An Article from the book ‘Super Leader Strategies’ by Manoj J Lekhi.
This one can be applied by professionals, CEOs, owners, employees, students, anyone and everyone.
Most of our 60000-80000 thoughts in a day, are low energy thoughts, the so-called negative and most of them are repetitive. Now, with so much activity inside our minds how do we focus? It is very simple. Follow these 5 tips and something beautiful will happen from today onwards.
Tip # 1: Use a Thought-Pad
The first one is the most important one. Let’s say I am having a conversation with you and suddenly your mind starts wandering here and there, which is bound to happen.
It happens with anyone and everyone unless we develop the skill of focusing, which may take a few weeks to a few months to a few years to master. A simple thing to do is to keep a small notepad. We call this a ‘Thought-Pad’. Carry this pad always along with you. Keep it in your pocket. Whenever you get a thought which is creative, productive or you want to take some action on it, just take out your Thought-Pad and pen it down.
For instance, I am having a conversation with you and you get a thought, ‘Oh I have to take my wife out for dinner.’ This will distract you and you will not hear what I am speaking. So it is better that you simply write down the words ‘wife, dinner’ and then you will be able to focus on our conversation. Similarly, in meetings, you must always have this Thought-Pad. Pen down your thoughts, those on which you want to take action, which are creative and productive. Just by making a little note, your mind gets released from that energy and you are able to focus better. When somebody is speaking to you, your mind goes somewhere, just make a little note. If you don’t do this, your mind will keep going away from that track and you will take a few minutes to come back only to realize that you have missed listening to some important information. Therefore, keeping a Thought-Pad and penning down thoughts, is the most important aspect of focusing.
Tip # 2: Know that it can be done later
The second is knowing that you can do it later. What happens when we get a thought? The energy comes so strongly that we feel we must do it at that moment itself. Sometimes, when you get angry, you feel you must snap at that person immediately; if you want to tell something to someone, you feel you must tell him immediately. There is no need. Once you pen it down, you can do it later, next day or day after that, whenever you feel like. Penning it down is the first thing and knowing that you can do it later is the second one.
It is more of a mental habit.
Tip # 3: Be interested
I learnt the third one from one of my friends, Sanjiv Shah. He has got an incredible capacity to listen to people. I asked him, ‘How come you listen to people so well?’ He gave me a very simple tip which I apply and I am sharing it with you – If you are genuinely interested in the subject, you don’t have to make any effort to focus and you automatically become a good listener. When you are interested in it, you automatically stay focused. If you are interested in the conversation, in the speaker, in the study, in the book, whatever you are interested in, you will effortlessly and naturally focus very well.
Being interested in whatever you do, is a very important part of focusing. My master would say, that ‘Always do what you are very interested in. There are two ways to approach anything – Like whatever you do. Or do whatever you like’.
What I spoke about is to do what you like. But the other aspect is also true that you can start liking whatever you do.
Tip # 4: Be a learner always
Every subject has two aspects to it. From every person, you learn what to do and what not to do. From every meeting, you learn how to be and how not to be. In everything, every moment, there is an opportunity to learn. You can have a long term gain whichever side of the coin you see. If you can observe, ‘I don’t want to have a meeting like this’, that itself is a learning and in the long term your meetings will be more effective. Knowing that every moment is an opportunity to learn, to do or not to do, how to be or how not to be – will enhance your focus tremendously because you will always be observing, understanding, learning and growing. Learning is the biggest adventure of life and this itself increases your focus.
Tip # 5: Affirm and apply the first 4 Tips (Repetition)
The fifth is the most important. I may have told you the four points but you may not remember them. At the time of focusing, you may have gotten distracted. Tip # 5 is that you write down these 4 points as affirmations in positive present tense. Affirmation – I apply step no.1, 2, 3, 4 whenever I am in a meeting or studying or doing whatever I want. When you right it down, read it everyday, spend a few minutes, just to read this and it gets re-instated in your mind. The neural path-way from brain to the body gets enhanced and your body starts memorizing these 4 steps. Your focus will automatically increase. Start right away as you fi knish reading this. Write down these 4 steps and the 5th one is to repeat it everyday. Remember, Anthony Robbins says, ‘Repetition is the mother of all skills.’
- Use a Thought-Pad.
- Know that it can be done later.
- Be interested.
- Be a learner always.
- Affirm and apply the first 4 Tips (Repetition).
A Super Leader applies these 5 Tips and focuses effortlessly, learns continuously and grows exponentially.