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Keep These 8 Tips In Mind If You Want To Achieve Anything In Life

Keep These 8 Tips In Mind If You Want To Achieve Anything In Life

Ever had this passion, this burning desire to achieve something unique and specific? You think about it when you go to school, when you leave for work, even when you take your dog out for the daily walk, it’s there in your mind, thumping on your thoughts like a bag thumping against your back whenever you move. You most probably had, we all did, and we all still do. A dream is one way to call it.

Yet, how very few of us act on these compulsions? And of those who do, how many truly commit to it, in good and in bad, only to achieve their ever desirable goal? You probably guessed it, few to none. But you will be surprised to hear that this amazing achievement is not too far out of reach, no matter how far and difficult it may seem all the way from the starting line. It’s all in the mind, you could say, and here are a few important tips that should guide you through this difficult seeming path:

1. Commitment is key

You’re at work, cleaning those dishes, submitting your daily paperwork, or have been staring at the computer screen for over two hours, and then, without a moment’s notice, this amazingly original book idea pops to your mind. You write it down on a small note and put it in your pocket. Now you can’t wait for the work day to end, you are motivated beyond all comparison. This will be your big break, the one you have been dreaming on for so long.

You arrive back home, drink your coffee, eat your meal, and take a warm shower. You get to your room and stare blankly at your computer’s desk. Nothing. The moment is gone, along with your idea and all of your vast talent. You beat yourself down and blame the long working hours for this misfortune.

Well, this is a wrong way to look at it. Although important, you cannot count solely on motivation if you want to achieve your desirable goal. What you need is commitment. Commitment to sit down on that desk, despite your lack of mental energy. To wear those jogging shoes, although you feel numb and tired after your daily nap. There can be hundreds of examples, but truly, all you need is to buckle up and get to work.

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2. It’s all about the journey

You can’t expect to have a smooth trail, a compass, and a big old X down on the map, leading you all the way up to the finish line. We all want to climb to the very top of the mountain but instead decide on going around it, despairing when realizing that there’s no lift or an unseen shortcut. And to be honest, wouldn’t it be boring if it was that easy?

Instead of straining your eyes so to look at the far ahead destination, look around you, and you may just find that the adventure is not half bad by itself. Learn, experience, improve, and to put simply: stay in the moment. Before you know it, you will be halfway there.

3. A positive mind, a positive result

This one goes without saying right? “Stay positive,” we hear it from everyone. Whether we are tired, anxious, or plainly just having a bad day. Well, surprise, surprise, there’s a reason for it. Positive thoughts will serve as the fuel to your adventure. They will keep you wanting to experiment, to experience, and will push you out of the box, and help you perform better with your work.

Doubts, on the other hand, won’t help you achieve a thing, and if at all, may hinder your performance or plainly push you from your rightful course.

If you want to achieve your goals, just “stay positive”.

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4. Don’t make it easy on yourself

We all sometimes hate leaving the every familiar comfort zone. It is our domain, our realm, and we know each and every sharp turn, and jump above every obstacle with relative ease. But you can’t expect to achieve what you don’t have by staying where you are.

Don’t let fear keep you down. Get out, challenge yourself even on the risk of failing. We learn best from failing, and so very little from succeeding. That is why achieving your dream is a long journey in the first place. Didn’t manage to jump above that pole? Don’t throw the gloves down and walk away, put it back up and try again!

5. Distractions are the enemy

You sit down next to the computer screen, ready to write your best-selling novel, feeling strong and motivated. You manage to get a sentence in there until, suddenly, you feel your phone vibrating in your pocket. You don’t know who it is, and it might be important right? Could be that girl you’ve been texting with for a while now. You take it out and give it a shallow stare. Just a quick look, just a small break maybe.

Next thing you know, you’ve not only engaged in a long, meaningful conversation, now you’ve started talking with more friends, and even took the liberty to start watching these funny youtube videos that you’ve been getting. An hour and a half passes, you take a deep breath, and finally, decide to put the phone down and get to work. You look at the screen, and nothing, you are all worn out.

Bottom line. Want to achieve your goals? Avoid distractions as best as you possibly can.

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6. Look and plan ahead

Until now, you’ve been working unstably. When out and unavailable, you suddenly feel extremely positive and motivated, and when at home, numb and tired. Little are the times that you feel motivated while actually being physically available. That is why you need to plan your schedule ahead. You know that you feel best at the mornings? Then make a clear window in your schedule, and let it be the first step to achieving your dreams.

Not available in the mornings for some reason? Well, at least clear some time during evening time, and try to dedicate at least two mornings for your own goals.

7. Take advantage of every situation

Let’s face it. We cannot possibly clear our schedules completely and dedicate every minute solely for achieving our goals. We have our school studies, work, volunteer works and a hundred of other things in our life. But we can make the best of every situation.

Filling paperwork at the office? Take this time to reflect on your ideas, observe the other workers, something might pop to your mind any second now. Inspiring to be an athlete? Eat well and avoid the junk food during the long work hours, squat, and do push-ups whenever you get a free window.

No excuses, take action anywhere you can.

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8. Achieve, but beware of wearing yourself down

Bearing all other tips in mind, this one is probably one of the more important of them. If you feel tired and weak, always give yourself a breathing windows and take a break. Don’t burn out your mind, body, and try to claw your way to the summit. Many people do that mistake, straining themselves, confusing it for dedication.

Pushing yourself over the edge won’t bear any fruit, and if anything, will just hinder your progress. You can’t beat a dead horse and expect it to move, so to speak.

Featured photo credit: VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

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Last Updated on October 22, 2019

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

How to Focus and Concentrate Better to Boost Productivity

We live in a world of massive distraction. No matter where you are today, there is always going to be distractions. Your colleagues talking about their latest date, notification messages popping up on your screens, and not just your mobile phone screens. And even if you try to find a quiet place, there will always be someone with a mobile device that is beeping and chirping.

With all these distractions, it is incredibly difficult to concentrate on anything for very long. Something will distract you and that means you will find it very difficult to focus on anything.

So how to focus and concentrate better? How to focus better and produce work that lifts us and takes us closer towards achieving our outcomes?

1. Get Used to Turning off Your Devices

Yes, I know this one is hard for most people. We believe our devices are so vital to our lives that the thought of turning them off makes us feel insecure. The reality is they are not so vital and the world is not going to end within the next thirty minutes.

So turn them off. Your battery will thank you for it. More importantly though is when you are free from your mobile distraction addiction, you will begin to concentrate more on what needs to get done.

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You do not need to do this for very long. You could set a thirty-minute time frame for being completely mobile free. Let’s say you have an important piece of work to complete by lunchtime today. Turn off your mobile device between 10 am and 11 am and see what happens.

If you have never done this before, you will feel very uncomfortable at first. Your brain will be fighting you. It will be telling you all sorts of horror stories such as a meteorite is about to hit earth, or your boss is very angry and is trying to contact you. None of these things is true, but your brain is going to fight you. Prepare yourself for the fight.

Over time, as you do this more frequently, you will soon begin to find your brain fights you less and less. When you do turn on your device after your period of focused work and discover that the world did not end, you have not lost an important customer and all you have are a few email newsletters, a confirmation of an online order you made earlier and a text message from your mum asking you to call about dinner this weekend, you will start to feel more comfortable turning things off.

2. Create a Playlist in Your Favourite Music Streaming App

Many of us listen to music using some form of music streaming service, and it is very easy to create our own playlists of songs. This means we can create playlists for specific purposes.

Many years ago, when I was just starting to drive, there was a trend selling driving compilation tapes and CDs. The songs on these tapes and CDs were uplifting driving music songs. Songs such as C W McCall’s Convoy theme and the Allman Brothers Band’s, Jessica. They were great songs to drive to and helped to keep us awake and focused while we were driving.

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Today, we can create playlists to help us to focus on our work. Choose non-vocal music that has a low tempo. Music from artists such as Ben Böhmer, Ilan Bluestone or Andrew Bayer has the perfect tempo.

Whenever you want to go into deep, focused work, listen to that playlist. What happens is your brain soon associates when you listen to the playlist you created with focused work and it’s time to concentrate on what it is you want to do.

3. Have a Place to Go to When You Need to Concentrate

If you eat, surf online and read at your desk, you will find your desk a very distracting place to do your work. One way to get your brain to understand it is focused work time is, to use the same place each time for just focused work.

This could be a quiet place in your office, or it could be a special coffee shop you use specifically for focused work. Again, what you are doing is associating an environment with focus.

Just as with having a playlist to listen to when you want to concentrate, having a physical place that accomplishes the same thing will also put you in the right frame of mind to be more focused.

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When you do find the right place to do your focused work, then only do focused work there. Never surf, never do any online shopping. Just do your work and then leave. You want to be training your brain to associate focused work with that environment and nothing else.

If you need to make a phone call, respond to an email or message, then go outside and do it. From now on, this place is your special working place and that is all you use it for.

Every morning, I do fifteens minutes of meditation. Each time, I sit down to do my meditation, I use the same music playlist and the same place. As soon as I put my earphones in and sit down in this place, my mind immediately knows it is meditation time and I become relaxed and focused almost immediately. I have trained my brain over a few months to associate a sound and a place with relaxed, thoughtful meditation. It works.

4. Get up and Move

We humans have a limited attention span. How long you can stay focused for depends on your own personal makeup. It can range from between twenty minutes to around two hours. With practice, you can stay focused for longer, but it takes time and it takes a lot of practice.

When you do find yourself being unable to concentrate any longer, get up from where you are and move. Go for a walk, move around and get some air. Do something completely different from what you were doing when you were concentrating.

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If you were writing a report in front of a screen, get away from your screens and look out the window and appreciate the view. Take a walk in the local park, or just walk around your office. You need to give your brain completely different stimuli.

Your brain is like a muscle. There is only so much it can do before it fatigues. If you are doing some focused work in Photoshop and then switch to surfing the internet, you are not giving your brain any rest. You are still using many of the same parts of your brain.

It’s like doing fifty pushups and then immediately trying to do bench presses. Although you are doing a different exercise, you are still exercising your chest. What you need to be doing to build up superior levels of concentrated focus is, in a sense, do fifty pushups and then a session of squats. Now you are exercising your chest and then your legs. Two completely different exercises.

Do the same with your brain. Do focused visual work and then do some form of movement with a different type of work. Focused visual work followed by a discussion with a colleague about another unrelated piece of work, for example.

The Bottom Line

It is not difficult to train your brain to become better at concentrating and focusing, but you do need to exercise deliberate practice. You need to develop the intention to focus and be very strict with yourself.

Set time aside in your calendar and make sure you tell your colleagues that you will be ‘off the grid’ for a couple of hours. With practice and a little time, you will soon find yourself being able to resist temptations and focus better.

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Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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