The Focus Timer

The Focus Timer gives you the structure to block out all distractions for a period of time.

Use this tool when you need uninterrupted focus to get through work that is either difficult or boring. These are the types of tasks that we would naturally procrastinate on or try to avoid by engaging in distractions.

Here are the steps:

  1. Choose the task. Examples: clear my inbox, finish reading a chapter, write the report, tidy up my room, finish planning a vacation.
  2. Choose the timeframe. Think of how much time you need to complete your task. Consider also how much time you are willing to stay focused and saying “no” to everything else. Gradually push your limits to increase your focus.
  3. Make a firm resolution. Take a deep breath, and tell yourself, “During the next X minutes, I will stay focused on this particular task, no matter what. I won’t stop until the timer goes off. Everything else can wait until I’m done.”
  4. Go offline. Put your phone, tablet, and computer in Do Not Disturb mode or airplane mode. If other people are around, it may make sense to let them know you will be unavailable during the next several minutes. Alternatively, you can put on headphones or close the door.
  5. Turn on the timer. Now you are all ready. Turn on the timer and start working on your task. It’s important to know that the first few minutes can feel difficult. Initially, you may need to put in more effort, and gently coach yourself.
  6. Stay with it. Work on the chosen task until the timer finishes.
  7. Celebrate. Once you have completed a Focused Timer session, congratulate yourself. Feel good about it, and grateful that you did it. This positive feedback will strengthen your self-discipline.

Aim to have at least one Focus Timer session every day, for each of your Aspirations.

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