A few months back, I came across a video by Joey Schweitzer on his Better Ideas YouTube Channel with the title “The Most Important Skill for improving your life.”
Sure, that sounds exciting but as a young adult living in the digital age with internet and gadgets, I have come across thousands of similar-titled videos promising to change my life with “one tip or trick” or something along those lines.
But I watched the video anyway. It is based on a sound concept that I thought I should share (I mean, it was good enough to get me off my lazy ass to write this blog article).
You already know what you need to do to improve your life
Every day when you wake up, there is that one task (or tasks) you know that if you accomplished i.e. did to completion, your life would be so much better for it.
For example, if you have a project that is pending, wouldn’t your life be so much better if you could sit down and get some or all of it done waaaayy before deadline day?
We have problems (tasks) and we know precisely what we need to do to deal with them or tick them off our lists.
But we never get ourselves to do them i.e. procrastination. We will do anything else to distract ourselves rather than do the important task. And with the internet and our awesome gadgets lurking around, it is easier to get distracted.
So, the most important skill you can have right now is:
The Ability to Concentrate
Joey says that the ability to concentrate in the face of all the distractions we have to deal with in this digital age is THE solution to all our problems. It is the ultimate skill you need to succeed.
And the interesting (or annoying) fact is that YOU ALREADY KNOW THIS.
But knowing what you need to do and doing it are two very different things.
You don’t have to concentrate for super-long periods to be productive
Contrary to what you expect “concentration” to entail, you don’t have to concentrate for 8 hours on one task at a time.
Instead, if you can master the ability to dedicate just one hour of UNDIVIDED attention to one task per day, you will improve your life drastically.
Once you have mastered concentrating for one hour, you can increase it to 1 ½ hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, and so on.
So, how do you get yourself to concentrate on a boring but essential task instead of watching a series or scrolling through your phone?
How to master the skill of concentration
Joey helpfully breaks the process of improving your concentration into a series of steps:
Step 1: Optimize your environment
Clean your workspace and use each room for what it was intended.
Step 2: Optimize your digital environment
Switch off notifications on your phone, delete social media apps on your phone, and install apps and addons that stop notifications or minimize scrolling on social media on your PC if you need those platforms to work.
Step 3: Training your mind
Train your mind to be intentional.
To help with that, schedule your day and allocate time chunks to each activity including leisure so that when you are doing said leisure activity, you won’t be weighed down by guilt or this annoying voice that tells you “you should be doing task x instead.”
With a schedule, you know that work time is work time 100%, and playtime is playtime 100%. No half-assing, no guilt, and total immersion in each.
Too Long You Can’t Read This or Watch The Video:
The main takeaway from this post is: if you learn how to get yourself to concentrate on tasks in spite of all the distractions we have in this digital age, you will have mastered the most important skill and your life will improve drastically.
PS: I can’t recommend Joey’s YouTube channel enough if you are into mind hacks and self-improvement. His demeanor is quite relaxing and he shares some gems interspersed with humor 🤣🤣