We've all had to adjust and learn how to be productive in work environments that used to be called "home." Meetings and work merged with online shopping, soothing puzzles, homeschooling the kids, and an array of other distractions for over a year. The potential return to normalcy? What does that even mean? Enter "COVID fatigue."
Even for Chōsen co-founder John Stanton, COVID fatigue kicked in earlier this spring. He shared feeling anxious, unproductive, and unsatisfied to contrast his usually advanced skillset around focus, supported by hard-won habits and rituals - luckily, he decided to do something about it and regain control of his mood and energy!
In the third and final chapter of the #ChosenInsightSeries on Taking Control of Your Focus, John reveals his three key practical take-aways from his reread of Nir Eyal's Indistractable that he's implementing to regain control of his focus. These are separate from the "aha! moments'' of awakening he shared in parts 1 and 2 of this series.
Distraction is part of our evolutionary design, oxymoron intended. We are constantly motivated to avoid discomfort. Engaging in distractions lights up the reward center of our brains, flooding dopamine and serotonin into our systems - offering sweet, cathartic relief to us when we struggle to deal with the monotony of ticking off our to-do list.
We tend to criticize ourselves whenever we get sidetracked. Remember the concept of negativity bias from our previous series? We tend to register negative stimuli more readily and dwell on these events. If we embrace a growth mindset, every experience is an opportunity to be better.
Now that we know distraction is part of our DNA, this means that we are in control of how we want to spend our time. "During this transition, be kind to yourself first and foremost. Treat yourself with care like you would with a dear friend. Don't be so critical of yourself when you do get distracted. It's part of our design!" says John.
John outlines three keys from Indistractable that you can use to live a life of focus and fulfillment:
PRACTICE TIME BOXING
Here at Chōsen, the concept of ikigai, or living our purpose to provide a sense of fulfillment in our lives, is at the core of everything we do. One of the most valuable tools that we use to help guide business leaders and innovators to focus on what's essential is purpose-driven goal setting. To take it to the next level, Eyal uses the concept of weekly schedule building, or time boxing, to plan out how we intend to spend our time - every minute of our day. In this way, we intentionally choose when we want to take breaks and engage with technology and when we need to focus on work.
REFLECT AND REVISE WEEKLY
Of course, executing timeboxing does not guarantee that you'll always be on track. Here is where we can put Chōsen's Experiential Learning Framework into practice by firstly implementing our plan, then reflecting on the experience with ourselves and sharing it with loved ones. Then, we tailor our schedule and adjust it over time to fit our ever-changing needs. Again, the key here is to be kind to ourselves! Learn from what didn't work, reflect and revise.
"When we don't plan time in our day to do what really matters, our life quickly falls out of balance. Learning how to schedule our time is an essential skill to becoming indistractable," adds John.
NEVER BAIL ON AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOURSELF
We are the captains of our own ships. If we see willpower as a habit instead of a finite resource, we will never run out of it. It's all about being accountable with yourself. If you want to get something done, decide when and where you're going to do it, and follow through! Always follow through on the most important appointments - those with yourself. You are your biggest priority.
The good news is that we are not entirely helpless when it comes to distractions as we believe ourselves to be. Understanding how to stay focused is what it takes to live the lives that we truly want.
"Living a life of focus means that you are consistently working on the things that you want - the things that are priorities for you. Becoming indistractable is a skill that you can choose to have," says John.
For more information on how we can support you to optimize your lifestyle for increased performance, reach out to us; we would love to hear from you!
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Start with Chōsen's FREE Self-Assessment tool. Check-in with yourself to make better decisions towards your self-care and overall balance.