2 Strategies for Remaining Laser Focused When Working From Home
With more and more people working from home, or even starting part-time businesses from home, it isn’t at all surprising that articles such as this one, are becoming more common too. And that’s a GOOD thing!
And, as with any topic you’re interested in or problem you’re trying to resolve by doing online research, there is NO shortage of information out there to choose from! Really, the problem is just the opposite! So this is my awkward roundabout way of saying “thanks” for taking 10 minutes out of your busy day to read THIS particular article (out of the zillions you could have possibly chosen!).
2 quick things before I jump into the “meat and potatoes“
First, I understand that there really isn’t much new at all down here under the sun. There are only variations of things. I say this because the advice I give in this article will likely be variations on things you’ve heard before. It is my sincere wish, however, that it is these variations that make the strategies unique and (potentially) massively valuable to you!
Next, these strategies are things that I do myself and are described in the way that I personally implement them. Not everyone is wired the way that I am (Amen!) but there are sub categories (sub species?) of we humans that DO operate similarly enough to make certain strategies useful- which is why I wrote this article.
Ooops… I lied. There is ONE more thing!
There are many “flavors” of folk that work from home. I realize that. For the sake of this post, though, I am considering 2 main categories:
The first group are people that work exclusively from home. Someone that is a freelancer would be one example of this. The second group are folks that do have a physical place of employment, but that only go there a certain number of days per week or month.
If you fall into the first category, I would suggest you do the following:
- Bookmark this article for reference if you think the strategies can/could work for you
- ALSO – find other resources that resonate with you. Those “other” resources could be other blogs, physical or digital books, or maybe just a 10 minute brainstorm with a notebook, by yourself, where you come up with a few of your own gems. After all, the more tools in the tool chest the better, right?
The To-Do List
Before I discuss the strategies, I am going to recommend you do one more thing and that is to create a…DREADED (and FEARED) “To-Do” list!
Insert scary music here.
My take on the To-Do list, however, is a little bit different. In fact, I could (and probably will) write and entire article on that topic alone in a future blog post. For brevity’s sake though, your To-Do list should encompass the absolute BARE MINIMUM of what needs to get done for the day in order for you to feel good, productive and accomplished.
Good. Let’s dive in.
Digital Dad Marc’s Work-From-Home Laser Focus Strategy 1:
The Association / Dissociation Visualization Technique
The first technique is based on the discipline of NLP and its concept of how people “code” or store their experiences. According to NLP, you code all of your human experiences in either an associated way or in a dissociated way.
Associated means that, when you think of a particular experience, you think of it through your own 5 physical senses. You see it with your own eyes, hear it with your own ears, feel it with your own skin – etc.
Conversely, dissociated simply means you observe yourself having the experience. Kind of like watching a video of yourself.
Here are the actual steps of the first strategy
With your To-Do list in hand (or in mind), block out 15 solid minutes – set an alarm on your smartphone – of time for yourself where you absolutely WILL NOT be interrupted by ANYTHING or ANYONE. Yes, you can do this – go sit in your car in the garage if you must.
For a few minutes or so, close your eyes and get settled in. Take a few deep breaths and relax. This isn’t a traditional meditation, so no need to over do it.
Now, in your mind’s eye, walk into a completely empty movie theatre and sit dead center. No popcorn. No drink. Nothing. The lights dim; there are no previews – only a sentence on the screen that slowly comes into focus – and it says, simply: ACT 1:
On the movie screen, see yourself situated in the place in your house where you normally work (desk, kitchen table etc). Situated next to your movie self is the To-Do list you created. As you watch yourself on the screen, every so often watch yourself check a task off of your To-Do list. At first the “you” on the screen just has a slight grin as the first few items are checked off. As “you” progress further, though, you can witness “yourself” get happier and happier and looking more and more calm and accomplished until every item on the list is completely checked off.
Now, end this scene in the way that you would deem most satisfying. Maybe you watch yourself get a phone call from your boss who congratulates you on getting so much done. Maybe your kid comes home from school and you’re excited because you have plenty of time to play with him/her so you see yourself giving them a hug. Whatever scenario brings you the most joy – watch yourself onscreen doing that.
Now, as you’re still watching the movie screen, watch the scene fade out and the words, “ACT 2” go across the screen. When the words fade out, feel your body begin to float up and out of the theatre seat and right into the movie screen. Feel your body get plopped directly into the same scene that you were watching just a few minutes ago!
In other words, if you were watching yourself work at a desk, feel yourself actually AT the desk now. Look down and see your own hands. See your To-Do list positioned right next to you. Actually BE the version of yourself you just finished watching in ACT 1!
The rest is easy! Let the exact same scene play out. The only difference is, this time YOU’RE the actor. YOUR body actually gets to feel the physical sensations of satisfaction each time a task is checked off the list. You’re the one that eventually becomes supercharged to get the phone call from the boss or the hug from the kiddo, or whatever your “Grand Finale” happened to be!
Once ACT 2 is over, feel yourself float back down into “your body” in the movie theatre and then from the movie theatre into your own here and now. Open your eyes and just bask in the feeling of accomplishment for a few minutes before you go about your day!
Digital Dad Marc’s Work-From-Home Laser Focus Strategy 2:
The “Abraham Robbins” Technique
The reason I call this one the “Abraham Robbins” technique is because it’s based, loosely, on ideas I took from both Abraham-Hicks (Esther Hicks) and Tony Robbins.
In terms of time to execute, this technique could almost take as long, OR be as short, as you’d like. It’s totally up to you. Personally, I would recommend a 40 minutes minimum but if you can dedicate more time, great! If not, do what works for you.
This technique relies on two main components. Vigorous physical exercise and writing. Here’s how it breaks down.
The Vigorous Physical Exercise Part:
Of course the word “vigorous” is going to be relative so each person will need to be their own judge. I would recommend, however, at LEAST 20 minutes of exercise that YOU consider vigorous. Something that you can do without killing yourself (so to speak) yet something that still presents you with a solid challenge and causes a good sweat!
Although I personally love many types of exercise, for the purposes of this technique, I recommend vigorous cardiovascular exercise. I also recommend that you do it at HOME (versus at a gym) if at all possible. If doing it at home is NOT possible then remain as distraction free as you can. Put on headphones, use a machine far away from other gym members – whatever it takes.
Also, If you absolutely MUST do this at a gym, then bring a notebook and a pen with you and keep them in your car. You will need them for the second part of this technique. When your exercise is done – get to your car ASAP!!
The Writing Part
As quickly as you can after your exercise is over simply take out your notebook and start writing down all the benefits you’ll receive from getting your To-Do list for the day complete. Do NOT pause to take a shower before you begin! Start immediately!!
In your writing, be sure to include both tangible and intangible things! Although this sounds really simple – and it is – I would stress that you don’t just do this in a “robotic” sort of way. Take a little time and let the feelings sink in. Ask yourself some questions like:
How would it FEEEEEEL to have each of these benefits?
How would the rest of my day go if I knew I had accomplished all of these task?
When you’re done…bask a little! Let yourself enjoy the feeling(s) of accomplishment ahead of time!
I realize that this technique might sound a little simplistic but trust me, there is just something about the combination of physical exercise, followed immediately by intense mental focus, that is just dynamite! Besides, it’s usually the simple things that get the best results. AND, it’s usually the simple things that we’re likely to follow through with.
I’ll let you in on a little secret – this article was originally entitled THREE Strategies for Remaining Laser Focused When Working From Home but seeing how long this post has become by just describing the first two, I will maybe save the last strategy for another time!
Do you have any feedback? Either before you try one of these strategies, or after you’ve given one (or both of them) a fair shake? Feel free to leave a comment below.
If you’re interested in checking out some of what I personally do from home, click HERE.
If you know of anyone in your social circles that might benefit from giving these strategies a shot, please feel free to “spread the love“.
Thanks for reading!
Marc is a Dad, a Web Designer, a Creator of Branding and an occasional blogger . (and probably in that order!) with some affiliate marketing thrown in for good measure.
He owns Thirsty Fish Graphic Design, A one-man web design biz., based in Corning, NY which is in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate NY.
He enjoys physical fitness and healthy eating to an annoying degree, playing guitar, playing piano, sketching and most of all hanging with his daughter doing just about anything!