How To Achieve Deep Focus to 10x Your Productivity
Time is a pesky thing. Often it seems like 24 hours isn’t enough time to get all you need to get done, especially if your mind is working in overdrive and leading you to burnout.
Not all is bad news, though. While slaving away for hours upon hours isn’t what you hope for, there are things you can do to make yourself more productive and avoid the lack of motivation and eventual burnout that comes with the “hustle culture” movement.
We’ll do a deep dive into ways you can up your productivity without losing your mind.
Is it Humanly Possible To Multitask?
Humans weren’t wired to multitask. In fact, the phrase “multitasking” was originally used to describe how microprocessors in computers work. In case you haven’t noticed, you aren’t a machine.
Is it possible to multitask as a human being? Technically yes, but not in the sense of “I can do seven things at once without giving up quality.”
Instead, we should change how we view multitasking. Instead of doing a million things at a time, multitasking should be knowing how to prioritize tasks and have them done one by one within a set amount of time.
When you receive a batch of assignments, lay them all out. Which ones are the most urgent? Which ones are the easiest? Which ones might you struggle with?
When you organize the tasks to the time you have available, you’ll be able to set clear goals that’ll help you achieve them.
You might think you’re a great multitasker. “I can make scrambled eggs and scroll through Instagram while answering work e-mails,” you say. Still, think about how much attention and work these tasks involve.
Usually, when you’re “multitasking,” you’re doing things you could easily do on autopilot.
True multitasking is probably not possible. You can’t actually do a bunch of different and complex tasks that require a lot of mental and/or physical energy at once. And if you can, you’re probably in line for some good old burnout.
How To Achieve Deep Focus
Staying focused is one of those things that is easily said but difficult to do. Our minds love playing games and thinking about a million things at once, which can often clash with work schedules or deadlines.
You might even work for hours on end, only to realize you haven’t really got that much done. That’s where the deep focus can come into play to support you.
To achieve deep focus means that you can spend uninterrupted time on the task at hand, completely focused and without distractions.
While it takes practice to achieve deep focus and deep work, it can be an excellent tool to get everything done without feeling totally empty afterward.
Let’s get into some tips and tricks that can help you reach deep focus.
Move Your Wake-Up Time to Enable Deep Work
Starting your morning with purpose is essential to achieving deep work. It’s also pretty simple, even if you’re not a morning person.
While it might take some time to get used to, setting your alarm a little earlier than you usually do and spending that time wisely can massively impact your productivity and motivation.
If you usually get up at 7:30 am, try setting the alarm for 7 am and using that time to exercise, read, eat breakfast, get tasks done, or meditate. You’ll be amazed how half an hour can improve your productivity.
Set Aside Distractions
Most of us are guilty of letting distractions interrupt our tasks. Whether you’re dealing with ten open tabs, scrolling through social media, or obsessing over your email, these distractions can interfere and make work seem like even more of a burden.
You don’t want anything unnecessary to invade your mental space, especially if you’ve got stuff to do. Prioritize what you need to get done and keep anything else at bay. In fact, you can reward yourself with a distraction once you’ve reached a milestone.
Batch Similar Tasks
If you’ve got a bunch of similar tasks to get done, you can put them together to reduce the time and effort of mental transition between them.
Let’s say you need to make some calls and send follow-up emails to your superiors. Instead of making a call, writing an email, and moving on to the next one, try dedicating time to making just the calls, making notes on important details, and sending out all the emails afterward.
You can also use templates and other time-saving hacks to make life just a little bit easier.
Time-blocking is a simple yet effective way to increase productivity and help you achieve deep work without losing motivation or drive.
Instead of arbitrarily working through tasks throughout the day, divide your day into blocks of time. Each block should signify a specific task and is much easier to follow than an open-ended to-do list that seems impossible to tackle.
A concrete schedule will allow you to prepare yourself for work when work is needed, and rest when rest is needed. It’s similar to the Pomodoro technique, which we’ll get into below.
Work Near Natural Sunlight
Sunlight is a gift from the sky to you, so make the most of it. It’s been shown that exposure to sunlight may help improve sleep and general well-being, which can directly affect productivity and motivation.
If you tend to be cooped up somewhere the sun doesn’t shine, try to find a place near a window where you can absorb good old Vitamin D.
Reduce the Transition Time Between Tasks
In a lot of cases, you might have multiple tasks that are totally different subject matters. When this happens, you’ll want to let your brain rest between tasks to shorten the transition time.
Once you’ve finished a task, do something entertaining or mindful that will stimulate your body and mind.
Running a lap, doing a little dance, making yourself a cup of tea, talking to a friend, or having a midday snack can help your brain get out of the mindset of the previous task and you’ll be ready to keep going onto the next.
Manage Multiple Tasks Without Multitasking
You don’t have to multitask to get multiple things done at once. Allowing upcoming tasks to roll around in the background noise of your mind while you work can help you be prepared when the time comes to achieve your goals.
If you have an approaching project, take some time to get acquainted with the subject, research, and brainstorm. That way, you’ll be actively thinking about it even when you’re busy with something else, and it’ll seem more intuitive once you start working on that particular task.
How To 10x Your Productivity
One of the things many people struggle with is getting in touch with their productivity. Procrastination, distractions, and lack of motivation can attack you at any time, making you feel like you’re not getting much done (even if you’re trying).
Being successful doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7, but one thing is true: productivity is essential to feeling fulfilled and satisfied with your work.
If you struggle with productivity, check out these tips that’ll have you feeling more productive without burning out.
Write 3 MITs (Most Important Tasks) Down Every Day
One of the things you can do to up your productivity and make it seem like less of a hassle is to write down the three Most Important Tasks (MITs) a day.
Every morning, take a few minutes to lay out the three most important tasks you need to perform that day. Add in specific goals and objectives, and concentrate on getting those done before moving on to less important tasks.
The more details you write down, the easier it’ll seem. Instead of writing down “research medical claims,” try using “review and authorize medical claims made by X, Y, and Z.”
Choose Either to Start Your Day Tough or Start Your Day Small
Different people need different things. When it comes to starting off your day, you have two options:
- Do the hardest tasks first.
- Do the easiest tasks first.
If you prefer to get the tough stuff out of the way first, you’ll probably benefit from getting the harder tasks first thing, so everything else feels easier.
If you’re more of an “I’ll get to it once I’m on a roll” type, doing the easier tasks before moving on can help you build momentum.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix for Urgency > Importance
Urgency over importance is the name of the game when using the Eisenhower Decision Matrix. You don’t just want efficiency, but also effectiveness. By separating tasks into four categories, you’ll be able to organize your time and tasks more efficiently.
- Do: important and urgent.
- Plan: important and not urgent.
- Delegate: not important and urgent.
- Eliminate: not important and not urgent.
The things that require immediate action or set deadlines should come first, so don’t stress about things that aren’t important or urgent at that moment.
The Pomodoro Time Management Technique
One of the most well-known productivity hacks is the Pomodoro technique. The best thing about it is how simple and effective it is.
To use the Pomodoro technique, you’ll want a to-do list and a timer. Once you know what you need to work on, set the timer for 25 minutes. For those 25 minutes, only focus on that task without distractions until the session ends.
Once the 25 minutes run out, enjoy a five-minute break where you’re free to walk around, get a snack, or scroll through social media. After the five-minute break, set the timer for another 25 minutes and get back to work.
After you’ve completed four 25-minute sessions with 5-minute breaks, take a longer 15-30 minute break and allow your brain to rest before you get back into it.
Become Proactive, Avoid Being Reactive
We’re all guilty of sometimes letting other people’s agenda rule our work. When you’re reactive, it’s a sign of a lack of initiative and essentially means you’re checking things off other people’s lists instead of your own.
When you’re proactive, you’re in control and in charge. You take the initiative and plan things to go in your direction. You choose what you’re doing, how you’re doing it, and what the end goals are.
Instead of waiting for something to happen, take the bull by the horns and make things happen.
Take Music Breaks Between Tasks
Thank goodness for music. Listening to music in between tasks will help you clear your mind, relax, and be better prepared for the next goal.
Once you’ve reached a milestone, grab your headphones, put on your favorite playlist and allow yourself to have a little dance party all by yourself. Not only is it great physical activity, but it’ll also let your brain take a break from routine.
Have a Little Help From Tech
Aren’t you glad to be living in a world where tech can be a major factor in helping you manage tasks and goals?
While tech has made life more difficult in some aspects, it’s a godsend for those who suffer from a lack of productivity or motivation. Using online resources like Todoist, Trello, and Evernote can help you organize your time and tasks easily.
Additionally, looking into apps like Forest turn staying focused into a fun game rather than a chore, while extensions like RescueTime help track online habits so you can use that information to your advantage and highlight any issues.
Supplements That Support Deep Focus
When all else fails, or you just need some extra support, you can turn to VYU.
Nootropic-based supplements can massively impact your brain activity, allowing you to feel more in touch with yourself and the things you need to get done.
At VYU, our mission is to nourish your brain for the long term, replenishing your energy and allowing you to get more done by enhancing focus and concentration.
It’s not magic, but it’s pretty close. Reaching new heights is easier than ever when you’re giving your brain supplements that help it thrive, so why not give it a try?
Mushrooms might seem scary, but they shouldn’t be. As the main ingredient in our TUNE IN powdered drink, they can directly impact the way you live from the inside out. Ingrdients like Ashwagandha can help with anxiety, while Lion’s Mane may help improve memory.
It’s as easy as mixing it into your favorite drink every morning, building a routine and habits that’ll follow you into your productivity.
If you’re looking to boost focus, amplify productivity, spark deep focus, and enhance energy without caffeine, VYU is for you.