message, or cell phone ring is pulling your valuable mental resources and splattering them across the ethers like a shotgun splattering brains on a freshly painted kitchen cabinet door.
In order to accomplish anything significant requires good ole’ fashion focus. I challenge you to name one person whether spiritual, business, medicine, or entertainment who accomplish significant things in life who was not focused. Go ahead…I’ll wait.
Ok. Enough waiting, I have this article to write.
Its been said, with every little distraction we face each day, it requires approximately 20 minutes to get back into the flow state we previously had before the distraction. How many >pings< do you experience every day? At least 10? That’s 200 minutes of wasted focus time each day! The reason steam can move a locomotive is because the energy is contained in focused not scattered. Power comes by focusing.
There’s a neurotransmitter in the brain called dopamine. This chemical is released mostly by nerve cells in your brain and motivates you to act. Each time a >ping< happens in your awareness and you response to that >ping< it depletes your dopamine. The more depleted your dopamine, the less motivation you have to accomplish important tasks or engage your willpower. Think about next time to respond to txt after txt, email after email. The goal is respond with intention rather than out of reflex.
In their book Switch, brothers Dan and Chip Heath talk of three factors to create a long term habit. The three factors are 1. Direct (Rider), 2. Motivate (Elephant), and 3. Shape (Path). In dealing with focus, reducing distraction, and preserving dopamine lets use factor number 3, Shape. We can know what we want, we can be motivated to get what we want, but if our environment is constantly distracting and derailing us than it can be near impossible to accomplish our goal. For instance, a smoker who is truly committed to giving it up once and for all, will have a very hard time quitting if continues to surround himself with smokers, has cigarettes in his house and car, while not removing the psychological triggers causing him to smoke. Likewise if you are looking to focus and achieve more in your life, it helps to create an environment that is supportive of the new habit.
Therefore to protect your brain, dopamine levels, and to get important items done…simply shape an environment that is conducive to having focused, one-pointed attention.
6 Tips for Shaping the Environment to Focus:
1.Turn off all >pings< email and text alerts, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
2.Limit the channel of ways people can interupt you i.e. only meet face to face at 1:00pm
3.Close the door to your room or office and create quietness
4.Determine a set period of time to focus i.e. 9:00am to 11:00
am, break 30 minutes, 11:30am to 1:00pm.
5.Pre-determine when you will check all >pings< i.e. during lunch, after 4:00pm, after this project
6.Focus on the task at hand. The zen method of when walking, walk. When eating, eat. When listening, listen. Multitasking is overrated and is not efficient or effective.
Hope that helps you establish more focus to accomplish what you want in life and keep your brain from >ping< burnout.
For those looking to live a perfect day, I offer 30 minutes of free coaching to assist you in creating your perfect day. During the free session you will gain clarity on how to live your perfect day, identify challenges in creating your perfect day, and feel a renewed sense of enthusiasm and vigor for your life. Contact me at ChristianRLong.com or 347-879-0764