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Managing Your Focus: How to Get Things Done® Without Distractions


You sit in front of your computer screen. Getting ready to do some work.

You open your email, and see that you’ve got 15 new messages. You spend the next 10 mins replying to some of the urgent ones.

You tell yourself you need a small break before you get to the rest.

*Click New Tab*

You browse to YouTube, and check out some movie trailers or personalized recommendations.

*Aahh that was fun!*

Then to inspire yourself, you check out some TED talks on “Productivity”.

At the back of your mind, there’s a voice that tells you to resume your abandoned task and get back to answering the emails.

But before you can do that, you hear the enticing ping of a WhatsApp message. And obviously you HAVE to see it. Hmmm…your school buddies are arguing again and the debate seems to be red hot.

That reminds you of a facebook Inbox you had received yesterday but hadn’t got around to answering. Shoot! So you go ahead and open Facebook as well. At this point of time you aren’t even caring about your self imposed schedule.

Before you know it, two hours have gone by doing things that are NOT important. And you feel stressed out ‘cause the number of to-dos that actually hold some import in your life have steadily piled up in the interim.

Start Managing Your Attention:

In today’s world, with random thoughts & hi tech gadgets pulling our attention from all sides, it’s become more urgent than ever before to learn to manage our attention and focus on our work.

All great creations came to be because of the creator’s ability to focus on his work.

Whether it be creating a painting, a block of challenging software code, an architecturally advanced building or even a simple little blog post, without being able to hold our attention we cannot focus.

And without focus we just can’t create value.

You don’t want to be deprived of that privilege, do you?

The Key to Managing Attention: Learn to Focus

There is a reason why David says GTD® is not another time management trick. Because you can’t manage time. Time is the same for everyone.

What you can do is learn to focus. Be completely present in the work you’re doing. Immerse yourself without any distractions.

Easier said than done. How does one be present and not get distracted?

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, and want to get back in control so that you can focus on your work, follow the 5 GTD Steps:

  • Capture: Write down everything That Has Your Attention
  • Clarify: For each thing written down, ask yourself:

What is the Next Action ?

What is it’s successful outcome?

  • Organize: Park these answers (Next Action & Successful Outcomes) in two separate lists.   
  • Reflect: Review these on a Regular Basis, so that they continue to stay out of your mind.
  • Engage: You are in Control! Engage with what’s currently in front of you or something more pressing from your list, and do so with clarity and focus.

Going through this practice on a regular basis can help in two ways:

  • It empties your mind. The several dozen things that needed doing are now a part of a reliable database that you can revisit at will. This assures you that nothing will ‘fall through the cracks’ and makes for laser focus.
  • It gives you Focus.  You will have  a clear and complete picture of everything on your plate. And when you know what you must accomplish and the corresponding time available, the allure of Facebook and WhatsApp aren’t as potent.

It is that simple! Try it and let us know.

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