The idea of concentrating on one thing at a time can seem challenging for some people; and in fact, it is tough for some people.
With more and more people suffering from attention disorders, busy demands on their lives at work, more duties than ever on the home front, and bills constantly stacking up, it’s a stranger anyone can get anything done to completion.
Many people shell out thousands of dollars to deal with career coaches and life coaches to assist them in handling their workloads and responsibilities.
But there is an efficient approach that is becoming more standard. This one called ichigyo-zammai, a Japanese term that meant entire attention on a single act.
This idea emerged from Japanese Zen Master Sunryu Suzuki in his book ‘Beginner’s Mind’.
Just imagine how it would be to start a finish one task. It seems like a foreign concept among most individuals who jump from washing dishes, to making lunch for the children, to verifying their email, to taking the chicken out to defrost for supper, to putting laundry and never getting back to finish those dishes.
This is the way many people live their lives, and it’s tiring.
Life coaches will tell you that an efficient way to boost your effectiveness is to do one thing at a time. Tim Ferriss, author of the widely famous book, “The Four Hour Work Week” also totes about the importance of focusing on one thing at a time to get the things done.
In this how you can start one project and adhere to it so you can be more productive.
Six steps to practising ‘ichigyo-zammai’
6 steps to practising ‘ichigyo-zammai’\sJapanese woman living in the current moment:
- Begin your day with a to-do list that includes all of your regular tasks and extras that you want to accomplish for the day.
- Series them in order of importance. Imagine which ones will make you feel like you had a successful day overall if you accomplish them.
- Determine how it will take you to accomplish each task. Remember, human beings seem to be notorious for overstating what they can get done in a month and underestimating how little they can get done in an hour. Start paying attention to how much you can accomplish in shorter chunks of time and you’ll be amazed by how productive you can actually be in a single day.
- Set a timer for yourself and put away all other interruptions. Sit down and commit to working on the task you had also assigned yourself until the timer goes off. Initially, this might be very challenging as your phone dings from across the room. Turn it off if you need to. Sure, that seems intense in our “always on” society, but give yourself authorization to get the things done that are required to be done and you’ll have plenty of time later for scrolling through Facebook.
- Maintain your spotlight by paying attention to your thoughts. When you notice oneself start to drift into a different thought other than the one you have for completing your task, bring it back to centre and remind yourself that this feeling of discomfort will last only a few moments and soon you’ll be back in a natural cycle of work.
- As you write, clean, wash, cook, walk — whatever it is that you are doing — be mindful of your surroundings and how great it is to be alive in this present time. Don’t think about the drudgery of having to meet a deadline, think about how great it is that you have the opportunity to work on this design program. There is beauty in everything, even a TPS report.
Be well productive and idyllic
When you slow down and provide things the time they deserve, you may know things that you otherwise wouldn’t. You might produce high quality work as a result as well.
That rather than checking your phone for text messages during a conversation, give someone your total focus – I bet they won’t even know what to do with it. We are so used to being ignored by people these days.
Put all of yourself into whatever it is you’re to do and you might discover that you are at a greater peace, you’re more productive and you look forward to those occasions when you can concentrate your focus on one thing at a time.
Written By:Syed Muddasir Mehdi Aga Khan University, Karachi