Tips for Staying Focused
With that simple method in mind, I have a few key ideas to share:
1) Turn off your Internet. Like disconnect from Wi-Fi or turn off your router, or use an Internet blocker. Turn off your phone. Close your browser and all applications you don’t need. This is the ideal method. If you need the Internet for your MIT, then close all tabs but the one or two that you need for the task, and don’t let yourself open anything else.
2) If you turn off the Internet, keep a pencil and paper nearby. If you have an idea, a task you need to remember, anything you want to look up … jot it on the paper. You can get to those later. Don’t allow yourself to switch.
3) Don’t allow yourself to rationalize putting off the session. It’s easy to say, “I’ll get to it in a bit,” but then you’re putting it off until late morning, and then the afternoon, and finally you’re doing it at 8pm just to say you did it. This defeats the purpose of the practice. Watch your rationalizations, and don’t fall for them.
4) That said, don’t aim for being perfect. There are some days when you just can’t do it. For me, it’s when I travel or have guests. If something big has come up where you don’t have time, don’t stress about missing a day. Get back on it as soon as you can. Worrying about keeping a streak going is counterproductive.
5) If 15 minutes is too long, just do 10 minutes. If that’s too long, do 5 minutes.
6) Increase your number of staying focused sessions as slowly as you can. There’s no rush to do more. Focus on building a solid foundation.
OK, you have the method. Now get on the practice!