Don’t Do Something, Just Sit There!
The gap between what we can dream, and what we can make, is closing. In the past, we didn’t have the technology available that we have today, and this held us back. Before the evolution of technology, when our great-grandparents got an idea, self-doubt would often sink in, telling them THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE.
But now, now we have knowledge at our fingertips, communication just a text away worldwide, an overload of online information, we can make just about anything without any limits, and our minds are opened to unlock this – our unlimited potential!
Nothing can stop us now!
But wait, what if the very thing giving us unlimited potential, is in fact the very thing getting in the way of our growth? The overload of distractions, technology and digital media…
I would like to offer you two tools which I believe will help you stay more focused in our distracted era and to have more creative impact in a world overpopulated with ideas.
No matter what field or career you are in, we all need to supercharge our creative brains and take control of our future.
My first Tool is called – Focus Sprints
Our brain is our most powerful asset, it is the processor of all creativity. These days, we are drowning in distraction, so how do we regain our productive time? Introducing – the focus sprint. This is a 90-minute chunk of uninterrupted, distraction-free concentrated work. The goal is to achieve sustainable peak performance, so you can focus on your core priorities effectively, and let your body and brain work efficiently.
Step 1 – turn off all distractions and go to a quiet place. Hide your phone away very well but try not to forget where you have hidden it.
Step 2 – assign a realistic goal for your focus time and break down this goal into sub-tasks.
Step 3 – rest for 20 minutes, because your brain ascends into a high-performance zone and it needs time to recover. In this stage, get some sun outside, close your eyes, or even stare at something green, which calms you down and gets you ready to perform another sprint.
My second Tool is called – Beautiful Boredom
Why is it that the best ideas often come to us while we are driving or showering or just about to fall asleep? That is because in these instances, we are dis-associated, and in a meditative state which allows our subconscious brain to work. Boredom is what forces people to reach down deep and preoccupy themselves with a longing to change the future. If we give our brains the time and space, they can thread seemingly unrelated ideas together and come up with some of our most inventive ideas. Our bored brains are where curiosity and imagination and wonderment live. Boredom is what forces us to try to seek new goals or explore new territories or ideas.
My point is, waging war against boredom isn’t the answer. Boredom is part of our makeup. And so, next time your hands run idle, don’t try to change nature, follow it. Align yourself with the flow of the moment. Stop resisting and start investigating.
So, to operate this tool, as with the focus sprints, we need to create a seemingly undistracted space. The only difference here, is that there is no clear objective, other than being bored – or, in other words, meditative.
In conclusion, let me recap what we need to do in order to focus more, and become more creative in our distracted, overpopulated world:
Step 1: turn off all stimuli, hide your phone, just get as far away from your digital distractions as you possibly can and apply a focus sprint.
Step 2: no simpler task than to simply be bored and meditate.
Don’t do something, just sit there!
Step 3: let your mind wander, be observant, let your mind connect the dots and string together narratives of your surroundings, adopting a childlike wonder again.
Step 4: document whatever interesting thoughts enter your mind. Don’t let them get away.
I wonder, how many life-changing opportunities I have missed out on because I haven’t given my brain the space it needs to be creative. Instead of occupying myself with trivia, puzzles, ancient re-runs of movie series, or socializing on Facebook and Twitter, I should have been feeding my creative abilities by meditating. Now, whenever I feel the urge to have more screen time, I plan to remind myself that what I really need is more internal ‘me’ time.