My Two Week "Focus and Deep Work Productivity Challenge", inspired by Cal Newport - Join Me!!

I'm doing it!  I'm going to meet my goals and finish my book!  Take the Two-Week "Deep Focus" Challenge and Embrace a Life of Greater Productivity, Purpose, and Meaning!  How to Get Rid of Procrastination, Distraction, and Social Media Addictions - Get Rid of Facebook (maybe??) and Change Your Life! via DevastateBoredom
A couple of days ago I shared how to find an awesome webinar by Cal Newport (author of Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World), and included some of the notes I took during the webinar too. They included the "challenge" below, which I've decided I'm going to jump right into...  A deeper life of focus and meaning, yes please!  Here's the challenge, as well as what it will look like for me.

If you want to give Deep Focus a trial for a “quick win” — do three things. 

1 - Take the next two weeks.  Block out four hours on your calendar.  Split in to 2 block of two hours if you like, but honor that commitment like a doctor’s appointment.  During that time, focus intensely on JUST ONE THING.  Respect that time — zero distractions.  No inbox, no phone, or that session doesn’t count.  It will give you a taste of what it’s like to concentrate and just “be with something,” and what you can achieve when you do.

Okay, scheduled!  I even have a back-up day scheduled, in case I screw up.  I will be focusing on finishing drafting my fantasy / sci fi novel -- I have some really good scenes that I've kind of fixated on fine-tuning at the expense of the rest of the story.  I hear that's a common mistake with new authors, but it's one I'm going to try to fix now!

2.  Get some kind of activity to try for the next two weeks that helps you train your brain.  Something you take on — reading a hard book, doing an online course, something that pushes your brain and requires you to concentrate.  

Does drafting my novel count for this?  I feel like it should... haha!  I'm going to compromise and say it half counts, and I'm going to get back into the habit of reading to balance out the rest.  So, not any particularly "hard books" at the moment, but more reading in general... particularly in those moments when I would usually browse facebook or pinterest to fill free time.

3.  Take ONE STEP that proves to yourself you can take your ability to concentrate more seriously.  Hiatus from a social media tool, setting aside time for tackling a specific challenge.  This is something like joining a gym when you’re ready to start working out -- a psychological cue that you’re changing your habits and making a bigger commitment.  

Okay, this is big. (don't laugh!!) I'm quitting facebook.  Completely.  For two weeks.  I will be pre-scheduling my facebook posts to my blog page, and doing NO social surfing for two weeks.  *whew*  This is extra hard for me right now (give me full credit!! haha) because we just moved to a new city / state / region, and whenever I'm feeling lonely I tend to gravitate towards facebook looking for connection with my friends in other places... So I will be filling that gap by trying to reach out to those far-away pals via phone or email instead.

Another hard thing I'm going to do, moving towards "embracing boredom" as described here, is to refrain from looking at my phone while brushing my teeth.  It feels a little silly to admit that I do that, but I'll bet a ton of other people are checking their email while brushing too... and I'll double that bet for millennials, haha!

I'm excited to see how this challenge works out for me!  I am hopeful that I'll start to see tangible increases in my ability to focus and complete tasks, not to mention how restructuring my priorities like this should increase the sense of meaning and purpose in my day-to-day!

Join me in reducing the mindless time-sucks in our lives, and focusing back in on the projects, skills, and accomplishments that are truly important to us!!  I would love company... let me know in the comments what this challenge will look like for you!

I'm doing it!  I'm going to meet my goals and finish writing my book!  Take the Two-Week "Deep Focus" Challenge and Embrace a Life of Greater Productivity, Purpose, and Meaning!  How to Get Rid of Procrastination, Distraction, and Social Media Addictions - Get Rid of Facebook (maybe??) and Inspiration to Change Your Life! via DevastateBoredom

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  1. I'm leaving for the boat this afternoon so I'll be disconnect until tomorrow morning. I'm going to read and enjoy the great weather.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. This sounds like a really good challenge! I only have a cell phone because I want to be reachable in case I need to pick up my kids from school for an emergency, but other than that I really hate it to be always reachable and "there". Same with SM, ugh! I try to use it as little as possible. This challenge really helps focus on the "normal" life I guess, which is great as many really depend on all the electronics to much!

  3. *GASP* YOU are embracing boredom?? Sarah Eliza! I'm having heart palpitations here!!
    Yay for you for cold turkeying FB! I totally did that too, except for good. It was such an aggravating time waster. Since I quit TV a year ago, I now have all kinds of free time, to babysit! lol I'm hoping the Former FB time shows up as well.
    I'm rooting for ya, girl!

  4. What a smart way to move past just liking what he had to say and implementing it! I want to play along! It's tough finding two hours of quiet time with the little one out of school, BUT in the meantime I am already working to not grab my phone mindlessly ALL THE TIME. It's hard to find a balance between actually connecting with people on social media and not really needing to know what alllll the people I knew ten years ago did yesterday, you know? :P Once school is back in I can't wait to try 4 hour segments and really practice being productive...ahhh. :)

  5. I am pretty focused about what I do, I think about everything, all the time. The ins and outs, ups and downs, best way to go about things, I throw all these items into my brain spin cycle and then let my subconscious go to work. For me this works best, I can be solving a problem while I work on pillows, do social media, write on the blog, drive to an appointment. Whatever. If I need a bit more fleshing out I'll sit down with a mind map and that usually flushes out the clog in the process. Good luck with this, I hope that it helps you where you need it. And I guess we'll see you when you come back around.

  6. I would love to take on a challenge like this but my three little kiddos make it hard to do so! Great ideas though, even if you don't have chunks of time. Thanks for linking up with Funtastic Friday.

  7. I had to learn to actually slow down and focus on only ONE thing - it really can be hard, so many things going on throughout the day. This definitely is a great challenge!


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