How To Stop Learning Everything And Focus On Things That Matter
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” — Zig Ziglar.
We live in a time when knowledge is more available than ever. Just a few clicks and we can access more information within seconds than a finest 17th-century scholar could during his entire lifetime.
However, this abundance has led us to the paradox of choices — — we have so many options, we struggle to choose and stick to most important ones. We start learning a new skill only to find out another interesting one, again another — circle continues. Soon, we find we bit off way more than we can chew.
How To Focus On Only A Few And Excel
Skipping from topic to topic is not bad particularly. Being able to do a lot of things gives an edge while managing a team of people with diverse skill sets.
Apart from that if you want to reach the pinnacle of your true potential, ability to pinpoint on handful projects comes handy.
So, here are ideas on how to concentrate on few learning pursuits and excel,
1. Write 25, Choose 5:
Originally proposed by James Altucher , it does an excellent job to weed out lesser important options and let you focus on only most important ones.
First, list 25 topics you crave to learn. Then sit again and slash out 20 from the list. Keep these aside and never look back.
Only the rest 5 are the things you would pursue.
Point to be noted, while choosing final 5 opt for the complimentary topics. For instance, if you have public speaking, salsa, art of persuasion and cooking in the initial list, pick first and third. If you improve on public speaking, it will affect your art of persuasion simultaneously.
Finally, when you are done with the topics, head to the point 2.
2. Organize Your Life Around Your Goal:
“Environment” around us comprises literally everything, from individuals to information we consume. It has a strong influence on our attitude and chances of successful learning. That’s why every successful person deliberately re-organizes their life for positive influence and support.
Guess what? You should walk on the same path too.
Start from making friends who would help you to gain in-depth knowledge. Join relevant classes and clubs. Read quality materials/ gain first-hand experience about the topic. Unfriend some negative people on social media; cut the distractions. Re-shape your life for eliminating any distraction and staying closer to your goal.
3. Don’t Give Up:
We often abandon goals after some initial failure. Yes, defeats and failures, when you have just started, are heart wrenching.
However, that is the price we pay to make any real progress in anything.
So, don’t get dishearten after initial setbacks. Instead, set a measurable goal, allocate time, and then stick to it religiously — — write 200 words every day, for instance. Or code 4 hours daily for a month. Do 100 push-ups regularly for 4 months or whatever needed to be done. Just work hard and don’t leave the ship before it actually sinks.
4. Treat Time Like Money:
We pay a great deal of attention to the value we are getting while investing money, don’t we?
Same should go for the time as well.
Like money, time is a limited resource and you should treat it accordingly — — aim to spend it efficiently and invest only on value providing learning activities/projects.
If you are about to take a new class have a clear list of things you are going to say “no”. Don’t plunge into random shiny new pursuits and spread yourself thin.
More you will value your time, better you will be at utilizing your full potential.
Mind wandering is the biggest reason behind drifting attention and rapid switching between the projects. And Meditation is an effective method to calm your mind.
A recent study revealed regular meditation practitioners are better equipped to deal with mind wandering than non-practitioners. In a nutshell, you should probably start practicing meditation as it would boost the concentration and overall well-being.
In conclusion, it is fine if you are inherently curious. I would go as far as saying that it is even desirable. However, after a certain limit, you have to choose, as the life may allow you to have anything you want, but not everything you want.