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When You Take Full Responsibility Of Your Life, You’ll Find Success

When You Take Full Responsibility Of Your Life, You’ll Find Success

Have you ever fallen into a trap of blaming other people, circumstances, or even destiny, for the things that are not working out the way you planned? Don’t worry we all have. It’s easier to blame someone or something else than it is to take responsibility and actually work on improving ourselves. The work towards self-improvement isn’t easy, it requires a lot of time and dedication. It gets easier once we become aware of our own responsibility, and we do something about it. In order to truly become mindful and accountable, we first need do away with unhealthy beliefs.

Your thoughts are standing in the way of your success

It may seem a bit harsh, but it’s the way it is. If you think about it, you’ll probably find some evidence of this in your daily life. You may have a colleague at work that you don’t particularly like, for example. Your thoughts about this person are negative, and each time you see him or her, you repeat that thought process. As a result, each time you interact with this person, the outcome is always a negative one. It seems to confirm your beliefs about him. In fact, it is your thoughts presenting this person in a negative light.  By projecting negative feelings onto someone, you are expecting the worst, and usually, you get what you expect. If you’d observe this person interacting with someone else, you might be surprised at how different the outcome is. Changing our perspective changes the circumstances by which we know people. This may take some time to practice, but once you see the initial results, you will be eager to observe your thoughts and look for positive ones.

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Life doesn’t owe you anything

We have all been there – Our goals set and our hopes high, yet reality just doesn’t materialize it for us. Then we get frustrated at life because it was supposed to yield to us that career, money, car, house, or soul mate. Actually, it doesn’t work that way. The sooner we realize it, the sooner we get over the initial frustration and start really being proactive. Positive thinking and picturing a good outcome is the first step, but it will only get us so far. In order to actually achieve anything, some action is required. Dreaming big and thinking about our goals being achieved can, in fact, be counterproductive if not done properly.

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An NYU study has shown that people who had been imagining their biggest goals being achieved were having a lot less success when it came to actually working on those goals. During wishful thinking we imagine ourselves achieving goals we think are unattainable. When faced with doing the actions, we give up easily because we actually don’t believe it is possible. In order to master our goals, we have to successfully combine positive thinking and action. When imagining success, set smaller goals that are attainable then take action. The action part is the most difficult, especially if we’ve been passive for too long. If we become aware of the obstacles, our motivation increases, and we are more likely to take some action. Starting small will increase our sense of achievement and build our momentum making it easier to tackle bigger and bigger challenges. You won’t always win, and you won’t always get what you want, but if you keep the positive attitude and don’t give up, you will get where you wanted to be.

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Realizing that life doesn’t owe us anything and that it is our responsibility to make our dreams come true can at first make us frustrated, but soon we will discover that it was actually the point all along. There is no better reward than knowing you have achieved something without anyone’s help.

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Ana Erkic

Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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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.

More Resources About Boosting Focus and Productivity

Featured photo credit: Wenni Zhou via unsplash.com

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