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Focussing Your Attention

Sep 17, 2021

We live in a world that constantly shoves information and distractions at us so we can't think. We have more and more to keep up with, and getting shit done is becoming harder and harder.

So how do we keep our focus? Check out this week's episode of Business Funsize Live, hosted by Debbie and Bertie!



Bertie: Yes, but we, we live good morning, Debbie Doodah. Good

Debbie: morning. How are you doing? I'm all right.

Bertie: You sounded much more excited before we went live, like jumping up and down, like good morning, Bertie. Let's get this 10 minutes out of the way.

Debbie: Good morning. Bertie I am very excited and we're talking about. We've had quite an unfocused conversation that is bounced from steak to holidays to washing machines.

It's like, we're in like a ping pong of conversations. And then we're like, oh, we're talking about. That's right.

Bertie: Travelodge. We've got that in there as well. That's it's all, it's all been happening. It's all been up in this morning. So good morning. So if you're watching this live, please smash that like button never said that before.

It feels very useful. Smash that like button and telling your here answers the question in the comments and all that other stuff, because yes, today we are talking about focusing your attention. Hm. I'll be honest. Do Dar it's not something that comes naturally to me, unfortunately. Yeah.

Debbie: Yeah. I would, I would agree that being focused doesn't come naturally to me either.

I tend to be quite distracted by shiny things and have multiple things going on in my head at once. So actually it's, it's a, it's a skill and a strength I've had to kind of learn and develop over time to just get through. 'cause you don't get a lot done when you're not focused.

Bertie: No, absolutely.

Unfortunately it is one of those things that you need, especially to being successful in business. You can't just be bouncing around from one shiny thing to the next. But the, the good news is there is a cure. So this to this disease that we both. I think I find it really interesting because a lot of people said to me, oh, you know, I could never do that.

I'm just not focused enough. I just don't have your attention span. It's like, do you actually know me? Like I am the worst serial procrastinator so easily distracted by anything, but these are things that. Learn. Right. And th like, if you want to do something, then you can of course teach yourself to where to do it.

So I'm going to share my hats today. Have you got any hacks on how to stay focused Duda?

Debbie: Yeah, I've definitely got habits, but I say like, people listening, be careful if you're saying like, I can't do that or I can never do. Because that's, you're just shutting the door on the possibility of learning. I mean, as if we can never learn things and we're just at one point in our life and that's who we are in that set, we can always develop and grow.

And I think wherever you are, whatever point you are at, be open to the possibility that you can learn new skills and you can do things in a different way. And even the most kind of bouncy Tiggers of us out there in the world can learn to create a little bit of focus for the, for pocket. Like for me, it's about finding pockets of focus and allowing myself time to be Tigger and bouncing off the walls and, and, and building that into my kind of working day.

Bertie: Yes, absolutely. Yeah. That's right. And I think, yeah, the point about that, you can learn all this stuff is really, really important. Yeah. Whether it's folks in stock and being distracted, like, you know, anyone that's good at anything, didn't just. Pop out of the womb, you know, holding a tennis racket or a golf club around.

And they were just like amazing or, you know, driving a racing car out of that sounded really old, then everything. You know, that's, that's, that's not how it works that we have to practice. You have to learn these things and it's the same thing. Retention as well. Like it is a scale. So some people naturally, you know, can do that.

And it just, the way that they've been brought up and maybe that the teachers, they had a school for me, it wasn't, I was always seen as that kid that was always written off. I said, you know, he's easily distracted. We're not going to try and help him. So I've had to learn these things myself, so it can be done.

So it is a skill that can be learned. So what are your biggest distractions, Debbie?

Debbie: Well, I think like ever be probably social media is a big distraction. Cause I'm like, oh, do people comment on my posts? Oh, they've commented. Oh, I need to reply to the comment. Oh, how many likes have I got? Oh, what's happening over there?

And that can be a big distraction. I think that's one that most people will Resonate with emails as well, emails or emails popped in. Oh, I must just reply to that email and do something with that. So I think it's the things that pop up in that notification space or your attention away.

Bertie: Yeah, for me, I think, you know, you've just highlighted for me.

It's just this little bastard in general, like constantly. But it's such a distraction, you know, whether it's yeah. Social media, TMS, Tinder, alerts, you know, all of those things,

just making sure you're awake. I'm making sure you're focused to do though. All of these or all of these things, all of these distractions, like at any time, you know, can, can come through. So. I think understanding what those distractions are and then starting to eliminate them certainly at the times where you supposed to be in focused are really, really important.

So if, I mean, I know we spoke before about the, I never noticed that the Pomodoro technique, the 25 minutes, five minutes off.

Debbie: Yeah. Yeah, that, that's one of my main things. If I've got a day where I'm super busy, I will write down all the things that I want to do. I'll assign a time in the day to do them, and then I'll just set the time and do the job set the time of do the job.

And that enables me to get through a ton of stuff. When I don't do that, I probably get half of the things done that I want to, or I spend a lot of time wasted, flapping about with various things. So I think being able to map that day, This hours for this, this two hours for that, this 30 minutes for that.

And then sticking to that, using a time on my phone, mostly actually that helps me enormously. Just get

Bertie: shit done. Yeah, exactly. They have to that's the Pomodoro technique is great. I mean, it's. I'd say people like, cause you, you know, working sort of short bursts, it is great. If you're like a developer or coder that that five minutes off can sometimes almost take you out of your flow.

So I know these techniques, they don't necessarily work for everyone in every industry, but if you do struggle with fighting with distractions like hydro, then these things are really, really good because you're essentially going in there one task 25 minutes. And we spoke before about the Parkinson's law that, you know, that the time that.

Give a task. You'll naturally fill it like when yeah, there's a lot you can do in 25 minutes if you're not distracted by emails and things like that. So yeah, just focusing yeah. Understanding what those distractions are and then managing them. There are lots of things now on phones and there's new things that are coming out to try and avoid distraction.

So there's different sorts of focus modes on the new. Apple phones. For example, I think the update comes out next week. You can, you know, you can be really brutal and go airplane mode or turn your phone off. So if you're really, really struggling with those things, recognize what those distractions are.

The world is not going to fall apart. If you don't answer an email straight away. Now I've done before a webinar on how to get to inbox here. I'll probably run one again, but there is a course. If you want the course just DM me and I'll send you details of how you can get that. But. Part of the inbox.

Zero technique that I talked to people about is you don't have to have your email open all the time. So for me, I will look for my email in the morning and then I'll check in mid day. Sometimes I don't even bother. And then I will look at that again in the evening. So it's. Yeah. There's, there's nothing that's urgent.

That's going to come through an email. It's oh shit. I should've answered that straight away because you just don't need to do it. You just don't need to do it. Like you're in control of your own business. You're in control of that. Now, granted, you know, if you're working in some industries, And people are over-relying on email then of course, you know, that might not apply to you, but I would always challenge that and just think what happens if I do turn it off for a few hours, what's going to happen.

Debbie: Yeah. I think that we are in a kind of like fast-paced society where everybody needs an answer to stuff straight away, and we feel the pressure to be on all the time. And actually it's fine to not answer an email for 24 hours. Like the world's not going to explode. And just sort of take the pressure off yourself a little bit, and you can have a, an email response that says I've got your email.

It might take me 24 hours to respond. If you want to let people know that you've got it straight away and not just leave it there hanging. I can't remember. Is, I remember reading a book from somebody and he just answered his emails once a week. I thought that's really like digging into that. I'm not going to let emails for all my life thing.

I feel like once a week, just looking at my emails is not enough, but you could just set a time to look at it at the beginning of the day and the end of the day, and then just post turn that tab off. Cause that's the thing we have all these tabs open. Yeah. Computers as well. Don't mean we go in and out of them and that can pull you away from the thing that you're trying to focus on.

I think also it's really good to go, actually. I like, I like flapping about, so maybe give yourself a window to do that within your day as well. Like it's all right to, you know, look, spend on time on social media with open and close tabs, but create time for focus and then, and then give yourself time to flop

Bertie: about what.

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Creating time for procrastination. Like I'm awful. Yeah. It's true. You know, here's one of the things yeah, they want StarCraft. I thought it might be a session in itself, but yeah, a lot of the time we, we beat ourselves up, we make ourselves feel. Okay for this stuff. And actually, while we're procrastinating, while we, you know, daydream and things like that, that's where all the great ideas come from.

So you do need to have that time. It is very, very important. So I think, yeah, a lot of the time you're setting probably the wrong expectations that maybe you're thinking. You're going to get 20 things done in a day. We actually, even if you were to plant them up the Mount, you don't ever get five of those things done.

So you ended the day feeling overwhelmed. And and that's when it's like, ah, fuck it doesn't matter. I will just start scrolling on my phone and then you feel worse. Whereas actually setting the right expectation in the first place can actually alleviate that from happening, right? The. So interesting.

And just going back to email one of the, one of the sort of big eye-opening moments for this is when I was at just the, one of the members of the exec team. Someone had said to him, I sent you that email this morning. Is that what I would've opened that yet? I don't check it until tonight. And that was the point it's like, actually at that level, You don't need to be checking email all the time.

So you don't, and that's something that stayed with me. And since then, I thought I'm not checking my email either all the time. You know, it's just, sometimes you just need those little moments. If you're looking for that person permission, we've given you it today. Debbie, give our viewers listeners permission.

You don't need to have your email open, close it

Debbie: now, close it. Now that's the thing. Cause you hear somebody asked you that. Oh, that's possible. I didn't even know that was possible. I didn't know. It was possible not to check my own to the end of the day. Well, shit. If they're doing it, I can do that too.

And you can just get the permission to do that. I'm looking though my email is open. It's my tab. And I think it's that all day. So, you know, it's also about practicing what you preach, isn't it. And being able to turn it off. And I think we're kind of getting to the end and I think one of the things that we talk about a lot is, is being focused on what's going to move the needle in your state.

Absolutely. What's going to make the boat go faster. What's the mission critical things that you need to do to grow your business. And that gives you focus as well, because sometimes we're not working on the right stuff. And that's how it can feel like we're kind of like. Running, but we're not gaining a lot of momentum, but that's a whole different subject that we covered off.

And I think it's really important to go back to this focus and what are you doing? And what's important because it's so easy to lose focus because we're human beings and we do like shiny objects and that's just part of our DNA. Isn't it. And it's okay. And what's interesting. What you said at the very beginning is kind of, it's almost like teachers were like, like better.

You're the sort of person. Like you kind of get labeled at the very beginning. Don't you like? You're the sort of person you. Concentrate. I was the person that was always the chatterbox and wasn't paying attention. Clearly so you can get rid of these labels. Like they don't have to define who you are.

You get to decide who you want to be. Also. I like this. Steve says he checks his mouth twice a day in between time, his creativity time. Ooh.

Bertie: I love this creativity.

Debbie: Time, Steve

Bertie: just going to dream some ideas.

Debbie: Some of my best ideas come to my sleep.

Bertie: Yeah. Always, always the shower for me. So yeah, those, those, those things really helps. So yeah, Steve, great to know that you practice that. So yeah. Checking your emails twice a day. You don't have to be a slave. To that inbox.

Interesting. What you were saying, are people working on the right stuff? Because that's actually the reason that I started coaching people in the first place, because that's, that's what I see people just like busy fools running on a treadmill. So that's, that's the, that's the, I could talk about that all day long mapping.

See where right. Steve's having a down, created nothing.

Debbie: Yeah. Nice. Like get rid of all of the stuff that you don't necessarily have to do. What's the core fundamentals of your bills. Focus on those. Let, let everything else go. Like we don't want to be busy falls because then even if we're focusing on the stuff, it's not the right stuff, it's not going to get us where we want to go.


Bertie: exactly. And if you just, you know, it's just some tips. I mean, we'll probably cover this in a different session all together, but if you're actually thinking shit, this is me, I am that busy fall. I'm just constantly running on that treadmill just to have a look back at this week and just think, what have you been working on?

Is that stuff important? Are you just doing the. Happy because you've constantly done it. What stuff can you cook? Cause there's probably half of the stuff in your week. You can probably just get rid of the, which frees you time to try new stuff. And that's how you get that nice, beautiful growth curve that we all want in our business.

Debbie: The growth cap. Have we got to the end of today then?

Bertie: Yeah. If we're done with 13 minutes and 58 seconds, 14 minutes now. So that's it. We are done. So we will be back next week. So thank you for watching. If you're watching this live or you're watching on the replay, we're here every Friday, 10:00 AM. And also the podcast.

The podcast is live at 1:00 AM every Friday. There we go. Debbie, it's been a pleasure very much. We'll see you next week.

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