|By Rebel Brown||
|April 3, 2014 10:44 AM EDT||
That’s why I’m sharing the practices and tools I used to get myself (and clients) back into focus and away from a nasty addiction to screens, multi-tasking and the scatterbrain program that’s rampant in our modern world.
How to Get Your Focus On
I’ve successfully retrieved my focus. I still have to work on it every day, but I’m finally back to my productive self. It was frustrating and at times. I wanted to throw in the towel and boot up my favorite Sci Fi series, sit on the couch and search the web with 10 open browser windows and chat with my Google+ buddies as I wrote and surfed. But I persisted. I’m grateful I did.
Getting our focus back is like creating a new habit. We want to create a habit to focus on our moment, our priorities and the task at hand. We want to break the habit of being interrupt-driven by the distractions (and perceived opportunities) all around us.
If you want to ditch your scatterbrain and regain your focus – here are the practices and tools I used to get my focus on.
- Put yourself in Learning State: One of the most powerful tools for focus I’ve ever found is right there in your mind. It’s called Learning State and you can trigger it yourself. Every morning I put myself into Learning State. It takes 2 minutes and the results are simply Outstanding. Here’s how to trigger your mind’s Learning State.
- Make a list and stick to it. I know you make lists. I did. But do you stick to them? Or do you allow yourself to flow through your day based on interrupts from your screens, your fellow workers and the world at large. Every morning, make your list of what you need to focus on that day. Then only do what’s on that list. When your list is finished you can do whatever you want. But focus on the list until it’s completed. While you’re at it – tell you unconscious mind that you want to ONLY focus on that list and ask it to ignore any and all distractions. Remember, your unconscious mind follows your directions.
- Shut down everything but what you are working on. Yes, I mean everything. If you’re writing a document, shut down everything but that program. If you’re writing an email, write the email and don’t check whatever comes in. Then shut down email when you’re done so you don’t have the distraction of new incoming emails. If you’re on a conference call, put everything down, turn off your screen and be on your conference call. Think you can do more things than listen? Your mind can’t. Your conscious mind can only process ~ 58/bits/second. So shut everything down except the one thing that requires your focus.
- Do one thing at a time. In a world filled with jugglers, the art of doing a single thing well has been maligned. Those who succeed multi-task, right? Not really. Any great writer, designer, leader, speaker, executive or worker will tell you that their key to great results is their ability to do one thing at a time and do it well. Sure there are times when you have to juggle. Focus on juggling and then go back to doing one thing at a time. You’ll get more done with higher quality. Plus you’ll train your mind in the habit of focus.
- Set a Timer. All work and no play makes anyone a dull unhappy soul. So give yourself the time to go surf all the sites to find out what you’ve missed in the last two hours. Just do it within limits. Set a timer and stick with it. I give myself 15 minutes a couple of times a day to check social media, google that new horse accessory I want or read the news (from sources I trust, not mass media.) So let your mind go wander, and when the buzzer rings go back to focus.
- Block out times in your day. Even with the timer idea I still wanted more time to search and research. So I began to create blocks of time in my day that I could essentially waste, browsing, searching, staring at realtor.com wondering where my buyers are. So I gave myself a block of time to do just that. First thing in the morning after I do my daily meditations and mind magic, I spend 30 minutes cruising the web. Whatever I want to google, read, share – I get to do it then. Once that 30 minutes is over, I’m done for the day, except for a couple of 5 minute windows for social media and other distractions. Then it’s back to focus.
Then there’s an amazing tool I use call BrainWave. This program (available for mobile devices) puts the power of neuroscience to use in training our minds through sound. The package consists of 30 programs, designed to do everything from giving you an afternoon Espresso Shot to increasing your Creativity to programming your mind to be Focused and Alert. Needless to say, I use the last one a lot.
You can find more information about BrainWave for Apple devices here.
But I Have to….
If you’re like me, you’ll have a knee-jerk reaction about how you need that time on Google + and Twitter, or you’ll rationalize why social media and email are so important to your success in life. Or there’s that infatuation with that television show that shares how Real Housewives behave.. You deserve the mental break, right? Uh huh.
Here’s my challenge to you.
Turn off the television, social media, email and anything else that distracts you. Limit your time exposed to any of these programs or forms of entertainment. And I do mean limit. Forget hours, think in minutes.
Take a break for just one month. Take that time to practice regaining your focus.
Then check back and see if you still feel that same necessity and importance about that 140 character message or Survivor episode.
Let me know how you do. I’d love to hear your stories!
Today air travel is a minefield of delays, hassles and customer disappointment. Airlines struggle to revitalize the experience. GE and M2Mi will demonstrate practical examples of how IoT solutions are helping airlines bring back personalization, reduce trip time and improve reliability. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Dr. Sarah Cooper, M2Mi’s VP Business Development and Engineering, explored the IoT cloud-based platform technologies driving this change including privacy controls, data transparency and integration of real time context with p...
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 PM EST Reads: 440
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
Nov. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EST Reads: 485
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.
Nov. 29, 2015 01:00 PM EST Reads: 354
DevOps is about increasing efficiency, but nothing is more inefficient than building the same application twice. However, this is a routine occurrence with enterprise applications that need both a rich desktop web interface and strong mobile support. With recent technological advances from Isomorphic Software and others, rich desktop and tuned mobile experiences can now be created with a single codebase – without compromising functionality, performance or usability. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, demonstrated examples of com...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:45 PM EST Reads: 421
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningful and actionable insights. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Paul Turner, Chief Marketing Officer at...
Nov. 29, 2015 12:30 PM EST Reads: 427
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Nov. 29, 2015 12:00 PM EST Reads: 528
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Nov. 29, 2015 11:45 AM EST Reads: 328
The Internet of Everything is re-shaping technology trends–moving away from “request/response” architecture to an “always-on” Streaming Web where data is in constant motion and secure, reliable communication is an absolute necessity. As more and more THINGS go online, the challenges that developers will need to address will only increase exponentially. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Todd Greene, Founder & CEO of PubNub, exploreed the current state of IoT connectivity and review key trends and technology requirements that will drive the Internet of Things from hype to reality.
Nov. 29, 2015 09:45 AM EST Reads: 453
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessions, I wanted to share some of my observations on emerging trends. As cyber security serves as a fou...
Nov. 29, 2015 09:15 AM EST Reads: 346
We all know that data growth is exploding and storage budgets are shrinking. Instead of showing you charts on about how much data there is, in his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Scott Cleland, Senior Director of Product Marketing at HGST, showed how to capture all of your data in one place. After you have your data under control, you can then analyze it in one place, saving time and resources.
Nov. 29, 2015 08:45 AM EST Reads: 227
With all the incredible momentum behind the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, it is easy to forget that not a single CEO wakes up and wonders if “my IoT is broken.” What they wonder is if they are making the right decisions to do all they can to increase revenue, decrease costs, and improve customer experience – effectively the same challenges they have always had in growing their business. The exciting thing about the IoT industry is now these decisions can be better, faster, and smarter. Now all corporate assets – people, objects, and spaces – can share information about themselves and thei...
Nov. 29, 2015 08:00 AM EST Reads: 277
The cloud. Like a comic book superhero, there seems to be no problem it can’t fix or cost it can’t slash. Yet making the transition is not always easy and production environments are still largely on premise. Taking some practical and sensible steps to reduce risk can also help provide a basis for a successful cloud transition. A plethora of surveys from the likes of IDG and Gartner show that more than 70 percent of enterprises have deployed at least one or more cloud application or workload. Yet a closer inspection at the data reveals less than half of these cloud projects involve production...
Nov. 29, 2015 07:00 AM EST Reads: 499
Continuous processes around the development and deployment of applications are both impacted by -- and a benefit to -- the Internet of Things trend. To help better understand the relationship between DevOps and a plethora of new end-devices and data please welcome Gary Gruver, consultant, author and a former IT executive who has led many large-scale IT transformation projects, and John Jeremiah, Technology Evangelist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), on Twitter at @j_jeremiah. The discussion is moderated by me, Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:45 AM EST Reads: 743
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true change and transformation possible.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 558
Too often with compelling new technologies market participants become overly enamored with that attractiveness of the technology and neglect underlying business drivers. This tendency, what some call the “newest shiny object syndrome” is understandable given that virtually all of us are heavily engaged in technology. But it is also mistaken. Without concrete business cases driving its deployment, IoT, like many other technologies before it, will fade into obscurity.
Nov. 29, 2015 06:00 AM EST Reads: 377
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" in this scenario: microservice A (releases daily) depends on a couple of additions to backend B (re...
Nov. 29, 2015 05:00 AM EST Reads: 461
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Nov. 29, 2015 04:30 AM EST Reads: 487
Container technology is shaping the future of DevOps and it’s also changing the way organizations think about application development. With the rise of mobile applications in the enterprise, businesses are abandoning year-long development cycles and embracing technologies that enable rapid development and continuous deployment of apps. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kurt Collins, Developer Evangelist at Built.io, examined how Docker has evolved into a highly effective tool for application delivery by allowing increasingly popular Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (mBaaS) platforms to quickly crea...
Nov. 29, 2015 04:00 AM EST Reads: 378
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Day 2 Keynote at 17th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, wil...
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 598
PubNub has announced the release of BLOCKS, a set of customizable microservices that give developers a simple way to add code and deploy features for realtime apps.PubNub BLOCKS executes business logic directly on the data streaming through PubNub’s network without splitting it off to an intermediary server controlled by the customer. This revolutionary approach streamlines app development, reduces endpoint-to-endpoint latency, and allows apps to better leverage the enormous scalability of PubNub’s Data Stream Network.
Nov. 29, 2015 03:00 AM EST Reads: 340