It’s no secret the very tools and technology we use to achieve more, increase innovation, and connect more are also the source of distraction, frustration, and procrastination.
During those times when you feel the most challenged to focus, what distracts you? Is it the never ending requests for meetings popping into your inbox? Or maybe it’s worrying about how the boss will like your solution. And of course there’s social media and internet searching distractions ever at our fingertips.
If you’re looking for a magic bullet – I don’t have one.
What I can offer are three views on strengthening your focus muscle. These three books provide a combination of increased self-awareness, techniques, and philosophies which, when applied, can be a powerful force for achieving focus.
3 Sources to Build Focus and Achieve More
Rules for focused success in a distracted world.
By Cal Newport.
Newport provides a valid argument for deep work and it’s benefits. The focus is on building your ability to focus on deep, cognitively demanding tasks. Don’t try to control the distractions, but rather build up the opposite ability: focus.
When working with clients, I’ve found the mix of responsibilities and levels of complexity of their work, impacts to what degree they can apply the actionable strategies provided by Newport.
The take away from this book is the training program (actionable strategies) and I would recommend giving it a try.
The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.
By Greg McKeown
Less about productivity or time management, McKeown argues a need to apply a systematic discipline to eliminate everything but what is essential in order to do less but better.
This is more of a paradigm shift or a movement that follows on the decluttering trend. It’s a powerful approach which takes courage and skill to follow.
The client’s I’ve had success with using this approach were either solo-preneurs who had full autonomy on selecting their work, or the leaders setting the tone for the rest of the organization.
The take away from this book is to challenge yourself and your team on where you put your energy. Even that one question is a powerful change agent.
The Achievement Habit
Stop Wishing, Start Doing and Take Command of Your Life.
By Bernard Roth
As the co-founder of the Stanford d-School, Roth uses his experience with design thinking and applies it to achieving success.
Though the book doesn’t focus specifically on building focus, it does emphasis the power of the mind and how our ego can sabotage our efforts to achieve success.
The take away from this book provided a reminder of the power of self awareness in understanding distractions and building determined focused actions.
Each book provides actionable strategies for developing focus and working on what’s important so you can deliver your best work.
However, there is no magic bullet. The focus muscle, like any other, takes time and continuous effort to build.
You must find the strategies that work for you and then stick with them until you see results. Choose one actionable strategy from one of these three sources and implement it today.
You have important work to do. Don’t let distractions stop you.
We need you to get your ideas out of your head and into the world!
Important note: Some of the links are affiliate links which means I make a small amount of money if you click through. I only recommend books I have purchased, read and find of value. I hope they are useful for you as well.