According to Thibaut Merisse:
The ability to focus is one of the most valuble assets you’ll ever develop. When you use it to achieve your most exciting goals, you can reach levels of success you would never have imagined possible.
If you are the type of person that keeps jumping from one task to the next. Or you struggle to stay focused long enough to achieve success. Or maybe your mind is all over the place. Then this book will help you to do things such as:
- eliminte distractions and develop focus
- stop jumping from one shiny object to another
- gain clarity about your goals and focus on what matters
Why is focus important? Thibaut writes that:
Often, the difference between an average person and a highly successful one is their level of focus. Successful people know what they want and place all their focus into the accomplishment of their goals. By doing so consistently over a long period of time, they turbocharge their productivity and achieve most of their goals.
The book has 7 key steps themed as actions you can take in 7 days.
This book is divided into two parts.
Part 1 titled Clarity Deals with the first four steps discussed in the book. In this section we are presented with information to help us refine our vision. The steps are:
- Day 1 – 15 questions to identify what you want
- Day 2 – Gaining clarity regarding what you want
- Day 3 – Gaining clarity regarding what needs to be done
- Day 4 – Gaining clarity regarding how it needs to be done
Part 2 is titled, Eliminating Distractions and Obstacles. This section of the book focuses on helping you discover how to remove all the distractions around you and develop better focus. The section has the remianing three steps and they are:
- Day 5 – Simplifying
- Day 6 – Reducing useless inmput
- Day 7 – Eliminating friction and energy waste
Following are six quick lessons for you from the book:
- Do you want to gain more clarify and refine your life’s vision? Here are six questions you should ask yourself:
- What do you really, really want?
- If you were to wake up tomorrow, completely alone without any family member, or friend, or colleague to influence your decisions, what would you do differently?
- If you were to be totally honest with yourself, what would you start doing now and what would you stop doing?
- If you were guaranteed to succeed in everything you do, where would you want to be in three years?
- If you could spend your day exactly the way you wanted to, what would you be doing from morning to night? What would your ideal day consist of?
- If you could focus only on doing one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
- If you have written down your goals, how do you know that they are what you really want? A simple framework to identify whether you are doing the right thing is the love-based vs fear-based model. At anytime we are either acting out of fear or love. Acting out of love focuses you on giving and acting out of fear is about getting. Love-based goals tend to be fulifing goals which communicate that we have enough and we are happy to contribute to the world. Fear-based goals are an attempt to get validation from the external world and tend to make poor goals. Check your goals, are they fear or love-based? Are they about getting or giving? Your focus should be on love-based goals.
- Are you doing what you should be doing today? Here’s a question for you – if I keep doing what I’m doing today, this week or this month, am I likely to achieve my goals? If your answer is no for too many days then you need to do something to change the situation.
- Are you constantly distracted? If so, you need to practice ruthless elimination and one way to do that is through zero-based thinking. This is the practice of asking yourself this key question – knowing what I know now, would I choose to start that activity today? Here are some examples of how you can use the question by applying them to various aspects of your life:
- knowing what I know now, would I still start this project?
- Knowing what I know now, would I still join that group?
- Knowing what I know now, would I still create that product or service?
- How do you reduce useless input? How do you stop yourself from absorbing useless information? You may need to avoid information overload and here are some steps to do that:
- First determine exactly what it is you want or need to learn. That will help you search for information in the right places, identify the right people to get information from and decide the exact amount of information to consume.
- Reverse your learning to-to-action ratio. In other words stop spending so much time consuming information and very little time acting on the information you consume. You should act more than you consume. Take a step back and honestly assess your learning vs action ratio and challenge yourself to take action towards your goals rather than just reading about them.
- Eliminate anything that wastes your energy and prevents you from focusing on your goals. When you constantly experience friction that holds you back from acting, you waste energy and end up not achieving what you set out to achieve. Here are some steps to eliminate friction and waste:
- Turn off things that can distract you such as wifi and your phone.
- Implement a daily routine that can put you in a more productive mindset. For some people that can be listening to a specific type of music or doing exercise.
- Work on your goals early in the morning before you do anything else.
- Be clear about your daily priorities. Have a plan, otherwise your mind will trick you into doing time wasting activities.
This is a book with a lot of simple but practical tips to help you focus better. Even if you don’t read the whole book, you will learn something from it that can improve your ability to focus.