Possibility and Probability

A Python programmer with a personality thinking about space exploration

12 September 2016

Staying focused

by nickadmin

focus In my last blog post I talked about dealing with Coder’s Block. But what happens when you aren’t blocked, yet don’t produce anything? You are suffering from a lack of focus. Let’s discuss.

The first step is admitting you have a problem

Many people know that they need to focus. But most people don’t realize this until it is too late. I have found that starting your day off with the thought “I am going to be focused today” helps tremendously. Why is this? By saying this to yourself several times at the start of the day it mentally sets the tone for the day. There’s an old adage that if you repeat a lie enough times that it becomes the truth. This is an example of using that for good. Sure you might not be an expert in Flask blueprints, but if you start off the day saying “I’m going to solve that blueprint problem” you will probably find that by the end of the day you did solve the problem. Think about that for a second: It might be true that at the start of the day you were not an expert on Flask Blueprints. True you told yourself a “lie” a couple of times, but then at the end of the day you found yourself more knowledgeable than you were. Sounds like a win to me! So, as your first step decide you are going to be focused. Pick 1 task that you are going to focus on. Tell yourself you are going to focus on that.

Staying focused through out the day

So once you’ve decided that you are going to be focused how do you help ensure it actually happens? My favorite technique is to make a list. Asking yourself the question “What would this look like if this was awesome” can lead to interesting answers. What if you took those answers and asked “what steps would I need to make this happen?” The end result will probably look like a check list! This is your road map to success! Even if the list isn’t perfect its better than nothing. Having nothing is what leads to a lack of focus. The simple act of taking those first steps will be enough to start building momentum. Once your brain starts to process the steps (even if there’s only two or three!) you will find you are staying focused and producing the next steps or just flat out solving your problems. As a side effect I find I usually work faster!

Quick recap

Here’s my secret for staying focused:

  1. Tell myself I’m going to be focused
  2. Pick whatever problem is most important (by priority, deadline, difficulty, etc.) and tell myself I’m going to focus on that
  3. Answer the question “What would this look like if it was awesome?”
  4. Answer the question “What steps would I need to do to make it awesome?”
  5. DO IT.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4eScf6TMaM[/embed] Software developers, follow these steps and you will develop superhuman powers: you will get so much done so quickly. Stay focused! :)