For the love of all that is holy! I can’t seem to focus lately to save my life! Right now I’ve got two different browsers open (Chrome & FireFox), and both of those browsers have about 500 different tabs open each. I just downloaded the Microsoft Security Essentials Beta from LifeHacker (one of the many blogs I read every day), and about 4 million different programs open on my PC, not to mention the security scanner that is running from the Microsoft Security Essentials Beta. So what to do next?
Well, maybe I’ll open up another tab in my browser and start listening to Pandora. Oh, there’s the FaceBook favicon, better click on that. I’m sure one of my friends has posted another link that will keep me entertained while both Photoshop, and Dreamweaver load. Oh, you know what? I haven’t blogged at Elite Eternity for a few days, I should probably do that. Yeah, I think I will. So I open Windows Live Writer and here I am.
Hectic? I think so? Efficient? I think not. Sometimes I think I’m ADD, other times I think I have the same disease that 99% of Americans have – it’s called INTERNET.
Holy smokes there are millions of distractions! Just in this post alone, I have linked to more than 4 different pages that you may or may not have clicked on up to this point. If you’re anything like me, you have right+clicked on most of them and “opened in new tab” so you can keep reading the content in this post. After you finish reading this, you’ll probably close this window, then begin reading the other pages. Jeez’m! Next thing you know, an hour has passed. WTF?
Now, the information that I pointed you to may have been enlightening. Heck, maybe you had a million dollar idea while reading one of the pages that I referred you to, but seriously, if you bounce off pages on the net like I do, you’ll end up looking back at your day wondering what exactly you spent the last 10 hours doing on your butt! Well, Got Dang! So what does this call for? What’s the antidote for INTERNET? What can you and I do to stay on track!? To stay focused? To get something worthwhile done during the day?
I have known the answer to these questions for quite some time now, I just fail over and over again to put the idea in motion. The idea to simplify by focusing came to me from reading Earl Nightingale’s Lead The Field. If you haven’t read this book yet, (or listened to it), I would definitely suggest it! Earl Nightingale is a master of the mind. Lead the Field contains tons of good information pulled from various sources and knowledgeable people. I won’t tell the whole story, but Nightingale tells of a business man who increased his productivity by at least quadruple just by doing one simple thing every day:
Every night before you go to sleep, (or every morning before the day begins), take out a piece of paper and a pen and make a list of the most important things that you need to do the following day. After the list is made, order the items by their priority. Then, start with the highest priority item, and don’t do anything else until that is accomplished. Once that task is complete, start on the next item on the list and so on.
I have tried doing this several times, and every time I do I feel so much more productive, efficient, and successful. We all walk around with millions of ideas in our heads all day long, and tasks that we need to perform, but there is something about taking them out of your head and putting them on paper that is magical. It makes you want to follow through, and you do! Man, I need to start doing this again!
Another thing that Nightingale discusses in his book is that people don’t know how to think for themselves, and that us humans can go through our days without actually thinking about anything. Sure, we can get in the shower, brush our teeth, etc… but that doesn’t require thought. He suggests that each day, you wake up an hour earlier than normal. Use this hour to just think! Go to a quiet place in your house, get some hot chocolate and a paper and pen and begin. He also says to write at the top of the paper how much money you want to make within the next year or whatever, and to think of anything and everything that may help you attain your goal. Earl is the man. I need to start doing this stuff again.
Speaking of ADD. I kind of started trailing off there. lol. I guess it made sense though, follow those steps that my man Earl suggested and you should be good to go. Stay focused on what needs to be done, and don’t click on any other links, Favicons, jumpstart icons, tech blogs, or anything of the like until you have completed task Numero Uno!
Edit 08/03/09: Shoemoney made a post kind of like this one that I just ran into. Check it out!