From the moment I wake up to the time I fall asleep, I am thinking. Clouded in thought, clarity comes in short bursts, coated in vivid colors that serve as distractions.
But if I sit for long enough, if I walk in silence, undisturbed, I notice more. The dirty film collapses in freefall. Okay, maybe not entirely, but I can see better.
I think it’s the “focused thinking” John C. Maxwell describes in his book, How Successful People Think. It’s being in the zone and staying there. The more I engage in this sort of thinking, the easier it is to find my way back. The longer I stay here, the more familiar I become with its backroads, its secrets, its potential.
“The immature mind hops from one thing to another; the mature mind seeks to follow through.”~ Harry A. Overstreet
I write a lot about distractions and wasted time.
I do this because on most days I feel caught in between these two subjects like a gnat on a web. Hopeless and defeated. And until recently, I felt this way often.
The more I distance myself from my phone and social media, the more present I am. Time no longer feels lost. Its value has served its purpose. Maybe it’s my addictive qualities that keep me distracted and glued to my phone. Maybe you’re different, but it seems like I cannot get anything done with the device nearby.
Focus and clarity.
Writing benefits most from focused thinking, because writing is organized thought. The less clutter to rob you from working, the more work gets done.
My schedule looks like this:
- Up at 5 A.M, writing at 5:15
- I write in bursts of 30 minutes (that’s the most I can do), then I pick up a book to read.
- Once I’m done, I return to my writing. 30 minutes later, I step away and walk and think. I do this before anyone is awake, it’s the only way I can think in silence.
I repeat this till noon, then I stop. The rest of the day is spent networking.
“… give your attention to the areas that bear fruit.”John C. Maxwell
I’ve only just returned to having a set schedule. The past year has been a catastrophic mess. I would write when I felt like writing; publish when I felt like publishing. I would spend my time drifting from work to play. Nothing got done.
But lately, despite the setbacks in my life, productivity has been front and center on my list of responsibilities. I’ve learned to focus my energy where I receive the highest return. And if form follows function, then focus is what gets you there.
Where do you focus most of your attention? Could you be focusing more energy there? Let me know in the comments.