The Zen of Success – Focus on the Task at Hand
Let me ask a question, have you ever completely immersed or lost yourself in something you were working on, so that you become oblivious and the world around you disappears? If you have, then you know you lose track of time and are completely caught up in the task you’re doing. That’s known as the popular concept of a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_%28psychology%29″ rel=”nofollow”Flow/a, and it’s an extremely important component to finding happiness.
Having either work or leisure that gets you in this state of flow will almost always undoubtedly lead to happiness, as people tend to find their greatest enjoyment not when they’re passively mindless, but when they’re really absorbed in a mindful challenge.
Now, if you are like most people, you are probably wondering just how you get into the concept of flow. Well, it does take a bit of practice, but the first step is to find work that you’re passionate about, and you might not even think of it as work, because your passion is so strong. Honestly — this is an extremely important step to find hobbies or interests that you’re truly passionate about.
Next, you need to clear away any distractions and direct your focus completely on the task at hand you set before yourself. This is the part that can take a lot of practice.
strongWhy is Flow Important?
From my experience, I believe the ability to single-task (as opposed to multi-task) is one of the keys to true productivity. Not the kind of productivity where you knock off 20 items from your to-do list (although that can be satisfying), where you’re switching between tasks all day long and keep busy all the time.
The true productivity I’m talking about is the kind where you actually achieve your goals, where you accomplish important and long-lasting things. As a writer, that might mean I’m writing one or two important and memorable articles rather, than several unimportant ones that people will forget 5 minutes after reading them. It means getting those key projects completed rather than putting them off to answer a bunch of emails, make a lot of phone calls, attend a bunch of meetings, and shuffle piles of paperwork all day long. It really means closing those key deals, and quality production, instead of quantity.
Finally, once you’ve learned and trained yourself to focus on those kinds of important projects and tasks, Flow is how you get them done, by you losing yourself in those important and challenging tasks, and instead of letting yourself be constantly interrupted by minor things, you are able to actually focus on the tasks long enough to actually complete them, and by losing yourself in them, you really do enjoy yourself more, as you reduce stress while increasing quality output. You get “important stuff” accomplished instead of just getting “things” done, you achieve goals rather than just keeping busy, and Flow is one of the critical key components to all of that.