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Focus and Time Boxing

Unplug into our present moment of constant (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)

Agitated distraction, giving your brain and emotions a breath. In my second lesson, I suggested you use a deep reading practice every day to retrain your neural networks in an uninterrupted concentration. I want to talk about how to use this reclaimed clarity to shape your life in my third and final lesson.

At the heart of my recommendation is a simple recommendation: take your time under control. More specifically, I suggest that you give a job every minute when you think about your working day.

 

It is called “time blocking” technique, and since at least 2015 I’ve used it. All that’s to say: I’m a strategic fan.

 

This is the fundamental idea here …

Most people work with the list / reactive method I call. You fill the time between scheduled meetings and email calls and sometimes when the mood hits you try to progress to items from an unwieldy list of tasks. This casual way of doing things.

By contrast, the time blocking method allows you to divide your days into blocks of time and assign them specific work. For example, you may be working on a strategy memo from 9:00 a.m to 10:00 a.m. and after a meeting between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., and after that, you may have 30 minutes to review e-mails, then 90 minutes and then 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m .. It’s got a job each minute. (The problem is no. You only create an updated schedule for the remainder of the day the next time you have a chance. The key is to maintain the intent to keep your time, not perfection in planning.) (And what if you get an unexpected crisis or a task that takes longer than expected?

 

The to-do list / reactive method has two problems.

The balance between what is urgent and important is skewed, first of all, because you allow the needs of other people to drive your work. You feel busy and exhausted, but the thing that matters doesn’t really move the needle.

Secondly. It is simple for your mind to decide that you do not have a plan beyond “trying to do things,” it needs ad-hoc Internet breaks, which have a way of turning them into rabbit holes that are time-devouring. This reduces the total amount of work you can do.

 

By contrast, the timing blocking gives an urgent and important balance a thorough control. Moreover, you have a much lower risk of unplanned breaks, because you know what you are supposed to do at any time. In other words, time blockers don’t surf the web.

This scheduling commitment also gives you hard evidence of the time and the time that things really take. This check can at first be bracing, but at the end of the day, it is crucial. It leads to more vigorous essentialism (as I discussed recently in the podcast of Greg McKeown), and more conservatism about the timing of projects.

However, one word of warning is that this is cognitive. Part of the reason for the fact that obstructors are much longer than their semi distracted colleagues is because their average focal intensity is quite high. However, this concentration takes a toll. So you will not extend this blocking discipline outside the workplace for your time as it will eventually cause excessive rigidity to erupt. 

Fleeing the sounds and the pleasure of being and concentration in a distracted world are essential preconditions for a concentrated life. In order to reach this full state, however, you ultimately need to focus your attention in an intentional and purposeful manner.

Planning the time block will move you in that direction. It must be observed that it is not sufficient alone. A focused life also needs regular time, for example, to reflect on what to concentrate on in your work and to make your time more professional and more graceful. In addition to these concerns, alone and aggressive community involvement and high-quality pleasure cultivation are important.

But time blocking will set the tone you need, signaling you take your newly empowered attention seriously.

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