The Best of the Focus Project

The Best of the Focus Project

It’s our one year anniversary with The Focus Project! Thank you for reading and for watching. A huge thank you to our sponsor, Sleep Number, for making it all possible. This month’s video was a special one for us as we took the best of the year and rolled it into our special Anniversary Episode.

3 things jumped out at me as recurring practices that help us focus. Behold, the 3 R’s:

  1. Routine
  2. Reflection
  3. Rest

Keeping the 3 R’s (Routine, Reflection, Rest) in mind, I wanted to help give us a swift kick in the pants (or bathing suit) during this summer beach season. 

It’s difficult to stay productive during the summertime when the sun is shining and the pool is calling your name. Whether you’re yearning for a beach vacation or have FOMO thinking of all the possible alternatives to being at work, the mindset of relaxation and recreation can definitely hinder our focus. To combat our summer fever, we must keep in mind three simple steps to stay on top of our game.

First, create a power routine and stick to it. This routine does not have to be a complicated list of steps. It is simply a way to stay organized and get into the habit of working towards your goal. The second step is to reflect. Think about your goals and how you can reach them. Is it hyper-focusing on a goal on your not-to-do list? Or maybe pushing yourself just a little harder at the gym? Whatever it may be, reflect on how to make your dreams turn into a reality. Finally, stay well-rested. Getting a good night’s sleep can make all the difference in our mood and demeanor. Studies also show that having scheduled downtime makes us more productive in the long run and helps us tap into the creative side of our brains.

One thing we’ve learned these past twelve months is how challenging it can be to stay focused in such an unfocused world. Use the 3 R’s (Routine, Reflection, Rest) to stay efficient and motivated.

1. Create a Power Routine

Routines sound boring, but they are instrumental to anyone’s success. Whether it be start-up founders, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, or the top comedians in the industry, the best of the best all have one thing in common: a daily routine. For example, Jerry Seinfeld’s #1 tip for those who want to become better comedians is to write a joke every single day. The joke may not be great, but the momentum you create by doing something each and every day is. Although we may not realize it, our body has a million different routine processes, like insulin, digestive hormones, and blood glucose, that cycle throughout the day. Pairing our daily activities with these processes will not only cause us to feel better; it will also allow us to be significantly more productive.

2. DIY Projects

Routines are very important, but so is determining when to do something yourself and when to outsource it. DIY projects can be enjoyable, especially the creative and fun activities we see on our Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram feeds. If you enjoy doing something, you should almost always do it yourself. Passion and commitment to a project will push you to put in the work necessary for its success.

If you don’t enjoy doing something, weigh what your time is worth to help determine how to proceed. To calculate your time value, divide how much you make in a year by how many hours a year you work. If the project isn’t something you enjoy and you can outsource it for less than your hourly worth — choose to outsource every time.

3. Goal Setting

Goal setting is all about using our brain, leveraging our brain, and in some instances, tricking our brain into achieving our goals. But how might one go about this? First and foremost, write down the goal. Whether it’s starting to run three times a week, taking a painting class, or becoming a more productive employee at work, write the goal down on a piece of paper to hold yourself accountable.

Studies show that we are 42% more likely to achieve a goal when we write it down. So why not take advantage of an easy 42% bonus, and grab a pen and paper. It only takes a few seconds to do, but it makes the goal that much more attainable. The reason for this effect comes down to our brain. When the right and left parts of the brain talk to one another, it goes through the corpus callosum and engages both ends of the brain. When we don’t write down our goal, only the right side of the brain is used, making it less effective.

4. Rest is Best

Sleep has the power to transform productivity. Without a good night’s sleep, our alertness and motivation are negatively impacted. To maximize productivity, teens should get 8-10 hours of sleep every night, and adults aged 26-64 should get 7-9 hours. Plan ahead to determine how many hours of sleep you need to be able to give 100% the next day, and schedule that into your daily routine. Great sleep starts with your mattress, and I would highly recommend the 360 smart bed. Not only is it comfortable and adjustable, it also comes with a sleep-tracking app called SleepIQ technology to help you track your sleep patterns.

I have taken on the mantra that if I’m not getting proper rest it’s because I’m being lazy. One needs to proactively schedule and make rest a top priority. Jumpstart your day with a good night’s sleep, hyperfocus on a powerful routine and set your mind on achieving the goals that matter the most and make you happy. One thing I’ve learned these past twelve months is that Focus leads to Fulfillment.

This post was sponsored by Sleep Number. All thoughts are my own.

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 49 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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