How To Focus Better By Avoiding The Bermuda Triangle of Focus

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Hey everyone, Kosio Angelov here, founder of High Performance Lifestyle. In today’s video, I want to talk to you about a very interesting topic. Although it’s not a sexy topic, it’s not something you’re going to hear a lot of people talk about, it’s something that is absolutely vital to your productivity. Also, I want to share with you a little system that you can put to use immediately. You can watch the video, learn the system, implement it, and you’re going to see almost instantaneous improvement into your productivity.

The Negative Power of Distractions

So what is it? Productivity is all about eliminating distractions. Distractions, if you think about it, are some of the biggest thieves of your focus and your attention. You’re working on something, you’re fully engaged, and then something happens – somebody walks in through the door or your phone rings, and it takes away your attention. Although you can deal with the distraction in just a couple of seconds, now your focus is not what it used to be, now you need to take extra time in order to regain your focus.

We know from science that it can take anywhere up to 21 minutes for one person to regain their focus. Twenty-one minutes! That’s one-third of an hour that you need to spend in order to regain your attention. And yes, absolutely, it doesn’t always take 21 minutes; it might take you 3, it might take you 5, it might take you 10 minutes. But that time is essentially wasted, because if you eliminate distractions, you don’t have to regain your focus because you’ll be fully engaged, you’ll be doing your task, and you don’t need to spend any time regaining your focus.

I like to think of distractions like this: let’s say that you need to drive from New York to Philadelphia, and you essentially have two choices. You can jump into your car, take some time, and get to the highway, but once you get onto the highway, you can press the pedal to the metal and really speed up and get to Philadelphia in absolutely no time.

But let’s say the highway is closed or you choose not to take it. Now you need to take inner roads. And what happens in inner roads? Yes, they’re very easy, they’re quick to navigate, but you need to stop at every stop sign, you need to stop at every light, there are people crossing, there are different animals crossing, there might be cows crossing. Instead of you taking some time, getting to the highway, and then getting to Philadelphia in absolutely no time, now you need to take extra time because you need to start and stop and start and stop and start and stop at every light, at every crossing, and now you’re essentially wasting your time.

It’s exactly the same way with distractions. Instead of you being on the highway and getting your tasks done because you’re focused, you’re fully engaged, you’re being distracted and you need to spend that time – whether it’s 21 minutes or 10 minutes or even 10 seconds, it’s a waste, and you need to spend it over and over again to regain your focus because there are so many distractions, there are so many different things that call for your attention.

The Bermuda Triangle Of Focus

So how do you eliminate distractions? The best way that I’ve discovered to eliminate distractions is with this little system that I like to call BTF. BTF stands for the “Bermuda Triangle of Focus”. In the same way that ships go to the Bermuda Triangle and then disappear, the same way your focus disappears in this triangle. You need to eliminate these three aspects, and you’re going to essentially get your focus, it’s going to be all yours, and you’re going to be flying through your tasks in absolute record time.

How do you eliminate distractions?

1. Prepare Your Outside Environment

First, you need to set up your outside environment for success. A lot of distractions come through your outside physical environment. Take your phone – if you don’t use it for your work – put it on silent, put it on vibrate, and put it in another room so when somebody calls you or texts you, or one of those apps gives you those little annoying pop-ups, it doesn’t distract you.

Design your environment for success.

Also, set up your computer for success. If you’re working on a computer and let’s say you’re typing something, all you need is a word processor – you don’t need anything else – close out all the other programs, close out anything that can pop up and grab your attention and move it away from what you’re doing to something else that doesn’t need to be done right now.

Also, please exit your email. Email can be one of the biggest distractions because there are emails coming in all the time. If your work is not related to email – and chances are it’s not – exit your email, put it away, put away your cell phone, set up your computer for success, and you’re going to see how your focus is going to be much more clear, and it’s going to be yours, and you’re going to be doing tasks much faster.

Another thing that you need to consider is your physical environment, the environment around your work station or around your computer. Because let’s say you’re typing something, you’re working on a new blog post, and then your eyes slightly gaze over to the left, and over there, there’s a little note that says “Pick up tomatoes from supermarket.” Instead of you thinking about your writing and creating your next masterpiece, now your mind is thinking about tomatoes and the supermarket.

Eliminate anything around your work station that can grab your attention, because if you’re working on something, you need to be thinking and you need to be fully focused on that one thing. You don’t need to be thinking about what’s next, what’s before it. Eliminate anything that can grab your attention, be it notes, books, programs, another screen, etc. Focus your attention on the task at hand, open only what you need, and you’re going to see how a lot of the distractions are eliminated.

2. “Train” Everyone Around You

Next it’s time to eliminate another major source of distractions, and unfortunately, a lot of them come from other people. Especially if you work in an office, there’s always going to be people coming to your cubicle or coming or to your office, asking you questions, demanding your attention. Even if you work at home, there’s family members, kids, roommates, neighbors. There’s always going to be somebody who can come and take your attention away.

How do you deal with distractions that come from people? The process is twofold.

Communication Is Key

First of all, you need to communicate. You need to sit down with the people that can distract you and simply explain to them what your expectations are. Tell them that you’re trying to focus and pay attention to whatever you’re doing, and you expect them not to come and disturb you. Of course, if the building is on fire, you absolutely do expect them to come and let you know – but unless it’s something super important, for them to wait for you to approach them. First, explain to them how you work and what your expectations are.

Do Not Disturb

Afterwards, set up a DND sign. DND stands for “Do Not Disturb” – something that lets other people know that you’re focused, you’re paying attention, and you’re working. What can that be? It can be headphones, it can be closing the door to your office. It can be literally a physical sign that says “Do Not Disturb” as long as you tell people what your expectations are and you communicate with them what a DND sign means.

Simply come up with a sign; whenever you’re working, whenever you need to concentrate, put up the sign to let other people know you’re doing your stuff. But then once you’re done with your work, take off the sign, because if you keep the “Do Not Disturb” sign all the time, then essentially you defeat the purpose because the people around you won’t believe it. Come up with a DND sign, use it when you need to, and let other people know that you’re focused, you’re in the zone, and you expect them not to distract you.

3. Set Yourself Up For Success

The last piece of the triangle, the last major source of distraction, unfortunately comes from a very familiar place. It comes from YOU. You can absolutely eliminate all outside distractions, you can talk to people and completely eliminate those distractions, but some of the biggest distractions come from your own mind. You’re working on something, you’re fully engaged, and then your mind simply wanders to something else. It can be something related, it can be something completely random; it doesn’t matter, but your own mind sometimes is the biggest source of distraction.

How do you deal with it? Again, the process is twofold.

Get In The Right Mindset

First, you need to get into the right mindset. Get into the mindset that for the next 45, 50 minutes, or however long your work interval is, you’re going to be fully engaged, you’re going to put your attention on the task at hand. Walk into your work with that mindset, and you’re going to eliminate a lot of distractions that come from within you.

And then whenever a distraction happens, whenever your mind wanders – which is absolutely normal; it happens to everybody, so don’t sweat too much about it – but whenever something from the inside environment distracts you, simply take the time and get back to it. Be aware that your mind is wandering, be aware that you’re not fully engaged with whatever you’re doing, and slowly get your mind back to work.

It might sound a little counterintuitive – you’re paying attention to your distractions in order for you to get focused – but paying attention and being aware of where your focus is, it’s a habit like any other. For the first couple of times when you do this, when you pay attention to where your focus is, it will require some of your attention, but the more you do it, the more you’re going to get used to it, the more you’re going to make it into a habit. And then after a couple of attempts, it’s going to become completely unconscious, so you’re going to know where your focus is at all times.

Over To You Now

And there you have it: the Bermuda Triangle of Focus. Eliminate all distractions that come from the outside, from other people, and from within you; save yourself the time that it takes to regain your focus, and you’re going to put your productivity on the fast track.

Use the system, eliminate distractions, take massive action, implement everything that you’ve learned today, and I’ll see you next time.

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What other distractions can be eliminated to in order for you to focus better? Share in the comment section below: