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15 Things Highly Focused People Don’t Do

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15 Things Highly Focused People Don’t Do

Focus is key to success and happiness in life. The most successful people on this planet are highly focused. They pay attention to the present moment and present tasks. This habit ensures they are fully engaged in activities, get more done properly and deal with adverse life events better. Highly focused people are simply mindful. They don’t do many things that many of us might be prone to do.

1. They don’t gossip.

Highly focused people don’t gossip. They have better, more productive things to do with their time. The only people who engage in this petty behavior are shallow people whose personal lives are not fulfilling enough. Otherwise, why would you even care how someone else is living their life? Gossiping only makes you look jealous and pathetic.

2. They don’t multitask.

Highly focused people don’t multitask. They focus on one thing at a time to boost attentiveness and productivity. Studies have shown that the human brain can handle two complicated tasks without too much trouble because it has two lobes that can divide responsibility equally between the two. However, adding a third task can overwhelm the frontal cortex and increase the number of mistakes you make.

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3. They don’t procrastinate.

Highly focused people don’t procrastinate. Sure, they might be tempted to put off tasks for hours because the tasks are unpleasant or overwhelming, but they somehow manage to push themselves and get what needs to be done DONE when it ought to. In other words, highly focused people know the best time to do something is now, and they do it now—not later.

4. They don’t allow distractions to derail them.

Highly focused people remove all distractions that hinder them from getting quality work done. Whether it is e-mail alerts, social media pop-up notifications or people casually stopping by during work hours, highly focused people stop distractions before they can steal their productive time. They know distractions break concentration, cause stress and derail you from completing tasks and achieving your goals.

5. They don’t seek validation from others.

Highly focused people don’t need your approval because they know their own self-worth. They do things for themselves and believe what they do will advance them in life. They don’t concern themselves with the opinions of others and don’t live up to anyone’s expectations. Focused people simply concentrate on the tasks that promote personal and professional growth.

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6. They don’t entertain disorganization.

Highly focused people hate disorganization. They don’t entertain it because they know it adds stress to our lives, blocks our creativity and costs us valuable time that could be used to get work done. They keep everything in its proper place so they can easily and quickly get it when they need it. You might think you can thrive amidst chaos, but in reality you are only holding yourself back from being as productive and effective as you could be by being disorganized.

7. They don’t give silly excuses not to work.

Highly focused people don’t give silly excuses not to work. They know you can’t always wait for the perfect time and perfect conditions to do things. There may never be such a time. Often you just have to brace yourself and get your feet wet. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day as Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama.

8. They don’t eschew risk.

Highly focused people are not afraid to take risks. They know life itself is a risk; nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. They take their chances because those chances may never come again. Playing it safe can keep you safe for now, but hurt you more in the long run. Focused people not only take calculated risks, but also learn from both the positive and negative outcomes of risks.

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9. They don’t dwell on the past.

Highly focused people don’t dwell on the past. They are not defined by the things they did or didn’t do in the past. They simply accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. Their desire to succeed is much stronger than their fear of failure and so they learn from their mistakes and keep going forward. Mistakes may hurt for a while, but they will make you smarter and stronger in the end.

10. They don’t act rashly.

Highly focused people don’t rush onto things. They take time to think through and weigh options carefully against their core goals and objectives. They know not everything that glitters is gold. Often, they simply choose to take pleasure in their own work, celebrate their accomplishments and relish the good fortunes to come. They don’t abandon their projects and jump onto the next “big” thing. They stick to their goals and stay committed to their dreams through the sunny days and the rainy days.

11. They don’t involve themselves in matters that don’t concern them.

Highly focused people mind their own business. They don’t go meddling in other people’s affairs unless they are specifically called to do so or it is absolutely necessary because it affects them directly. They are fully engaged in their own affairs and content to focus on their own priorities. People who are unable to mind their own business aggravate others and often lose their own sense of direction and self-worth.

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12. They don’t compare themselves to others.

Highly focused people don’t compare themselves to others because they are content with who they are. They know comparing yourself to others serves only to demoralize and make you feel inferior, while in fact you have equal capacity for growth and advancement in life as anybody else. Highly focused people consider the achievement of others to determine what they need to do to replicate similar success. This ensures they are sufficiently motivated and energized to keep pressing towards their goals and dreams.

13. They don’t have unrealistic expectations.

Highly focused people are realistic. They don’t expect a smooth ride all through life or to get things out of situation. Instead, they go into situations with realistic expectations and are prepared for the rough times. They know unrealistic expectations only lead to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. However, smart, realistic and achievable expectations power you on to fully immerse and apply yourself without the pressure of living up to bad preconceived notions.

14. They don’t say “yes” to everything.

Highly focused people are not people pleasers. They don’t feel the need to say “yes” to everything and everyone just because. They know you can’t always please everyone and sometimes you have to say “no” to people otherwise their priorities might precede your own. Highly focused people, therefore, firmly but gently say “no” to everything that doesn’t support their values or help them achieve their goals. Saying “no” to things that are not a priority allows you to focus on the things that are important.

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15. They don’t quit.

Highly focused people are not quitters. They know nobody ever succeeded by being a quitter. The people who succeed and live their dreams are those who work hard and persevere through troubled times. The people who succeed are those who don’t quit. People who are not focused quit when things get a little tough; highly focused people get tough when others quit!

Featured photo credit: Young man using a professional camera via shutterstock.com

More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

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