Staying focused, paying attention, and getting things done in a digitally distracted world

I have been gathering resources related to productivity from podcasts and on YouTube.  My one-hour commute to work (each way) is just the right amount of time for a 45 minute pep talk.  I have tried to ‘digest’ the collection more thoroughly.  Not only do I gather inspirational materials, but I also note the key points down and attempt follow them.  This is a sign of progress for me, moving from theory to action. Have you noticed that the basic principles leading to a well balanced life seem to be repeated in slightly different forms amongst the gurus?  In addition, many of the gurus regularly quote each other and in other ways lend their support.  Being a ‘slow learner’ I find myself benefiting from the recycling of the messages.

This week’s gurus

The Productive Woman Podcast

Podcasts are a commuters savior!  Instead of rueing the time spent getting to work I find myself looking forward to what I can get accomplished during this time.  I have listened to a number of podcasts before settling on this one.  I am becoming aware of how podcasters are tied to sponsors and how some manage to make the ‘sponsored messages’ less intrusive than others.

The Art of Stress-free Productivity:  David Allen at TEDxClaremont Colleges

What I liked best about this speech was the simplicity of the message:  You need to declutter your mind by writing things down in order to free space to focus on your creative endeavors.  Once your creative mind is free to focus you are ready to map out your plan and actually start taking action towards achieving your goals.  Say no to perfection and yes to action!  David Allen is also a master storyteller and captures our attention from the very beginning with a dramatic sailing story.

The art of focus – a crucial ability | Christina Bengtsson | TEDxGöteborg

Christina Bengtsson is a master storyteller!  She has you on the edge of your chair waiting for her next line.  She successfully gets her message of focus across using the analogy of how she became accomplished in the field of shooting.

Taming Your Wandering Mind by Amishi Jha TEDxCoconutGrove

If you are more swayed by science, Amishi Jha’s talk will convince you of the importance of mindfulness.

This week’s takeaways

  • deliberate planning versus dreaming
  • mindfulness or living in the present as an aid to focusing
  • deleting tasks from your to do list
  • distinguishing tasks from projects
  • the importance of writing measurable goals and assigning deadlines
  • the road to achieving goals often starts by achieving a goal in some area of your life

From theory to action

  • Met with a friend to discuss our future hopes and took up her challenge to start posting again with a goal of posting weekly (accountability helps us to move into action)
  • Started taking notes on my sources of inspiration and began taking the steps outlined in the sources
  • Focused on sticking with a successful podcast instead of constantly trawling for more sources

Points to ponder

  • Are blogs dead?
  • Is it time to switch to podcasting or YouTube?
  • Should I consider audio clips in my blog in lieu of / in addition to text?
  • Do I need to clarify my goals for this very website?
  • I have deferred promoting my website while I build up content…is this  wise?
  • How can I locate and meet with more people who are also on a personal quest to fulfill their dreams?  Should my ‘community’ be actual/virtual or a combination of the two?