Taming of the scatterbrain kid

In my instagram stories I had asked if my audience had problems focusing or were disturbed by their family while studying and many of them answered yes to both the questions.

I have been facing this problem since the start of my schooling but it became especially prominent during the lock down when I had to handle most of the chores and my work as a secretary demanded that I should be available at all business hours, meaning regardless of the volume of work I receive I had to be ready from the morning to evening which was really counterproductive since there were many days where I had nothing to do and days where I was loaded. Added to this are family chores and general taking care of everyone. And in the event I miraculously managed to handle the two, my cat Chitraa would definitely be around to bugger me.

Why do I relay this to you? So that you may understand that my time was not mine to control but the results were my responsibility – whether good or bad.

So how did I tackle this situation?

Don’t laugh but my first response to it was to get stressed, anxious, irritated, frustrated to the point of breakdown. To no one’s surprise, this hair pulling only put me behind my elaborate to-dos and schedules. No amount of day dreaming of being in the ‘flow’ State actually helped me until I realised there was an extremely simple solution to this.

This solution involved a two step strategy.
πŸ€The first one was to change my mindset towards productivity and achieving flow. I have come to understand that being in flow doesn’t mean being hyper concentrated on the task at hand for extended periods of time but rather being able to have pinpoint focus and blocking out everything like an Archer aiming at his goal for the smallest chunk of time. – it could be as small as 5 minutes.
πŸ€ The second one came easily – set a timer (I use forest : deep focus mode) for the amount of time and start on your task. If you find that you have finished the session and nobody is calling you yet, immediately put the second session in effect. This way in the span of an hour you will have at least 30 minutes of focused work done if your success rate was 50% (if you did 10 minute sessions) which is honestly pretty amazing considering if you didn’t do it at all and instead chose to wait for a quieter time like I used to (ah, what a fool I was)

Thus, the take away is that do small chunks of flow state through out the day and you will be surprised at how much you have achieved. For example, today I was able to solve 400 questions with 60% accuracy within 2.5 hours whereas earlier it took me the whole day to do 100 questions with 30-40% accuracy.

Next time you can’t focus, try this and let me know.

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