Focus

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh

I am always on the lookout for ways to unclutter and simplify my life. Leo Babauta’s blog Zen Habits is one of my favorite resources. Leo constantly offers practical advice on productivity, minimalism, and other healthy life habits. If you are someone who aims for a better quality of life, and you haven’t already acquainted yourself with Leo’s blog or books, I highly recommend them.

I am currently reading Leo’s new book, focus: a simplicity manifesto in the age of distraction. It is about finding simplicity, and learning to focus on what the important things in our lives. It is also free. You can download the free pdf or buy the premium version here.

Interspersed between moments of reading the book, I have been putting several of Leo’s tips into practice, including:

  • Disconnect from technology. I have a weekly Sabbath day (which I have practiced for 6 years), when I turn off my computer, don’t check email, don’t answer the phone, etc. I am also creating daily times of disconnecting. No technology before 10am, and no technology after 10pm. 
  • Create an uncluttered environment. My desk and closet quickly become clutter zones if left untended. Today I went through several stacks of paper and mail, and drawers of art supplies. I cleared everything but the essentials, and now feel like my desk is a place I can actually focus
  • Do less. I start every day with choosing 2-3 important tasks, and working on those before anything else. If those are the only tasks that get done, then great!

These are just a few small changes I have made. But I already feel less frenetic, and more able to give my attention to things that matter.

I’d love to hear from anyone else who has thoughts on living simple, uncluttered, more focused lives. What works for you? What do you find challenging?

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