Get More Done by Doing Less

See the path of light
Follow the path of light

Learning to get more done by doing less is a new skill I wanted to share with you.

It relates to everything you do and do not do daily and has the potential to increase your happiness in the process.

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It gets better, but let me back up to the beginning where all this started in the first place.

It was one of those times that I was totally doing something else and then, surprise there it was right in front of me.

So as the path unfolded before me and I hesitantly moved forward into this uncharted territory I was cautious to say the least.

Then somewhere in the back of mind I hear, ‘I will be fearless’, as my about page states.

There I was right in the middle of my post about, ‘What is your game plan?’ and my research had led me right to it.

I read on and on gathering momentum.

How did I miss this?

In trying to help you implement new changes that have come into effect because of this pandemic, I began to see that which at the time was the complete opposite of what I had just posted.

It seemed counterproductive; it went against the grain of most everything I had just posted.

Are you here to, ‘Get Your Happy Back’ or not?

Well, then by all means you need this.

A new tool AKA skill you will need to add to your arsenal while in your pursuit to happiness and from here on out.

I just had to write about it and felt it needed to go hand in hand with my last post.

So here it is, just as important as focus is required to getting what you need done successfully completed, well this will allow you to do it whenever you need to.

Your success factor cannot rely on focus alone to complete all the tasks that may be required; you will burnout and it is unhealthy.

You need to do this daily to truly guarantee your success.

Doing this daily will lessen the load you put upon yourself by clearing your mind from the barrage of attention tasking busyness that inhibits the ability yours and mine, to focus.

It may be new to you as it was to me but I come bearing the answers to the how so you can conquer this by doing one little thing.

So here is what I need you to do. I need you to unfocus.

Yes, you read that right, I need you to unfocus.

So if you skimmed by quickly you probably missed it so here it is one more time.

What I need you to do daily is unfocus.

My spell checker was not happy because that word unfocus is not a word it recognizes, so I added it.

It seems I have forgotten how truly amazing our brains are.

Just as I justified information overload as a symptom of the ability to focus it was the inability to unfocus that caused the overload from the start.

In the book, ‘Tinker, Dabble, Doodle, Try: Unlock the Power of the Unfocused Mind’ by Srini Pillay he explains that, ‘Unfocusing is the process for relaxing your brain so it can be ready, recharged, and innovative when need be’.

Sounds easy enough. Exactly what I needed right now.

So how do I do it?

I decided to take a 15 minute break to put this plan into action.

So how did it work out?

Not so good, I spent the next 3 hours replanting my lemon tree, relocating some strawberries, and I gave all the dogs a bath.

So hours later I am back here and I feel like I missed something. I still am not finished writing this in fact, now I had more to add.

I needed to unfocus to focus but how do I do that without any focus? Hmmm … more research.

I do not feel like I am doing what I should be doing, but I do like how this post is coming together.

Below I have included a list that offers a number of ways to get started on unfocusing.

I didn’t know how and so I made this list to get me started.

Let me say that it does not feel natural at first it did not for me.

I have faith in you and I know you will get this.

The list is not complicated and you will be able to get started right away on unfocusing.

You may have a very different idea on how to unfocus or a method you would like to use instead of the ones listed and that is fine if it works for you I am all for that.

Are you thinking outside the box now? Maybe it is just me.

Tip: Use a timer, not your phone (too easy to get sidetracked) set the timer and when it goes off no matter where you are assess whether you are ready to focus again.

You might not be and if not set the timer again.

It helped me and I knew when I was ready to come back to focus and complete this post. Pretty cool.

A dozen (12) ways to unfocus so you can focus:

1. Take a 15 minute break – Take a walk, Get the mail, walk around the block, or the living room will work.

2. Doodling – This works for me but it took time to learn how to do it right.

3. Take a bath – Very good but not always practical to take a bath in the middle of the day.

4. Meditate – Excellent choice can be done almost anywhere.

5. Knitting – Great if you already know how to and if not you could always learn.

6. Cloud gaze – My favorite choice if clouds are available. I love to pick out faces and characters I see and I always see a lot of things.

7. Daydream – Allow your mind to wander

8. Take a quickie nap – 15 minutes 

9. Do some exercise – Hop on your stationary bike, stepper or use a kettle ball.

10. Play a game – Quick game of solitaire. Use real cards.

11. Work on a puzzle – Be sure to use timer when doing this I always go longer than I needed to.

12. Eat some food – Enjoy some food alone or in good company. Just not at your desk and not fast food, ok even fast food.

Srini Pillay goes on to explain the science of it, ‘When you are focused your brain is in collection mode. As you work on a task your brain is receiving information from your short-term memory, it is gathering the information needed to complete the task.’

Focusing and staying on task when you need to get something done is a great tool but if that’s all you have then most likely your cup runneth over and overload sets in and here is what happens then.

A few different types of focus deficiencies are explained by Srini Pillay and they all relate to too much focus.

Selective attention which can compromise your ability to receive relevant information needed to complete a task.

Blinker vision when this happens you are blind to some things because you simply cannot pay attention to everything; so your brain chooses what is important to focus on.

Related to those 2 but by far the worst of focus deficiencies is hyper-focus.

Hyper focus can make you miss out on the things that really matter to you.

A consequence of hyper-focus is a phenomenon called loss of caring and can happen when the brain becomes depleted of resources then in turn you become unable to make valid moral decisions.

Want more details here is the link Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the unfocused mind.

Last on the list of focus deficiencies is long-term discounting it is when your brain minimizes the importance of things in the future because they are just too far off. Sadly this is the norm for much of the world.

You become absorbed in your task to the point you actually forget to enjoy yourself. You may also unknowingly distance yourself from others even avoiding social events and get-togethers for the sake of attempting to complete your task.

Sadly you have over focused yourself into that oh so familiar, ‘Spinning your wheels, getting nowhere technique’ I know you know what I am talking about.

Besides that, I see it as denying the universe the attempt to do what you would not on your own which would have been to go out and have some fun.

Having fun, playing, socializing (in moderation of course) is equal to unfocusing so go out and have some fun.

Maybe I am giving the universe to much credit in trying to help you help yourself.

For instance let me give you an example of what happened to me. So I am driving to work one day I pull up to the stoplight windows down.

A car pulls next to me and the radio is playing the song, “Who let the dogs out?” by Baha Men.

Light changes and as I hop on the freeway I notice to the right a woman chasing her little dog on the sidewalk on the other side of the fence, I think nothing of it and continue to work.

Get off on my exit as usual and as I turn the corner my peripheral view catches sight of a lost dog sign on a pole, the thing is it looked just like my dog, but again I think nothing of it. I know my dog is home safe where I left him.

I make a quick stop at 7/11 for a coffee and while standing in line, a guy walks in and I hear him say, “Someone must have left the gate open. I don’t know. Ok I will go check” to someone on his cell phone.

Now there I am standing doing nothing and bam it hits me, it’s the universe talking to me and now that I look at it I can see it was at the moment of unfocus that I put it all together.

Once I get outside I call home and before saying anything, I hear, “How did you know? It’s all fine, the gate somehow got open, the neighbor came over and told me the dog was down the street. I got him”.

I hang up with this feeling of uneasiness in the pit of my stomach.

The rest of the day, my mind kept replaying the scenario making it almost impossible to focus.

This type of universal assistance happens in many areas of my life and now I am much more attentive to recurring messages.

Its about seeing the greater picture so try to pay attention to those little signs that occur repeatedly.

I do not really believe in coincidences anymore I just do not.

It took a few more of those type of examples until I made a decision that if I had on any given day, heard, seen, or read the same word, sentence or topic I would take note and act on it.

What really stands out was until now I would have never noticed that my unfocused mind (while standing in line) quickly assessed the situation and threw up a red flag.

So pay attention to the signs which you will not be able to do if you are in focus mode 24/7. Enough said.

In his book author Srini Pillay shared his opinion that he feels could be one of the biggest reasons so many come to regret things.

It becomes clear that the true key is when you have learned to focus and unfocus independently this will make you more effective, more productive, more creative, and better at problem solving it is the key to unlock the general happiness you seek.

When you unfocus is the time when your brain is processing reflective thoughts of yourself, spatial ideas, and visual information.

This is when you are most likely to have those Aha moments.
When you are busy that activity is suppressed it can only occur when you disconnect.

So go get unbusy an unfocus yourself into a new way of thinking, doing, creating and living. You will get a lot more done and what I have come to see is the quality of work surpasses the over-focused cookie-cutter synopsis that comes from reading about it but not being about it.

Let me know what you think and leave a comment or email me.
I see you doing great things and would love to hear about them.

Talk to you soon.

Happy Girl

p.s. Here is a freebie for you here wanted to see if you were paying attention. Productivity Ignition

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Resources:
Srini Pillay M.D is the author of Tinker Dabble Doodle Try: Unlock the Power of the unfocused mind
An article from Harvard Business Review by Srini Pillay https://hbr.org/2017/06/the-ways-your-brain-manages-overload-and-how-to-improve-them
On information overload states that ‘few people build the habits and lifestyles that allow for their brains to function at their best’.
Lawton Ursrey in a Forbes interview It’s unhealthy and unproductive to be busy.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lawtonursrey/2014/05/16/your-brain-unplugged-proof-that-spacing-out-makes-you-more-effective/#4ce629145624
Chronic busyness is not only bad for your brain but can have serious health consequences. “In the short term,” Andrew Smart said during an interview, “busyness destroys creativity, self-knowledge, emotional well-being, your ability to be social—and it can damage your cardiovascular health.”
Douglas Eby of The Creative Mind Blog article Idleness and Being Creative – Part 2 https://blogs.psychcentral.com/creative-mind/2014/08/idleness-and-being-creative-part-2/
Andrew Smart, author of Autopilot: The Art & Science of Doing Nothing
Jordan Abbruzzese author of BBB Blog https://www.bbb.org/centralohio/business-blog/new-posts/2017/07/14/how-to-better-focus-and-unfocus-during-the-workday/
 


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