Worth Reading: Articles on Focus and Essentialism

Habits at Work team members are constantly devouring books and articles and videos (scholarly and otherwise). It's just something that we do here.

Today I want to share a book and four articles on the topic of focus. My guide word for 2015 is "focus" so this post is quite apropos for me to deliver.

It's funny, though, that the sheer amount of content consumption around here leads to a lack of focus and attention at times. We hop from book to book, article to article, and we keep going down the rabbit hole for fear of missing out or not discovering that one salient point or insight that someone else might find!

It is intoxicating and overwhelming all at the same time. And I'm guessing that you have the same exact problem!

Well, have no fear, I have a few items for you to give your attention to today. If you'll trust me on this, I promise they are worthy of your attention and, in fact, might aid you in the battle of achieving better focus, eliminating distractions and doing your best work.

How to figure out what is really a waste of time via Fast Company
In pursuit of a good life and meaningful work, this article puts some definition around what a waste of time is and how to avoid it. Hint: "Time is wasted when it’s neither enjoyed, nor spent in pursuit of some larger life goal."

8 ways to improve your focus via Fast Company
Sadly, in this article we discover that the average human attention span is less than that of a goldfish! But, we can increase our ability to focus if we practice using this "muscle" -- similar to using our willpower or creativity muscle. The more we practice, the easier it gets to focus. Definitely worth checking out! (I especially love the advice to doodle -- any excuse to doodle is excellent in my book)

How to stop over scheduling yourself via Levo
Are you giving away your focus to someone else's priorities? Read on to discover 6 steps to make sure your priorities are the recipient of your focus and attention. You'll never guess what step 1 is -- big surprise: it's setting your priorities!

15 ways to stay focused in a distracted world via Unstuck
Fifteen ways to stay focused seems a bit, well, unfocused, but bear with me. If you feel like your day is one constant interruption, then check out any ONE of these methods to alleviate distraction. That's right, these methods work independently of one another, so you can use whichever one works best for you at the moment!

Last, but not least, I want to share the book that I just finished, Essentialism: The disciplined pursuit of less, by Greg McKeown.

If you're constantly looking for ways to work smarter, not harder, then this is the book you need to drop everything for and focus on. The clear, simple-to-follow format makes it a quick read that you can pick up and consume in manageable pieces. It has bold graphics and useful charts to illustrate the different between an essentialist and a non-essentialist -- which helps you identify which camp you sit in and how to change your behavior.

In the end, it gives you a new mindset you can utilize in all things life and work -- Essentialism -- to make sure that you are giving your best, high quality energy and attention to those things that are meaningful and important to you.

Can't decide if you should give it a read? Take the quiz to discover how Essentialist you are.

Hopefully I haven't interrupted you for too long! Thanks for reading.