In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about why focus is so important and how to get more of it.
If you’re going to be successful at anything, then staying focused on that thing is super important. If you lack focus in your life or your business, it is a safe bet to say that you will not succeed with your mission.
In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten talk about why staying focussed is super important, tips to help you stay focused, they share a mental hack to help you when you feel stuck.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
00:00 About today’s topic.
00:41 Why this topic was chosen.
01:00 About Brain.fm and how it can help you focus.
02:15 One way Hiten stays focussed when working.
03:21 The importance of staying focused.
03:29 One thing you can do to stay focused.
04:40 Another thing that can help you stay focused.
05:29 How accomplishing your big task can be a challenge.
06:45 A mental hack to help you when you feel stuck.
3 Key Points:
- Without focus, nothing gets done.
- Music can help you stay focused.
- Have one big rock for the day.
Steli: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.
Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.
Steli: And today on the Startup Chat we’re going to talk about why focus is so important and how to get more of it.
Hiten Shah: And one way that both Steli and I have discovered in the last few months is a product that actually helps you focus, relax, or sleep. And specifically the number one use case I have for it. And I know Steli does too, cause we talk about this is focus. And the product is essentially replaces the music you listen to with their sort of music, and it’s backed by science to actually help you focus, relax, or sleep. And you probably don’t already believe me because it’s like how can something like that actually be scientifically proven to help you focus? Well they’ve done studies on it, and I know you’re probably dying to hear like what is he talking about? Well it’s this product, it’s a, and you can get a 20% discount on it. So I’m going to jump right into that part of it, which is it’s that brain.fm/startup chat, and it’s only 40 bucks a year or six bucks a month. If you go to brain.fm/startupchat. Now, here’s the thing, we’re going to talk about focus today. This is the number one way we’ve found to actually focus, which is listen to music that’s designed to help you focus. That’s it. And the studies prove it. So you know, the episode’s over. It’s just a big, you know, ad for brain.fm. Just kidding. I wanted to mention this because I rarely find something that works this well for me. The last time I found something that works this well for me, that actually helps me basically focus. It’s something really weird, which is I would play the same song on repeat, while I’m working. So that’s the last thing that worked for me. And I still like that sometimes, but this is way different. So, you know, it’s like, it’s one of these things where you really desire focus if you’re working especially when you’re in work mode. Whatever you’re doing, whether you’re having to jam through, you know, a whole bunch of emails, or you’re writing a blog post. Or you’re sitting there trying to do some actual like programming even. There’s like this almost like how do you get out of your head while you’re doing that and get into the work? And that’s what I really like about any of these methods that help people focus, which is this idea that you’re getting out of your head, you’re getting into the work. And that’s what I’m really looking to do when I want to focus. So I think it’s important because we can be in our heads and like even right now, while I’m talking to you, I could have five billion other thoughts in my head, right?
Steli: Such as you thoughts there’s like you could do five other things. You could be checking your phone while at responding to some Slack chat while it’s having a blog post open.
Hiten Shah: It’s so true. So there’s so many distractions you cannot have when you’re actually trying to get something done and you either have a deadline, or you just want to be really productive and focus is really important for that. So it’s something where like I think we take some of these things for granted. Like you said that we can do all these things at the same time, and then we end up doing them. And then we ended up like, you know, looking back at the day and being like, well, what did we get done? Without focus nothing gets done.
Steli: So how do we focus more? Right? So one thing people can do, and I think this is something everybody has probably experienced. That music can really help you focus, right? The right type of music. I’ve always struggled with this in the past when I was listening to music I liked that didn’t work to put me in a focused zone. Where I was like, you know, trying to listen to music to get into the zone, and that the music itself was actually making it harder for me to focus and concentrate. Until I kind of found the few types of either songs or types of music that worked. But even then it’s always a hustle if I don’t have the right playlist or if I don’t like the playlist it may or may not work. I really love brain.fm, so definitely do what Hiten Shah told you to do. Brain.fm/startupchat and check that out. So music can be a way to get into the zone. What are other things that can help people to focus more and to get more focus into their day and into their work? What are some of the tips we can go back and forth and give people a few new ideas to try out.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, I find this one, not a new idea, but an idea that always works for me at least. With just have one big rock for the day. So what’s that one big thing you need to get done no matter what for the day, and make sure that you get it done. I have one big rock that I have actually today. I even had one big rock on the weekend. So today there’s this document I need to make to go send to a company. And it’s probably my biggest rock today. Because I know it’s gonna take a little while and it’s something where if I get that done, I’m going to feel really accomplished. So by having that one big rock and actually writing it down, I think you can literally focus just on that thing, and do that thing early on in the day. That’s the other key. And if you do that…
Steli: I love that.
Hiten Shah: If you do that, then it just makes it easy to focus on the one thing, because it’s just the only thing on your list.
Steli: Yeah, I love that. So I’ll give you the opposite of that just to play off of it. Right. Y.
Hiten Shah: Yeah.
Steli: So I love having the one, the 80/20 the one big item only can get one thing done today. What is it? Let’s go and do that. Let’s do that first, because I’m going to feel great and then everything else is just a cherry on top. That’s killer. Sometimes though that one big thing, it comes with a certain level of resistance to me, at least to me, right? Sometimes the thing that I really should tackle first is the thing I really don’t want to tackle first, or the thing that where I don’t know, maybe I’m lacking clarity. Maybe I’m lacking the right approach. So when I start working on it, I feel a lot of internal resistance. It’s hard, it feels hard to me to get into the task and get that done. And sometimes what I’ve learned is that I can get stuck if I get too attached to that thing. So then I have to go the exact opposite route and ask myself, what out of the things that I wanted to do today is the simplest thing to get done? And basically what I’m just telling myself is I am not in the zone yet. I’m not in a flow state. I’m not in a productive state. So hence, I need to get maybe a few small things done to get myself in a flow state, to get into a productivity and focused state to then be able to tackle this more complicated or more valuable, more complex tasks. So maybe I’ll just get a few small things done to get some easy wins and quick wins, feel good, get in the zone, get focused, and then I go back to tackle that big item. So that’s something that I’ve tried many times. I’ve used many times as a little bit of a mental hack. When I feel stuck and when I have a difficult time to focus to get a really important thing done, I go and tackle some easy small things to get into the zone before I reattack that big item.
Hiten Shah: I like that. I’ve used that before too. Start with small things? If you’re stuck.
Steli: There you go. The other thing. The other thing I’ll throw out there in terms of getting more focused in your life, and we’ve talked about this before and this is an episode I recommend everybody to listen to again. It’s actually one of the, one of the first episodes that we did in the first hundred, right. In the golden, the golden age of the these podcast episodes that we’ve made, which is episode 38 how learning how to say no. So go to the startupchat.Com, episode 38 learning how to say no. I think that’s an incredibly powerful tool to get more focus in your life and in your work and day. You can always… I mean we all tend to just look at what are the things I should say yes to. What am I to use for today? What other things I want to focus on. But a great way to actually focus is not just to look at what you want, but also to decide what you don’t want, or what you’re not gonna look at, or not gonna work on today. So sometimes I’ll start my day with a not to do list and just go, what is all the shit that’s been on my mind,, on my to-do list in my inbox that I am not going to give any energy or attention today. And I’ll make a list and be like, this is all the things I’m giving myself permission to ignore. And then I go, well, okay, if I can ignore all these things, what other things I don’t want to ignore that I want to focus on? Sometimes just the mere act of saying no to things, or defining what you’re not gonna get distracted by, what you’re not going to give any attention to. Can kind of free up all this mental Ram space to really apply your energy and your brain power to the thing you really want to want to apply to. And so to increase the level of focus that you have on your tasks.
Hiten Shah: Yeah, I really liked that.
Steli: All right. I think this is it for us for this episode on my focus is important. How to get a little bit more of that focus your day and in your work and life. As Hiten Shah said, please go check out brain.fm/startupchat. If you sign up for the free trial. Play around with the music list, both Eaton and I love it. We wouldn’t talk about it otherwise. And if you ever have any challenges, any questions around it, or need any help, we personally vouch for any service that we are advocating for on the podcast. So you can just email us directly. You don’t have to deal with anybody else’s support. You just email the study of hidden support team and just firstname.lastname@example.org or [inaudible 00:09:29], we’ll take care of you. We’ll make sure that you are taken care of. This is it for us for this episode. We’ll see you very soon.
Hiten Shah: Cheers.