‘Tis the season to take back control of your attention span. When you reflect back on your year, did you hit your goals? Did you knock it out of the park or are you easily seduced by distractions?
I get it. I can be distracted by things like social media and email, which release neurotransmitters to the brain and intentionally cause what I like to call dopamine —instant euphoria.
The dopamine ‘fix’ feels so good that it sometimes outweighs the need to get shit done and therefore, we are left filling in space with stress and intention.
But, let’s be real, you can’t own a notoriously ill-focused attention span of a goldfish to hit success, you just can’t.
After studying successful entrepreneurs over time, I realized a common theme that arose among them — they have laser beam focus and discipline.
Entrepreneurs who are doing extraordinarily well have well-formulated processes, systems, and strategies in place.
They leverage resources and do things when they need to do it — not just when they feel like it. Also, they write goals down the night before to stay the course and they don’t get distracted by minor disturbances.
Challenge Your Attention Span & Use Dopamine To Your Advantage
(Now is a good time to start! *Squirrel*)
Berridge and colleagues showed that a distance of only a few millimeters separated desire and dread functions in the nucleus accumbens after being induced by Dopamine.
Dopamine is one of the most critical hormones for the survival of entrepreneurship and life in general. Whenever you feel inspired or motivated, you are releasing dopamine.
Some people may feel inspired or motivated but, fear may strike, deterring people away from their true intentions.
There’s a fine line between desire and fear…
and it makes logical sense.
People desire dopamine and sometimes fear taking action.
But, Inspiration and motivation are perishable; they are like Egg Nog or Gingerbread Cookies, and they have a short shelf life.
Therefore, when you feel that rush of inspiration or motivation, compress your focus, time and energy to get somewhere 10x faster instead of filling space with stress and intention.
Marco Polo’s adventures didn’t just inspire Christopher Columbus, he took action, stayed focus on finding new land, and stumbled upon a little place that we all know — North America.
Keep Track Of How You Are Spending Your Time
I don’t have enough time OR
I’m too busy OR
There are only 24 hours in a day
… are sayings said by some people who do not maximize their time. How come some people get 22 tasks done in 2 hours while others get only four works done over the course of the entire day?
I use the K.I.S.S methodology (keep it simple, stupid) developed by the U.S. Navy in 1960 by writing a post-it note and leaving it on the computer the night before with three essential tasks on it that I’d like to accomplish the next day.
I also set reminders so, that I can mark the work as done.
Eliminate Distractions By Building Your Mental Toughness
Navy Seals seem to be a trending topic in entrepreneurship lately because they are the most elite combat group on the planet. Seals are trained for war and adversity whereas entrepreneurs need to build their resilience too.
(You are going to have people who try to distract you like I just did with these cute seals, avoid times like this! )
(Perhaps a more accurate depiction of Navy Seals?)
In return, you can have more discipline and can maximize your time and efforts.
The time is now to make it a good year.
Happy Holidays & Cheers to the New Year!