A CPU is one of the best creations of mankind. It helps you do tasks at an unmatched speed. It is a complicated piece of hardware but at its core, it does four things:
- fetch - the instruction from the RAM.
- decode - the fetched instruction to the actual action it needs to perform.
- execute - the decoded instruction.
- store - the execution results for future use.
A modern CPU can do this billions of times in a second.
This makes the CPU a very focused piece of technology. You have just to tell it to get this done and it will get it done. Period.
Collect – Your Instructions
If you don’t know what you are going to achieve that day, how can you identify what is causing the blocker for it?
Clarity in life is bliss.
Therefore it is extremely important before you start a day you should have the tasks prepared. There is no retrospection if don’t know what you were supposed to do.
Whatever works for you, on paper or digital format, a todo-list or a calendar event, always know your tasks.
In the collect phase, you might need to research before you start executing. And researching can also be a task in itself. Focused research will require you to shut off from others.
Shut Off – Focus Execution
Once you got the clarity about the tasks at hand it’s time to lose yourself in the execution.
In your mind always think about the next steps that you need to do. Keep executing those tasks. One after another. Just like the “fetch-decode-execute” of the CPU you are in a constant loop of execution.
At times you might lose focus, maybe you start thinking about that new phone that just got launched or someone has pinged you. RESIST these aberrations!
Despise – Context Switches
When a CPU does context switches it has to wait, and while it happens it doesn’t do anything. The precious CPU time (cycles) gets lost doing nothing.
This is true for humans as well. When your context switch, you shift your attention, and you lose your train of thought. This can increase the chances of:
- making mistakes
- decrease productivity
- have mental fatigue
- longer completion time, hence increasing stress.
We can do multitask but we are not good at it.
Shifting – Gears of Focus
Whatever you do you can’t completely avoid context switching.
Sync-ups might be inevitable, discussions might be necessary and follow-ups might be required. When you do these at least prepare your brains that it’s going to happen. Have a dedicated time frame in which you won’t go too deep into your tasks.
Keep thing things loose.
Focusing on your work is one of the most important things. You should have time slices in which you work in full dedicated mode and loose mode. Don’t mix both of them.
In the dedicated mode keep executing your tasks one by one just like a CPU does. But also keep a dedicated time for context switching like meetings and follow-ups and do those in only those time frames.