Recently Inc.com published a post entitled The Productivity Secret Behind Bill Gates’s Incredible Success. The title entices you with the idea that Bill’s success is a matter of just a productivity secret, which is, of course, not really true. However, it puts the finger on something that has now been demonstrated numerous times: intensity of focus is a game-changing behavior and increases performance.
For peak performance, the first to get rid of is distraction. Second, you need to concentrate on the one task you have to do. If you’ve ever been totally absorbed in what you do, like coding or painting, or any pleasurable activity, you should have been amazed at how time flies fast and how much you have done. This is the power of dedicating all your energy to one activity and one activity only. Of course our brain and body are multitasking: we breathe without thinking about it, we digest, we do all sorts of things without being conscious about them. However, dedicating our conscious energy to one thing only is what I’m calling monotasking here.
When you are about to do something difficult, you often need to concentrate. This moment of deep thinking allows to focus our mind and energy on what we are about to do. Unfortunately, with all distractions, many people have lost the ability to concentrate and dedicate oneself to deep work. If you are prone to distraction, you may need to start with short period of concentration, like 10 minutes, and increase slowly to be able to sustain an hour or more of deep concentration. Concentration will bring you to the next performance level.
Meditation can help you reach your concentration goal. By bringing back focused monotasking in your daily work, you will soon be amazed at your results!
This is so true. I’m afraid concentration has never been a problem for me. More, it’s the ability to force myself to come up for air and take care of the rest of life. : ) But I’m working on that in a similar fashion–by setting a timer for myself and forcing myself to break away from my project at planned intervals and concentrate on a new, short-term task, such as exercise, or preparing a healthy meal. When I go back to my project, quite often I’m refreshed and see the answer to a problem right off the bat, or a creative new way to approach the project that changes it for the better.