How can we train our brains to focus on a single task? Here are a few ideas for creating a space and time free of distractions, to increase our chances of reaching a state of flow and thereby getting in touch with out ikigai:
- Don’t look at any kind of screen for the first hour you’re awake and the last hour before you go to sleep.
- Turn off your phone before you achieve flow. There is nothing more important than the task you have chosen to do during this time. If this seems too extreme, enable the “do not disturb” function so only the people closest to you can contact you in case of emergency.
- Designate one day of the week, perhaps a Saturday or Sunday, a day of technology “fasting,” making exceptions only for e-readers (without Wi-Fi) or MP3 players.
- Go to a café that doesn’t have Wi-Fi.
- Read and respond to e-mail only once or twice per day. Define those times clearly and stick to them.
- Try the Pomodoro Technique: Get yourself a kitchen timer (some are made to look like a pomodoro, or tomato) and commit to working on a single task as long as it’s running. The Pomodoro Technique recommends 25 minutes of work and 5 minutes of rest for each cycle, but you can also do 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes of rest. Find the pace that’s best for you; the most important thing is to be disciplined in completing each cycle.
- Start your work session with a ritual you enjoy and end it with a reward.
- Train your mind to return to the present when you find yourself getting distracted. Practice mindfulness or another form of meditation, go for a walk or a swim –whatever will help you get centered again.
- Work in a space where you will not be distracted. If you can’t do this at home, go to a library, a café, or, if your task involves playing the saxophone, a music studio. If you find that your surroundings continue to distract you, keep looking until you find the right place.
- Divide each activity into groups of related tasks, and assign each group its own place and time.
- Bundle routine tasks –such as sending out invoices, making phone calls, and so on –and do them all at once.
Advantages of Flow Disadvantages of Distraction
A focused mind – A wandering mind
Living in the present – thinking about the past and the future
We are free from worry – concerns about our daily life and the-people around us invade our thoughts
The hours fly by – Every minute seems endless
We feed in control – We lose control and fail to complete the- task at hand, or other tasks or people keep us from our work
We prepare thoroughly – We act without being prepared
We know what we should be doing at any given moment – we frequently-get stuck and don’t know how to proceed
Our mind is clear and overcomes all obstacles to the flow of thought – We are plagued by doubts, concerns-and low self-esteem
It’s pleasant – It’s boring and exhausting
Our ego fades: We are not the ones controlling the activity or task we’re doing the task is leading us – constant self-criticism: Our ego is-present and we feel frustrated
This Article is taken from Ikigai
Written by Arshad. A