How to focus on one thing at a time

Focus-on-one-thing
Finding focus is simple. Imagine for a second that all the work that you had to do today — you finish by 12pm.
 
All the reports filed, all the calls made, all the emails answered. What would you do next?
 
Would you go off play golf for the rest of the afternoon? would you talk to your friends and hang out at the pub? Or would you work on tomorrow’s task and get it done earlier?
 
Would it be a problem with your boss if you got your work done in half a day, what was taking other employees 2 days to do?
 
Don’t think it won’t cause you some worry….
 
In today’s post, you’ll discover a simple method that will help you focus on one thing at a time. This is a simple method – that you can ‘install’ in your daily schedule immediately.
 
And once you ‘install’ this method in your schedule you will start reaping the rewards for years on end.
 
This is the number one ‘productivity technique’, EVER. It has helped me do more work in 1 day — than others do in an entire week.
 
The Work Expansion Theory
 
Work is an expanding commodity. Productivity gurus, social scientist, and behavior analysts agree that work expands. As we have more time — our work expands. Like our universe, it is expanding.
 
Which means that if some one has an 8-hour workday they will find enough work to do throughout the 8 hours. Or to put it another way, people will take 8 hours to do what it might take them 3 hours to do — if they didn’t have that much time.
 
Think about it for a second. The day before going on a vacation, people finish all the open projects. Even if those projects were sitting on their desks for ages.
 
Your supervisor gives you extra work before you leave for vacation, yet you still get it done.
 
Your professor asks you to submit a last minute report before the day, you get it done.
 
Your firm asks you to have a ‘year-end push’ in sales, and you do twice as much as last month. In one week.
 
This is a classic case of “work expands to fill the amount of time available.”
 
Why is that? What happens when we’re going on a vacation, or there is a looming deadline?
 
Somehow — our mind finds a way to finish. We get it done.
 
When there is a deadline, we’ll get the work done. Whether we impose it on ourselves, or someone else does.
 
Another way to put it is, “looking busy, doing nothing.”
 
When there are too many hours in a workday, but not enough work — people will ‘look busy and do nothing.’
 
Have something shuffling on the desk — but not actually do anything with it. Have excel spreadsheets open, but not be doing anything on it.
 
I’ve done that before. Where I finished work by 2pm and had to sit for another 3 hours at work — because there was nothing else for me to do.
 
What did I do in this situation — opened up a few excel spreadsheets and tinkered with them. Looking busy, doing nothing.
 
That’s the Work Expansion Theory. Our work expands to fill the amount of time we have.
 
Which also means that if we don’t learn to limit the amount of time we have to work — our ‘work’ will keep expanding.
 
Which is what we’ll talk about today. But before I tell you that
 
Here’s Why You Must Learn To Focus On One Thing At A Time
 
If you don’t learn this your productivity will perish. You will spend your time doing things that don’t matter.
 
Your day will be a waste. You will spin your wheels working on unimportant tasks.
 
And rob yourself of the wealth and success that you deserve.
 
Once you learn this method (and ‘install’ it in your daily work day) you will double your productivity. When you get proficient with this method, you will quadruple your productivity.
 
By implementing this simple method in your daily work day you will begin to see results on your bottom line. Your sales will increase.
 
You will feel more confident in yourself. And you will start attracting the kind of clients that pay you what you deserve.
 
Ultimately you will gain have the success that you’ve always wanted.
 
How To Focus On One Thing At A Time
 
You can focus on one thing at a time using a method I call The “Eben-Pagan-Method”. I call it that because I learned it from the brilliant Eben pagan.
 
But What is The Eben Pagan Method?
 
It’s a simple technique where you spend a focused amount of time on one thing for the first two and a half hours of the day. You structure these first 2.5 hours of the day in a particular style.
 
In essence, you’re spending 2 hours doing a focused activity. Then 30 minutes on a break disconnecting from your work.
 
This kind of focused work plus break forces you to work on your most effective task first. It allows your mind to completely focus on work. Then it allows your mind to disconnect from the work, and rest for a while.
 
To start spend the first 2.5 hours of your day with this structure. As you use this daily — you will become better at it. Then you can add more blocks of 2.5 hours to your workday.
 
For now, spend the first 2.5 hours doing focused work. Then spend the rest of the day in your regular schedule.
 
To take your productivity to the nth-level, use this Eben Pagan Method two to four times in a work day.
 
Here’s how it works, depending on how long your work day actually is.
 
The Eben Pagan Method To Focusing On One Thing
 
This method consists of three parts.
 
First — Chunking your day into 2.5-hour intervals. If you work 7.5 hours a day, that’s 3 intervals of 2.5 hours each.

Second – Further breaking down each 2.5-hour interval into 60-60-30 minute blocks.
 
Third – Using a timer to time yourself for each of the focused blocks.
 
This is what each of the 2.5-hour intervals will look like.
 
You have two 60 minute intervals where you will focus on work. Then one 30 minute interval where you will have a break.
 
But there is a specific kind of break you need to take (more about this in a minute)
 
Each of the 60-minute intervals split into smaller sections. One 25-minute focused session, then 5-minute break. Then 25 minutes focused session, then 5-minute break.
 
Here’s Why The Eben Pagan Method Works
 
Twenty-five minutes is enough to get you into the groove of things, to get you working on your topic.
 
If you have to make client calls — it is enough to complete one sale with a focused presentation
 
If you have to write a report – it is enough to get a good amount of work done
 
If you have to have a meeting – it is enough to get a resolution.
 
But twenty-five minutes isn’t too much that you can dilly-dally. You must get to the end. Make that sale. Get a resolution. Write the report.
 
During this twenty-five minute period, you will have to hustle. Or you task won’t be complete.
 
But what if it’s a longer task? That’s a good question.
 
If it is a task that you’re doing by yourself — stop after 25 minutes. Force yourself using an actual timer.
 
Get up. Leave the tasks.
 
Take a quick walk around the office. Take your mind off the task.
 
Get a glass of water. A cup of coffee. Stretch. Or whatever else you want.
 
For that 5 minutes, you MUST STOP.
 
This is important. You must stop working for 5 minutes.
 
At this point, your mind will be screaming to get back to work. Don’t. You mind is screaming because it thinks you’re almost there. You’re not. Plus the break helps more that it will if you keep going.
 
By stopping you’re confusing your mind — telling it that you’re taking a break. The mental processes will take a rest.
 
Then when you get back to work after 5 minutes, your mind will be relaxed. You will get real work done. But it won’t be too rested that you have to start over.
 
Doing this for two hours — will give you four 25 minutes focused sessions. For a total of 100 minutes of real work, and 20 minutes of actual breaks.
 
But that’s not where we’re going to stop. After the first two 60 minute sessions, we’re going to take a 30-minute break.
 
This is a break where you can take a longer walk, or grab some lunch.
 
The rule in this 30-minute break is that you can’t do ‘similar’ work. If you were sitting on the computer — you can’t sit on the computer, or sit at a desk.
 
You must get up. Stretch. Walk. Run. Do some pushups.
 
If you were doing a ‘mental’ task do a physical task. Mental tasks are studying, reading documents, performing math, or filling out something.
 
I know it’s tough — you might have to actually step outside the office. Do it.
 
If you were doing a physical task then you must stop and do a mental task. Physical tasks include using muscles. Like stocking shelves, fixing the car, putting together machinery or delivering a presentation.
 
You must stop and do a mental task. Read a book, write a thank-you note or finish a crossword.
 
But you must shift gears.
 
By shifting gears between a physical and mental task, you will let that part of your mind rest. This will engage the other part of your mind.
 
So far if you do nothing else, do this for the first 2.5 hours of your workday. You will be more productive than anyone else you know.
 
Because you will have spent focused time on one thing. The thing that matters the most. We already figured this out using the Sticky-Note Method for Productivity. So you know what to work on.
 
Now when you start to adopt this in your daily routine — a few things will happen.
 
Word Of Warning!!!
 
As you adopt this method in your daily routine, you will notice a few distractions popping up each day.
 
Here I’ve listed a few — and solutions to deal with each of them.
 
1. Your email will start popping up in the middle of the focused session. Solution: Turn off your email client.
 
2. You will start getting phone calls during the session. Solution: put the phone off the hook, let all calls go to voicemail, both on your cell phone and your office phone. Then you can return the calls in the 30-minute break that you take.
 
3. You will have someone interrupt you while you’re working. Solution: close the door on your office. Put on noise-canceling headphones and don’t move until the timer goes off.
 
4. The fire alarm will go off. Solution: Run. This is the only time when you can get your butt out of the seat — when there is a FIRE. Not otherwise.
 
But you will have to do it. You will have to turn off the phone, exit your email, close the door, and sit and work.
 
This method makes it easier. Because you’re spending your most effective time doing the most effective thing. Plus you’re putting limits on the amount of work you’re doing, and the duration in which you’re doing it. The minute you do it. It will work.
 
Quick Recap To The Eben Pagan Method
  1. Install the Eben Pagan Method in the beginning of your work day
  2. Chunk your day into intervals and blocks of time
  3. Use a timer to limit the amount of time you have for tasks
  4. Shift between mental and physical tasks during the break
  5. Rinse and repeat
Action Steps
 
For the next week — spend the first 2.5 hours of your day using the Eben Pagan Method to structure your day. Focus only on getting the most important task of the day finished.

Your Turn
 
P.S. Now it’s your turn — Leave a comment below letting me know how you will use this in your business and life. Also, I love your feedback — so leave a comment below to tell me what you thought of the ‘Eben Pagan Method’.