Our mind creates novel ways to steer us towards instant gratification actions.
Imagine yourself in a few months. You’ve mastered these skills, you know how to focus on the most important tasks, and you’re now an execution machine, handling tasks one after another without flinching, and feeling great about the meaningful work you’re producing.
The first step is to learn the Meaningful and Focused Work habit
Skill: Meaningful and Focused Work
When you start working on a daunting task, it’s inevitable that distractions will try to put you off. So note down those distractions, and go back to your work.
You’ll need a timer for this task. A kitchen timer is best, as it’s easy to check your progress from time to time. Setting a timer in your laptop doesn’t work as well, as it’s important to have a visual indicator directly in front of you so you can stay focused.
Break down the task you’re trying to do if it’s big
- Put your to-do list notebook next to you
- Set your timer for 25 minutes
- Start working on your task
- When a distraction pops into your head, write it down in your notebook. Celebrate the fact that you didn’t get distracted by it and think: “I’ll worry about this later, it’s not an important task.”
- Return to the original task and complete your work.
- When you’ve completed your Meaningful Work session, you can look at your distractibility list. If you find anything of importance, add it to your to-do list.