There are many strategies that increase productivity.
Yet none of them can be used to their full effect if you don’t master presence.
Put another way…
You must develop the ability to solely focus on the task at hand. To block everything out and devote 100% of your attention to whatever you need to take care of in the present moment.
Here are two simple strategies that will strengthen the behavior of presence:
- Before beginning any task know your specific outcome and why it’s important to achieve. Not doing this first will make things more difficult. Case in point: Think back to the times in your career when you began a task but you didn’t have clarity of the outcome and “the why”. These are the moments where you’re working and staying busy but it feels as if you’re just spinning your wheels. When this happens recognize that in order to get back on track all you have to do is create clarity around your specific outcome and why it’s important to achieve.
- Work in sprints. Whether it’s for 15, 30 or 45 minutes, approach the day as if you were running a series of sprints. Doing so is vital. The reason being that when you make a commitment to solely focus on the task at hand (for short periods of time) you’re building the “presence muscle”. Think about it… If you approach the day telling yourself that you’re going to be fully present for 10+ hours straight, you won’t be giving yourself much of a chance to succeed. Instead, work in sprints. Start with a time that pushes you to your limit of focus and build from there.
It can be all too easy to get caught up in the past, worry about the future and/or think about all the things that need to get done during the week. However, doing so takes your focus away from the present moment thus limiting your ability to produce.
During times like these it can be helpful to rehearse the following phrase:
The only moment that matters is the one that’s taking place right now.
Once reminded of this, create clarity around your outcome and it’s importance. Then put in the work and get after it by working in sprints.
The Ascent is about the adventures of Rocky and Blake… Just a boy with his dog documenting the experience of building YPE. The series is written from the following perspective: Advice I give to myself based on the lessons learned every day.