An object in motion stays in motion. Have you ever discovered that the busiest people are the ones who always have time for more projects? They get stuff done. They’re efficient. They’re creative. One guy I know worked full-time, did a master’s degree, and trained hard in the gym—all at the same time. Busy people achieve more than most.
Why? Because they’re moving. Movement has created the world.
Deep thought is movement, no different than developing a muscle. And your role in work or studies can benefit from the following tips on how to be super productive yet also ultra-focused daily:
Tip #1: Don’t spend time on frivolous things. Trivial tasks take away from productive thought and activity.
Tip #2: Add in productive fun that strengthens your work or study objective. For instance, spending the weekend studying at a coffee shop is fun work. Or learning work-related skills can advance your goals. Exercise is another way to bring you long-term productivity. If it’s fun but study or work related, then live it up a little!
Tip #3: If you volunteer, volunteer at a place that will help advance your school or work aims. For instance, medical students might volunteer at hospitals. Math students might volunteer teaching troubled kids math. A business student might volunteer doing marketing projects for charities. Just make sure you’re doing good that gets you ahead.
Tip #4: If you like reading, read books that give you an academic or work edge. A communications student might read about theory relevant to the discipline. Business students might read biographies of successful business people. Physics students might read the theories of Einstein. Bookworms that are also geeks really do get a significant academic edge.
Tip #5: For social outlets, join a meetup in your respective field. If you are an English major, join a playwriting meetup. If you’re a physicist, join a group that maps out residences on the moon. If you’re a dance major, join a dance group that performs live. If you’re a communications student, join Toastmasters or a communications association relevant to your field. Hone your craft with like-minded souls.
Tip #6: Focus as much as possible on your key task. If you want a math degree, squeeze in every bit of time possible studying math. Make your world so math-focused, you dream equations.
Tip #7: Buy your kids toys that reflect your study or work focus. If you want to be a chemist, get your kids the periodic table, each symbol, number, and name on a separate matt-like footprint that you can place to the floor. Or buy your kids microscopes and science gadgets. If you are an English major, buy your kids books, Scrabble, and poetry wall-hangings.
Tip #8: Bring your studies to the gym and read while stationary cycling.
Tip #9: When the mind wanders, think immediately about what you had studied. Or map out your studies for the day. Or come up with an exciting idea for an essay or project. Don’t let the noodle go into downtime. That is, unless your thoughts bring you pure joy. And, yes, you can manufacture joyful thoughts anytime by controlling the mind.
Tip #10: Find a career or work-related hobby. If you want a computer science degree, make your hobby robotics. If you want to become a marketer, make your hobby digital art. And if you want to become a scientist, make your hobby experiments. And if you want to become an English major, write a book.
A professor asked me what I read or did outside of school. I said, “Nothing.” She replied, “It’s going to be tougher for you finding a thesis topic.”
Hyper-focus is best when mixed with hyper-focused fun. After all, mastery is a game we are meant to play.