Why is it so hard to focus?

61 replies
I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
#focus #hard
  • Profile picture of the author Ephrils
    Since we love instant results for our work the fact we may not see results for a long time definitely makes me less motivated to do the work. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and do something which can take a long time on its own to make happen.

    I think your driving force and goal is also a big part of you're willingness to get to work. If it's something you really want, but not really, it's going to be hard to do. If it's something you're passionate about you're probably doing that work right now.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    The secret to discipline is remembering what you want.

    So... what do you want?

    What works for me is to resolve to only buy new things with new money. No credit cards, no financing, no dipping into the savings account. My big purchase this year will be one of the new Corvettes when they come out - I'm a vette enthusiast on my fourth right now, I've had one since I was 19 and traded up every couple of years. My current one was the first one I ever paid cash for, and that was in 2009. My plan was simple: I was determined to pay cash for that car, but my resolve to only do it with new money meant I had to MAKE that money starting at the time I made the decision. I created 3 new products, one was a dud, one was sold to another company for about half of the cost of the car, and the sales I made from the third one filled in the gap.

    Not to pat myself on the back or sound like I'm bragging or anything, but it would be a lot easier to write that check today than it was in 08-09 - but I am committed to my "new toys come from new money" focus, so in order to treat myself to a 2014 Corvette I have to create something that will make enough money to do so.

    Obviously I've been doing this for a while and my tastes have become more expensive, but you can apply the same strategy to anything... maybe it's not an $80,000 car, maybe it's a $2,500 vacation or a new livingroom set. Whatever it is you want, if you can resolve to only pay for it out of "extra income" you'll find your ability to focus is proportionate to how badly you want that shiny new thing.
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    • Profile picture of the author ceenote100
      I agree with ronrule. Desire should be your main motivator for focus.
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      • Profile picture of the author luna522
        I agree. I never realized how negative my family spoke for instance, until I moved 300+ miles away and had to start learning, thinking, and living by myself. I learned to be much more positive without their negative influence. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly...but sometimes it's the people we are closest to/hang around most.

        I also like to follow Dave Ramsey/Suze Orman a lot on financial things. If you start putting things in perspective the important things start to take over.

        IE-Get an extra hour of sleep, or get up a bit early and workout?

        Spend 100 bucks on some new clothes, or put it in savings, or buy something that will actually give you a ROI.

        etcetera.
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    • Profile picture of the author Snowclone
      Originally Posted by ronrule View Post

      The secret to discipline is remembering what you want.

      So... what do you want?

      What works for me is to resolve to only buy new things with new money. No credit cards, no financing, no dipping into the savings account. My big purchase this year will be one of the new Corvettes when they come out - I'm a vette enthusiast on my fourth right now, I've had one since I was 19 and traded up every couple of years. My current one was the first one I ever paid cash for, and that was in 2009. My plan was simple: I was determined to pay cash for that car, but my resolve to only do it with new money meant I had to MAKE that money starting at the time I made the decision. I created 3 new products, one was a dud, one was sold to another company for about half of the cost of the car, and the sales I made from the third one filled in the gap.

      Not to pat myself on the back or sound like I'm bragging or anything, but it would be a lot easier to write that check today than it was in 08-09 - but I am committed to my "new toys come from new money" focus, so in order to treat myself to a 2014 Corvette I have to create something that will make enough money to do so.

      Obviously I've been doing this for a while and my tastes have become more expensive, but you can apply the same strategy to anything... maybe it's not an $80,000 car, maybe it's a $2,500 vacation or a new livingroom set. Whatever it is you want, if you can resolve to only pay for it out of "extra income" you'll find your ability to focus is proportionate to how badly you want that shiny new thing.
      Great point - Setting a clear cut goal definitely helps me stay focused, it helps put everything in perspective. Personally I've wanted to be a homeowner for quite some time and am working towards that goal. Granted I don't plan to buy a home with an all cash offer (maybe someday) - But I do plan to be financially secure enough to buy one and work towards that goal daily.
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  • Profile picture of the author jakerobinsonvt
    ya it sure can be hard to stop getting distracted. but you gotta flex your decision muscles and say no to the distractions and yes to the work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Natniszakov
    You can print a photo of something that you really want, a destination or anything you want to do and write something like, "you are not getting this if you don't actually do something"
    Hope it helps
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    Nat Niszakov

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  • Profile picture of the author Peter Thomas
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    My question to you is:

    Do you have a solid full time income and you are wanting to do IM part-time?

    If so, that is the issue.

    To be self-employed is much more difficult than working for others. When you have a job and a boss, you know subconsciously that you have to do a goog job, if not you will be fired.

    But, when you are your own boss, there is none to report to, and be accountable for and it is easy to drift away from your focus.

    So, find someone who is like a very strict school teacher, for you to show your progress or teach someone what you learn everyday and help them learn a new skill, and the benefit to you is, you become better at what you are doing.

    Hope this helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author RestlessBlaze
      Originally Posted by Peter Thomas View Post

      My question to you is:

      Do you have a solid full time income and you are wanting to do IM part-time?

      If so, that is the issue.

      To be self-employed is much more difficult than working for others. When you have a job and a boss, you know subconsciously that you have to do a goog job, if not you will be fired.

      But, when you are your own boss, there is none to report to, and be accountable for and it is easy to drift away from your focus.

      So, find someone who is like a very strict school teacher, for you to show your progress or teach someone what you learn everyday and help them learn a new skill, and the benefit to you is, you become better at what you are doing.

      Hope this helps.
      You have put focus in different prespective. What if someone loose focus while inside a job? :0
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  • Profile picture of the author Bhekizwe
    The Power of WHY is a big motivator."If your why doesn't make you cry then you are not ready to live"-Unknown source. For me, i have discovered that reasons like health, family, wealth, recreation, charity, community service etc are important to remain focused on the work at hand or else i stand to lose. No room for fear, whatsoever!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author JustineA
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    Hey Nameless, really great and common question for many people I agree.

    People who find it easier to focus on what needs to be done will always have one of two things present in their lives:

    - A compelling enough reason to move towards their goal (and therefore get the work done); OR
    - A compelling enough reason to move away from what they don't want anymore (and therefore are also driven to get the work done); AND
    - Occasionally, it's a combination of both.

    I don't know you, so I can only go on what you say, but I would strongly suggest that you just don't have enough of anything compelling you in anyone direction and in fact either life is comfortable enough, or you may even be feeling overwhelmed with the tasks ahead. Either reason will lead you to do 'other things' with your time.

    Example: Seriously ... have you ever finished a really tough day and can't wait to get a cold beer inyour hand and in fact all you think about is getting home or getting out to get that beer? My point being, when the feeling is compelling enough, you're constantly thinking about it and taking all necessary actions until you get that coldy in your hands! That's a clear and compelling goal towards something you really really want and you won't stop until you get it. Get clear about that stuff and make sure it's compelling for you and you'll wonder what freak of focus has taken over your body!

    The fact that you have time to consider that you might fail with whatever task you do is an interesting insight which tells me that you literally play that whole scenario out in your head before you even get to the task itself ! Wow - you are still working hard! "I feel my efforts will be for nothing".

    I want you to remember that it's really important for you to understand that EMOTION, will always follow MOTION. This means that whether you physically get up and do something (motion) or you run a scenario in your head thinking about doing the work and it not working out (motion) - these activities will return an equally compelling emotion. " I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing." Do you see how you used the word 'think' - you've just run an entire movie (actions, motion) in your mind and the result is that you feel (emotion) your efforts will be for nothing.

    On the Contrary: Your post in fact tells me that you have an amazing ability to focus already - the challenge is to get your mind focusing on the right things. Next time you're sitting down on the couch I challenge you to consider running different movie in your head - one that is you doing the tasks and those tasks having a high return for your business. I guarantee you that if you did that everyday for a week or two - your feeling of defeat will change to optimism and at the very least - open to the possibilities that that work can bring for you business.

    Lastly, remember that in the online business world, completing new tasks and trying new things is a constant learning path for all of us - and whether it returns results or not - you've just gained some amazing knowledge for yourself and your business. Try to look at each new task as an adventure and enjoy the ride .. remembering that each ride you take gets you closer to where you really really want to be.

    I'm an NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) Practitioner Coach (really means language and behaviour specialist) with well over a decade of Coaching behind me - and I just mention this because that's why I point out specific words for you in my response to you. These provide amazing insights into what's happening for you, without having to physically be present with you.

    I hope you can take away something of use from this post.

    All the best.
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    Justine Antoinette
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    Experienced Personal & Professional Coach
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    • Profile picture of the author Jarmila
      Originally Posted by WeavingThoughts View Post

      One word: Discipline.
      Yes! Desire is great, desire is a super-charged motivator, but sometimes we have to focus on something that is totally unrelated to a pleasurable goal or activity.

      My strategy is to eat those frogs first. Get them the hell out of my inbox, but always do them to the very best of my ability with 100% commitment to excellence. It took a lot of discipline to make myself take on these frogs first thing in the morning, but then the rest of the day's work is easy and fun.

      If you can't get it done first thing, break it up into 30 min segments followed by a break. You can discipline yourself to focus for 30 minutes. A 30-min meditation every day is an easy way to learn to focus for that period of time and get used to not allowing distractions.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brant
    "Your current safe boundaries were once unknown frontiers." ~ Anonymous
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    • Profile picture of the author gurugrimmer
      Thing is, it is always specific to you though... You may have a sticking points that need to be discovered, so you have to get honest with yourself about what is keeping you from success.

      Which you have already started to isolate.

      For me, one of my sticking points, just like you was getting myself to not be afraid of a project failing, and all the work I put in being a waste of time...

      Well, I learnt how to enjoy the process, instead of just being goal oriented. I learnt to believe that I can do it if I put my mind to it... and to fail fast.

      I learnt a whole lot. I recommend finding ways to change your state on a daily basis to one of certainty... to one where you know you will find a way to achieve your goals. One where you enjoy doing what it takes.

      This video from Arnie actually talk about a lot of what I found out through constant trial and error... and working on and looking at my behaviours and mental states; my results and habits... on a DAILY basis.

      Success is a process, not a goal. It's a lifestyle, not a crash diet... it's a mindest, not an action list... although there are principles, everyone has their own way of doing this.

      Contrary to popular belief... success is indeed failure. You've failed enough times to know how to succeed.

      If you need certainty in your steps... you can always find a quality coach to help you make sure you are being effective in your action steps, so you can have more faith that your efforts aren't being wasted.

      Some highlights from the video I am talking about:

      "The mind makes you work out 4-5 hours a day... There is no maybe... I'll do whatever it takes... That's the answer... Create a goal... if you do not see it and believe it, who else will... You have to visualize, it creates the will, the will to go to the gym everyday...

      The will makes you go one more time... Makes the difference between you being in the gym full of joy, looking forward to that extra rep... working past the pain barrier... The body is important, but the mind is even more important...

      So you have to feel like every rep you do, is taking you one step closer to your goal, make that vision that you have turn in to reality... Why would you laugh and have a good time... because I knew that every 5 hours would bring me closer to my goal...

      The only way you will be able to lift 500 Ibs is if you are willing to fail."


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      • Profile picture of the author rundmc56
        Many great replies on this this thread. Thank You!

        The idea that taking action to do our tasks is waste of time is something I have also suffered with. Consciously, I know that doing the tasks and staying persistent will yield better results than doing nothing at all.

        The mind is always trying to find ways to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Taking a deeper look at our tasks we may find there is pain in them. Checking out the news, surfing the web, reading books, or any other activity, can provide more pleasure than doing the work that subconsciously we believe will NOT yield any results.

        It's already been mentioned in this thread but here it goes again the "why", the "process", the "being" should take on a life of its own. But's that's hard to make that happen because the mind gets more pleasure from reading the sports page.

        What I have found, is that I have to do all I can to change what my mind thinks real pleasure is. The statement, "I have to work harder on myself than on my business" is very true for me.

        Some people will do it by selling themselves on their "why", some do it with affirmations or meditations. There are many vehicles.

        What I have found is if you can get yourself to do and enjoy the process you start getting in a flow, you start seeing results and staying focused becomes easier and even pleasurable.

        Don't get me wrong, setting goals also work well for many people. But for many people material goals don't work that great. Most of us can't wait for the new car or house. We are way too impatient and our ability to continue taking action can drift away as we start seeking immediate sources of pleasure

        Speaking for myself, I want to feel good now. I want to feel I accomplished what I set out to do by the end of the day

        I had to reconsider what was the best way for me to consistently take action. Money really doesn't motivate me but I sure do enjoy having it!

        Knowing I am a person that's good at something. Knowing I am a person with a good work ethic. Knowing I am a person that's not afraid to make alot of calls makes me feel successful regardless of my particular results on that day.

        It keeps me in right action and keeps me feeling good about me. But it took work for me to see things that way. I had to change my mindset to a pattern of thinking and belief that gets me to move with less struggle and distraction.

        This is what's worked for me. I hope this helps in some way.
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        • Profile picture of the author copystud
          It sounds like you've been listening/reading some Tony Robbins already. If not, pick up or download some of his stuff. I listen to Personal Power, Get the Edge, and Lessons in Mastery religiously.

          The more you hear about how your brain is fooling you into avoiding success, the faster you can reprogram yourself to avoid those habits.

          Much like posting in this forum for feedback from people who understand how you feel, it's nice to listen to audio tapes from guys like Tony, or others like Brian Tracy, Jim Rohn, etc. -- to reinforce that you want success and aren't going to fall victim to your subconscious mind and the tricks it can play on you.

          Originally Posted by rundmc56 View Post

          Many great replies on this this thread. Thank You!

          The idea that taking action to do our tasks is waste of time is something I have also suffered with. Consciously, I know that doing the tasks and staying persistent will yield better results than doing nothing at all.

          The mind is always trying to find ways to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Taking a deeper look at our tasks we may find there is pain in them. Checking out the news, surfing the web, reading books, or any other activity, can provide more pleasure than doing the work that subconsciously we believe will NOT yield any results.

          It's already been mentioned in this thread but here it goes again the "why", the "process", the "being" should take on a life of its own. But's that's hard to make that happen because the mind gets more pleasure from reading the sports page.

          What I have found, is that I have to do all I can to change what my mind thinks real pleasure is. The statement, "I have to work harder on myself than on my business" is very true for me.

          Some people will do it by selling themselves on their "why", some do it with affirmations or meditations. There are many vehicles.

          What I have found is if you can get yourself to do and enjoy the process you start getting in a flow, you start seeing results and staying focused becomes easier and even pleasurable.

          Don't get me wrong, setting goals also work well for many people. But for many people material goals don't work that great. Most of us can't wait for the new car or house. We are way too impatient and our ability to continue taking action can drift away as we start seeking immediate sources of pleasure

          Speaking for myself, I want to feel good now. I want to feel I accomplished what I set out to do by the end of the day

          I had to reconsider what was the best way for me to consistently take action. Money really doesn't motivate me but I sure do enjoy having it!

          Knowing I am a person that's good at something. Knowing I am a person with a good work ethic. Knowing I am a person that's not afraid to make alot of calls makes me feel successful regardless of my particular results on that day.

          It keeps me in right action and keeps me feeling good about me. But it took work for me to see things that way. I had to change my mindset to a pattern of thinking and belief that gets me to move with less struggle and distraction.

          This is what's worked for me. I hope this helps in some way.
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  • Profile picture of the author olavlind
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    #1: Set aside 1 hour to do something worth while that takes about 1 hour's time.

    #2: Divide your hour into 10 minute intervals. Focus like Crazy for those 10 minutes on 1 single task, and finish it within those 10 minutes. Set a timer at 10 minutes.

    #3: After 10 minutes, take 2 minutes break.

    #4: Focus like Crazy for another 10 minutes.

    Repeat until done :-)

    ~Olav
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  • Profile picture of the author Nic Oliver
    We live in an ADHD world - if most of today's adults were back at school, they be prescribed Ritalin due to their inability to focus!

    There's so much trying to get our attention. If you don't have a purpose, how do you know what to pay attention to an what to dismiss.

    Take WF as an example - many people suffer from SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome) and buy products on all sorts of topics, hoping it will lead to instant success and the Internet Lifestyle. The way to avoid this, and to focus on the few things that will be of use to you, is to have a purpose and a strategy for achieving it. Then you will know immediately whether a new shiny object is relevant to you or not. Believe me, as a former SOS addict, your bank balance and your family will thank you!

    The gurus won't thank me for saying it, but a purpose, a strategy and a plan removes the need for 95% of shiny objects and wil allow you to focus! In addition, I've showna lot of my clients that meditation and mental focus exercises can strengthen their ability to focus but that, as they say, is a whole different story!
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    • Profile picture of the author don21stc
      Imagination is much more powerful than will power.
      Imagine yourself getting the task done and imagine what little reward you'll give yourself when you get it done properly.
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  • Profile picture of the author virtualgeek
    Have you tasted success before? if yes, then just think about it before you procrastinate. Just think about the loads of money you could make if you just stick to your plan. What I personally do to avert my attention from cats in the Internet is I set up a work flow and I stick to it oh and did I tell you that I party hard on weekends? party hard but work harder
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Fishman
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    You've got to do these three things :

    1) Identify your optimal productivity strategy.

    This means determining the ideal environment, location, and other conditions that when met you can be your most productive.

    What time of day do you find yourself least distracted and able to get your thoughts and actions to flow ? Early in the morning, mid afternoon or late at night ?

    What kind of location and environment enable you to feel comfortable and focused so that you get through the work you need to get done without giving in to impluses, thoughts and feelings that distract you ? Is it your home office, bed room, a library, a quiet coffee shop, etc ?

    What are the conditions and circumstances in which you feel the most capable of being able to sit down and get shit done ? after you eat a meal ? after you work out or meditate ? after the work day is over and the rest of your day is free ? after hanging out with friends ?

    Figure these things out, in great detail. If you're not sure what they are they try a variety of different scenarios until you get a better idea of what works best for you.

    2) Do your optimal productivity strategy consistently and make it a habbit. This will help you create new experiences of being focused and getting work done for you to build on. Doing this will enable you to get much more done in a couple of hours than you would normally otherwise be able to do, once you've clearly identify all the proper aspects of your strategy.

    Other people in the thread have mentioned really useful things about the power of desire and habbits. Consider and make use of those too.

    3) You need to neutralize and release your current belief ("it's hard to focus") and install a new belief that empowers and propels you towards completing your goals.

    Your current belief is causing you pain that you are running away from by procrastinating and until you do something to remove the pain or fear you have, you're not going to get very far.

    Think of your body as a computer. Your brain is the CPU. Your beliefs are the software that makes things run. All beliefs affect our behavoir by driving us towards what we don't want or away from what we don't want. The pain of doing something hard is greater than the pleasure of getting your work done, so you're avoiding the work.

    You've probably thought this belief "why is focusing so hard?" / "focusing is hard" many thousands of times. But that's ok. Most people think an average of 60,000+ thoughts a day so you have plenty of oppportunity to neutralize it by reframing it - putting it into a different perspective. When the belief "focus is hard" starts to trigger your procrastination you have to think a different though - you have to reframe it enough times (along with doing your optimal productivity strategy) so that your new belief will eventually replace the old one and cause you to feel good and get you taking action towards your goal. Thinking or saying something like "even though focusing can be a challenge, I still find ways to be productive and get my work done on time." or "the more effort I put into focusing the more I can get things done easily and effectively."

    These are just some generic examples of reframed beliefs. Word your new belief in a way that makes you feel good, strong, effective, etc. Keep it short, simple and positive. Make it your mantra. Your mind will believe anything you tell it enough times, regardless of the content and your belief will lead to action bad or good, based on the meaning and how it relates to your values and attitudes.

    Do these things and you can change your situation dramatcially in a matter or weeks or days. Good luck & be well.
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  • Profile picture of the author don21stc
    While I don't necessarily dispute the soundness of Dan's advice (previous post), it seems to me that if the problem is that you can't focus, then going through the steps Dan proposes is yet another thing for you have to focus on before you can get round to focusing on your major tasks.
    In my experience, as a poor focuser, I would find Dan's method fairly challenging and may well decide to revert back to bumbling along with my 50% or maybe lower focus 'score' rather than get distracted by having another task to focus on.
    The only thing that really gets me to focus at say 90% is genuine external pressure from situations involving others - for example a recent court case I was involved in where the deadlines were set by the court and the stakes were pretty high.
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  • Profile picture of the author kellyyarnsbro
    Lots of distractions, that could be the reason. It is advisable to choose not the SEXIEST secretary you could get, otherwise you loss focus and then your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tudor
    It doesn't take real focus to watch the news. I eliminated that from my life for good when I realized that watching anything on a screen doesn't qualify as doing something, but instead it is allowing someone else to do something to you.

    So I made a conscious decision to stop allowing the news (both radio and TV) to take time away from my life. It's too previous to give it away like this.

    If you find it hard to focus on work, try to alternate between work and helping others. Find a need and spend some time helping out without expecting anything in return. Helping others reach their goals might be the best way of achieving your own.

    Tudor

    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
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    • Profile picture of the author sogregory
      I found two ways to help me focus - and i'm documenting it all in my very first blog

      I used to procrastinate, and have done for 11 years! so i did two thigs:

      1. I gave myself a deadline

      2. Gave myself something to lose/ or forfit if it's not done.

      These two things has completely changed my life..i can't even remember the last time i watched tv ..coz i was so busy doing what i needed to do.LOL
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      • Profile picture of the author Tudor
        Great tips - thank you!
        Linking lack of action to pain is a great way to motivate yourself.

        With that in mind, I think gyms should charge members for not showing up to work out.


        Originally Posted by sogregory View Post

        I found two ways to help me focus - and i'm documenting it all in my very first blog

        I used to procrastinate, and have done for 11 years! so i did two thigs:

        1. I gave myself a deadline

        2. Gave myself something to lose/ or forfit if it's not done.

        These two things has completely changed my life..i can't even remember the last time i watched tv ..coz i was so busy doing what i needed to do.LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author Master Dayton
    The biggest two obstacles for me: over-planning and multi-tasking. You can't multi-task. Whether or not you believe that, it doesn't matter. Treat that as if it's true. Each night make a very specific list of what you'll do the next day, example: write 1 600 word blog post on diet topic x, write 1 400 word ezinearticle for a backlink, cold e-mail 3 clients to offer services. Then the next day you focus on #1 and only #1, then #2 and only #2, and so on. While this sounds simple, it's effective. And you find quickly it takes a lot less time to do something than you originally thought. Amazing how 600 word articles take only 12-15 minutes instead of an hour or hour and a half when the TV isn't on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Handdy
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    I have felt this way a lot in the past. What changed over the years was the thought that 'Everyday we live, every moment we breathe, we must move forward'. Getting carried away by insignificant things and not doing anything at all keeps us in the same place and in time moves us backwards. This is not how you want your life to turn out.
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  • Profile picture of the author GuruGazette
    Different techniques work for different people and it may take time to learn what works best for you.

    Personally I've found that treating my computer as the office/business helps tremendously. I don't surf the Internet for entertainment, I use it as a research tool. I don't click video links, use IM/Skype for business, and I rarely visit message boards. These are distractions that can suck up hours of time and leave you feeling drained without ever having touched any real "work."

    When my work is done, I turn the computer off and redirect my attention. This often involves a walk through the garden to decompress if it was a super productive day. I might also wash dishes, cook something or just have an in person conversation.

    The tv doesn't come on until late in the evening and Netflix is used once or twice a week after 7 pm only.

    When I had a landline it was unplugged during focus hours. Now I generally ignore texts if I'm busy and thankfully the phone rarely rings.

    During the day I may glance through news or email if I'm taking a brief break. I generally look at headlines and summaries only because nothing requires immediate attention when it doesn't generate revenue.

    In my world, work/business activity pays the bills and put food on the table. As someone noted above, you wouldn't spend hours reading the news if you has to get to work, right? When push comes to shove you dig in and get it done.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tudor
      Thank you! I think that sums up what anyone should take away from this conversation. (I hope you don't mind me quoting the parts that I believe apply to any person)
      You can't implement someone else's methods and expect identical results. we're all different, so we all have to do some digging to find out what works for ourselves.
      I have a zero radio, zero TV news policy that might sound absurd to some people.
      It's all about what works for yourself and keeping your priorities in mind.

      Originally Posted by GuruGazette View Post

      Different techniques work for different people and it may take time to learn what works best for you.
      ....
      In my world, work/business activity pays the bills and put food on the table. As someone noted above, you wouldn't spend hours reading the news if you has to get to work, right? When push comes to shove you dig in and get it done.
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      • Profile picture of the author rbates
        It is hard to focus because we are human!
        But you also mention Fear of Failure. These are
        two separate issues to confront. Again, why do
        we fail? That human thing again. Does failing make
        a difference? Only if you never try again.

        Internet Marketing runs rampant with failure - why?
        In most cases it's lack of focus. Books are written and
        much money is made from topics like "Time Management",
        "Goal Setting", and "Organizing", to name a few.

        The best thing that you can do for yourself is to write down
        what you want to accomplish for that day (week is better, but
        it sounds like you need to to start somewhere), and then
        give yourself time limits on what you are doing. As mentioned,
        break down the time into segments if necessary.

        Unless you MUST be connected to the internet, turn it off.
        The internet is one the biggest time wasters going. I recently
        did some research on this and here is a quote from one source:

        "The average worker admits to frittering away 3 hours per 8 hour
        workday, NOT including lunch or breaks".


        So, you see, this is a pervasive problem. Videos, Social Media, and
        Online Gaming are major players in internet "Time Wasting."

        The term discipline is an easy term to toss about, but it is not so easy
        for most people to follow its course.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarcusJohnson
    Yes, I agree with you but when you have family and yourself to support. You have no choice but you have to be focus to achieve goals and make sure there should be no room for failure. Because when you're focused you have more chances to reach your goals.
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Hard work is exactly that, hard.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    The times in my life where I've had the most focus were the times when I had the most to lose if I failed.

    It was easy to be lazy when I was single. When the bills are already paid and 3 cute female friends invite you to blow off work and go hang out at the beach all day, it's an easy "Yes"

    But today, married with 3 kids and wife is a stay at home mom, I know it's all on me and there are other people who would have to deal with the consequences of my inaction. That alone is motivation.

    The trouble I had wasn't with that - it was when things were on auto-pilot. Money was coming in, bills were paid, savings account balance was adequate, so "why work"? It's why I developed the "new toys from new money" discipline. It keeps you sharp, focused, and goal-oriented when you create a system of rewarding yourself for progress.
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  • Nameless,
    I know I have felt like that many times in my past. Gradually, I came to realize, simply by taking baby steps at first, that EVERYTHING I did towards my project that was productive and "not missed" by the Universe. Even the smallest good effort matters and adds to your assured success. It all adds to your overall work performance and what that performance leads to is the fulfillment of your desires over time. (Persistence)

    Research a way to get yourself working productively for as much time as you can handle to start with. Small tasks accomplished quickly and accurately is the key at first. I feel no good effort is ever wasted but will come to some reward in time.

    With so many successful Warriors in this forum, you have a powerful indication that good focused effort wins the day eventually.

    I wish you good luck dealing with the demon of distraction!

    PS Sir / Ms, Have you considered challenging your mind to come up with a different forum name? "Nameless" does not strike the spark of interest. It gives the impression of indecision. If it's like this for you too, use that as a tiny goal to accomplish a small new part of your overall goal. I suspect you will feel like you have begun to take charge of work habits then. Again, good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      For me the simplest way to see what focus can do is to self reflect where i am now. I got into a decent university and I have a business which NO ONE around me can easily relate with (aside from the hard work aspect of things).

      This is why visualizing and affirming the intended goal is so important, especially if you have larger than average goals.

      My focus comes from knowing what i want and affirming that with consistent action I'll get there. Distractions and everything else are just the hurdles you need to get over to reach the finish line.

      **Some of those hurdles can hurt if you fall and crash btw. Has happened to me more times than i can count, but getting up and starting again is what matters
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  • Profile picture of the author createvalueshare
    Originally Posted by Nameless View Post

    I believe this is the question that many people and myself ask everyday. Why am I always "focused" on other things like catching up on the news, just anything to keep my mind off working. Potentially what it all comes down to is that if i even focused for a good 2-3 hours I know so much would be done, but man... it's so hard to grasp the concept of how much those few hours would help my productivity. I think one thing I can attest to my non-focused mind is that, I feel my efforts will be for nothing. The Fear of failure of putting in the hard work and have nothing to show for it, and I just wasted my time doing it. Anybody ever feel that way?
    I hear you and definitely feel the same way. I agree with you it is mainly because of the fear of failure. I found myself constantly shift myself from what I should have been focusing on, because if I focus too much, I will be stressed out. To shift my focus sometimes help me relax and keep myself going towards my ultimate goal. However the fear of failure makes me shift too often. Therefore I was thinking very hard how to deal with the situation.

    Recently I had some minor success by publishing my goals and my track records. For example, I decide to lose weight, so I started a tread on this forum to talk about and keep track of my daily calorie intakes on my Facebook page and also tweet about it, by doing so, I feel like I am facing the public and had to kick myself to focus back over and over again. Try this and see if it's working for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jay walters
    I really understand this thread since I have this problem before on how to focus and sometimes I ended up frustrated. What I did was I listed my goals and checked what goal is at the top priority
    and listed what motivated me to finish the goals in no time. Made a planned schedule,
    even though some were not followed but along the way, I manage to really
    do the task efficiently and it has become a part of me to finish my goals on time.
    And now I can't even sleep when some unfinished task is at hand. Anyway, I just felt sharing since this thread is about focus.
    I always remind myself what I could give if I will put myself on focus regardless of what I could get and I feel refreshed knowing that I could give more if I can focus on what I have as a potential.

    I remember this one quote from someone...
    "If you can't overcome the desert, the desert will surely overcome you..."

    Strive on where you are weak now, and it will become your strength.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anne0521
    I can relate to you. I find it hard to focus on my job sometimes especially when working in the Net because there's so many things there that can catch your attention, many sites to see and news to read. However, I always remember my purpose. My purpose for working is to earn money, to earn money because I plan to do this and that,..Now if I lose focus, how can I earn my money? How can I accomplish my plans? so, when I started to lose my focus I tried to remember my purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    I was actually just quoted in a Forbes article on this subject (8 Ways to Dig Yourself Out of a Rut). Some of the other answers may be beneficial for you guys.

    8 Ways To Dig Your Way Out Of A Rut - Forbes
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  • Profile picture of the author ronrule
    Just don't do a 30 year mortgage whatever you do, they're a scam. 15 year fixed is the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author christiangrey
    Banned
    I think when your working on a project it's easy to get distracted by other products you see browsing around. You think to yourself, why don't I just do this instead? You end up doing this so much that you never finish anything, which is why you make no money. Keep going with it!
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    • Profile picture of the author createvalueshare
      The are a few other tips I have been using and made some nice success with it.

      - Write down your ultimate goal somewhere that you can see every day to remind you to focus.
      - After break the big goal to smaller pieces, reward yourself for each milestone achieved in order to keep motivation alive.
      - Take breaks and follow an effective schedule in order to balance life and work.
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  • Profile picture of the author dbrwn
    One of the problems that people have with focusing is information overload. It esamds that no matter wher you turn these days online, there is alsways some new information on a particular niche or topic that you need to read and such.

    However, what you need to remember is that not all information is credible and honest information. Some of the information that you read online is just plain bogus and untrue. That is why so many people can't focus, and the other reason why so many people can't focus is that their attention spans are next to nothing.

    I find that more and more people these days ahve very short attention spans and if something isn't immediately going their way or is in their favor, they immediately loose interest and move onto the next thing and continue to do so until they find what they're searching for.
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  • Profile picture of the author TravisO
    Because it depends on your working environment. If it is silence then you can really focus on things you are working with.
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  • Profile picture of the author PowerLearn
    Sorry for my bad english, i´m german. Fokus is not so hard. Just make Afformations everyday in the morning and in the evening, go to sleep with your Afformations and very soon you will find the best results for your LIFE. Many years i used Affirmations and this sucks, do not realy works good.

    AFFORMATIONS get fast the best results!
    I did it now 8 Weeks everyday and night, since three weeks ago my life changed so cool. Now i´m earning much more then 10.000 $ in the last three weeks, years before i earned only 1.000 $ the month. It comes overnight and i´m very happy, first i pick up a new computer!

    My Afformations for Freedom:
    Why is my life now so wonderfull?
    Why do i earn more than 10.000 $ every Month?
    Why do i find everyday the right people, to help me to get success?

    Good Luck!!!
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  • Profile picture of the author PinkVelvet
    Well, this is one reason why I always have the TV OFF.

    I can't multitask and do all of my work in complete silence or just listening to meditation music only, nothing with words that will distract me..

    lol... and don't even get me started on those darn Youtube videos. That will make me totally lose my Focus so I tend to avoid Youtube all together.
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    Its hard for me to focus when I am not sure what will bring the best results.

    If I knew for sure that a certain action would definitely bring more success than others, then I would feel confident about focusing on it.

    I am learning though that in any given moment when I tune into what action seems the most inspiring, fun and effortless, then most often, that will bring the best results.

    When I start doing something that people say should work, but I am just really bored or frustrated with it, then I just let that go and move on.

    I've learned not to keep doing something I don't like, just because it is something that "should" be done.
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    • Profile picture of the author dkt1856
      Someone said ( I think it was either ronrule or tudor ) that you have to have the why in there somewhere. Someone said discipline, but I am not so sure it's that, at least not all of it. I mean, if you get out of bed everyday, you are disciplined, If you go to work everyday you are disciplined. These two disciplines have 'whys' behind them. So I think that the "why" might be it. You have to remind yourself WHY you want this, which I believe brings emotion into it. For example; after a very heated discussion with my supervisor, I realized that as long as I work for someone else, they will have control over most of my life. That to me has become a very intolerable situation. My '"why". Yes you do have to add in the discipline, and you have to have the "want it bad enough" factor. But I believe if you have the why down, the other two will follow suit. For what it's worth that is my 2 cents. Hope it helps
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  • Profile picture of the author mert
    Nothing new. We all have this fear of failure. But hey, if you love and believe in what you do it won't matter!

    To me failing means that there's still something out there I need to learn about. That I still have a purpose doing the same thing tomorrow. What you must fear is that you start getting good at it and the things you use to love doing makes you feel boring.

    Purpose is crucial and passion is innate. This is key to focus! It should be natural not persistent.
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  • Profile picture of the author ramcon
    It is hard to focus because there are other things that bothers our mind. There are confusions, worries, problems that will become factors that's why we are having a hard time focusing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gary Ning Lo
    You answered your question

    The fear of failure is the reason you're not focusing. Just go through the fear and take action. You will fail sometimes. So what? As long as you learn from your errors and persist you will succeed.

    Cheers,

    Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Kuchel
    Start meditating man, it does wonders for clearing your mind.

    Just sit with your eyes closed for 20 minutes and observe your thoughts.

    Simple and very effective.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tudor
      Originally Posted by Ryan Kuchel View Post

      Start meditating man, it does wonders for clearing your mind.

      Just sit with your eyes closed for 20 minutes and observe your thoughts.

      Simple and very effective.
      Great point Ryan.
      Meditation is part of what helped me overcome back pain, get fit, stay positive and productive, and overall just live a better life.
      It's a fantastic tool, but just like anything else, requires practice and discipline.
      Most people will find it easier to spend 2 hours getting hypnotized by television or looking at videos on youtube than meditating for as little as five minutes.
      Have an awesome week everyone!
      Tudor
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  • Profile picture of the author hypwoman
    We lose focus for one reason and one reason only. FEAR.

    Fear of a missed opportunity, there is something better you should be doing, could be doing?

    Fear that whatever you're trying to focus on is not going to yield the results you want.

    It really does come down to that.

    My suggestion when I start to lose focus is to literally take myself above the situation. Completely break the state you are in ... go for a walk, go get a sip of water, close your eyes and meditate for 5 minutes ...

    And get back in touch with why you want to be focused on that thing in the first place.

    Don't just let things distract you. Be purposeful. Have an intent. When you see that start to happen, you need to RESET and recommit.

    And by the way, the mind can really only focus on one thing for about 45 minutes without needing a break for at least 5 minutes.

    Trust me, I can sit here all day and "work" ... but it's not without a little email checking, texting, facebook, doing THIS forum, etc...

    If you figure out what's in it for you to focus ... what will you have as a result ... PICTURE yourself having that ... even if it's a small thing ... and then just commit to a small about of time ... your mind WILL develop the habit of helping you focus more and more.

    Even if it's 15 minutes at a time ... just challenge yourself to stick with something for even 15 minutes at a time, and you'll be impressed and amazed with what you can accomplished when you truly do focus all of your attention and energy on that one thing.
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  • Desire will push you to motivate yourself and focus on things you needed to be done.. Its a simple thing of discipline.. you will learn from it yet I know that sometimes we dont have focus when we actually need them..
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    • Profile picture of the author Tudor
      Glad someone revived this thread... it's one of my favourites.

      Desire and discipline are key here. I recently was reminded of the "marshmallow test" which was a test where they put young kids in a room with a marshmallow and told them they could have it but if they waited for a little while they could have an extra one. Those who chose delayed gratification (more marshmallows) as opposed to instant (one marshmallow), employed different strategies to distract themselves from the marshmallows. They covered their eyes or found somewhere else to do. Those who were too fixated on it ate it and missed out on the delayed reward.
      Years later, those who managed to wait turned out to be more successful than those who didn't.
      I am quoting from memory so some of the details may be off, but you can look it up.... I think this test can be used as a good analogy to regain focus and discipline. Another thing I learned is that we must not over-obsess over our goals.
      Thoughts, anyone?

      have a fantastic day,
      Tudor
      Originally Posted by onlinesolutions1985 View Post

      Desire will push you to motivate yourself and focus on things you needed to be done.. Its a simple thing of discipline.. you will learn from it yet I know that sometimes we dont have focus when we actually need them..
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  • Profile picture of the author visimedia
    motivators said:
    people will move toward their goals because of 80% avoiding pain and 20% attracted to pleasure.
    I learned from offline MLMers, they got rejected over and over again but still they are willing to do the presentation and the follow up ! Why? They don't want to fail their family and dreams.
    They're serious about it.
    Are you?
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  • Profile picture of the author Trey Morgan
    We're naturally lazy. I'm aware of this but, I realized focus is a skill that you can develop. So, you just have to practice focusing and being disciplined and after awhile it becomes a part of you.

    I try to compare the result I will get if I focus on the important tasks to whatever is distracting me. Usually, the distraction won't make me any better, smarter, or stronger so I get back to focusing on the important task because it will either improve my financial situation, my intelligence, or my discipline.
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    • Profile picture of the author UnkwnUsr
      Originally Posted by tvon View Post

      We're naturally lazy. I'm aware of this but, I realized focus is a skill that you can develop. So, you just have to practice focusing and being disciplined and after awhile it becomes a part of you.

      I try to compare the result I will get if I focus on the important tasks to whatever is distracting me. Usually, the distraction won't make me any better, smarter, or stronger so I get back to focusing on the important task because it will either improve my financial situation, my intelligence, or my discipline.
      Couldn't be more true, the human mind is drawn to more passive activities like reading, watching videos or listening to music. Although you're using your mind you're doing so on autopilot which makes the activities easy and enjoyable. Actually creating something like a video, article or other content engages the mind on another level that makes it feel much more like work. So we can start to fool ourselves into thinking that reading blogs, watching videos and hanging out on warrior forum is work when in reality it is not.
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