How to Focus and Ignore the Noise

Subject: How to Focus and Ignore the Noise

In today’s world, everyone is distracted by something. From notifications on their cell phone to the very thoughts in their own head. Learning how to focus is the key to staying sane and living a good life.

For without it, you won’t ever do much of anything. Your thoughts will keep you locked in place. Your notifications will make you depressed. And it will take you years to do what you could’ve done in a matter of months.

So as a Calm and Collected reader, I’m going to share with you how to get ahead of the curve.

Why You Find it Hard to Focus?

You find it hard to focus because your life is the epitome of distraction.

You’re either worrying about something in the future, replying to a text, or trying to fill some void inside of yourself.

Then add into the mix all of the processed foods and sugary drinks you consume and you’re guaranteed terrible focus.

I don’t care how much you meditate. Nothing will help you if your mind is constantly taken by distractions and you’re consuming garbage.

What Does it Mean to Be Able to Focus?

The ability to focus isn’t some esoteric concept like people make it out to be.

All it comes down to is being able to sit your butt in a chair and not get up until you’re finished.

Whether it’s going to the gym and working through your set until you’re finished. Or whether it’s putting effort into building a freelancing business.

It all comes down to being able to focus and get things done.

You don’t need any ADHD pills like Adderall. Don’t let them fool you into believing that for a second.

Let’s get started with step 1…

How to Focus and Ignore the Noise

As with everything on Calm and Collected, we’re keeping it simple. Being able to focus comes down doing less instead of more.

You’re not going to be learning routines you MUST stick to. All that will do is make you even less effective.

Instead, you’re going to learn some effective ways to focus.

1) You Must Gain Self Awareness

A huge part of being able to focus is developing your own awareness.

For without it, you’ll go through the world with the lights off searching for the light switch.

Now we all gain self-awareness at different levels. However, you can gain awareness now as you read this article.

Here’s how I do it…

Ask yourself:

Where am I right now?

As of writing this, I’m sitting in the lobby of a hotel in the middle of Doha.

To my right, there are a group of businessmen discussing some building project.

I’m having a cup of coffee brewed for me.

How do I feel right now?

I’m slightly tired from the 3 product launches I’m helping with for my clients, managing this blog, and growing my Twitter.

My mind has been going 300 miles per hour as I finalize either building an office here in Qatar or returning to Europe.

What would I like to achieve most today?

Today I want to close 8k in sales for one of my clients and write a very helpful article for you who is now reading it.

Am I a focused right now?

Yes, my mind is directed fully onto this article.

You’re Now Aware

Up until now, you go through your day mainly on auto-pilot. Clocking into your job, doing various tasks, eating, then back home.

Loading up Calm and Collected you feel like you’re onto something. For the few minutes you’re here, you are having an aha moment.

Your mind is filled with ideas of what you can accomplish.

But soon after clicking off, you go back into auto-pilot mode.

There’s nothing wrong with this. It’s how your mind is designed to be. Not even I’m conscious 100% of the time.

However, living on auto-pilot for most of your daily life is a guaranteed way to live your life without making an impact.

It’s maintaining your awareness when things are great or you’re at a low point which will always have the most positive impact on your life.

So I recommend running through the questions above as you go through the day. Even just asking where am I is enough to break the spell.

Bringing you back to reality within seconds.

2) Throw Your Worries Into the Trash

Now that you’ve got self-awareness it’s time for us to tackle the next thing which keeps you from being able to focus.

Which is worrying about utter BS.

Most of the things you worry about in your head aren’t real.

Who cares if you’re wearing gym shorts into a restaurant?

Who cares if you laugh out loud in the middle of the street?

Who cares if you look like a fool for a week after some idea of yours fails?

Who cares if you aren’t making as much as your best friend?

Who cares if people stare at you for being so happy with your life?

Who cares if you open your mouth and speak loudly?

I could go on for another 40 examples of worries you allow to hold yourself back. But I’m here to tell you, they’re all in your head friend.

Am I saying you shouldn’t worry about a guy pulling a gun on you? Of course not, but 98% of your worries are just thoughts you allow to control you.

Just the other day I was sitting down at a cafe about to meet an important person here in Qatar.

As I waited, I felt uneasy. I thought to myself how even though I’ve got an $850 watch on, this Armani t-shirt may look too relaxed.

Should I go grab a nicer shirt from the mall next door?

To which I quickly corrected my mind by saying…

“He’s here to speak to you Dylan. If he cares about your shirt, don’t do the deal. Breathe deeply.”

A few minutes later he walked in and we had a great conversation.

I’m telling you this because most of what you allow to take your energy is pointless mental sewage.

Nothing more, nothing less.

So when you’re sitting there letting things happen. Remember to check-in and gain awareness.

It’s at that moment you take your power back.

3) You Are What You Consume

Everything you’ve learned so far will help you immensely.

However, it can only get you so far if you’re consuming things which take your power away.

I recently tested myself before putting this article together for you. For 2 months, I ate whatever I wanted.

McDonald’s, Jollibee, coffee at 10pm, ice cream every night. I didn’t limit myself at all.

The result?

Outside of gaining weight due to gyms being shut down, I also found it noticeably harder to focus.

Tasks I used to find effortless became burdensome.

I’d sit down to type up an email for a client and struggle to piece together the words.

I’d open up Twitter to post a tweet and close it because I just didn’t feel like it. Now of course my income went up slightly during this period.

And my quality of work didn’t suffer much other than taking longer.

But the point is even with all of my experience, I struggled to focus.

So it’s time for you to get ahold of what you consume.

From the foods you eat to the things you watch. They all either empower you or disempower you.

No longer will you view them as just something to eat or watch. Instead, you will see them through the frame of tools.

Is this cheeseburger from McDonald’s going to help me?

In most cases, no so instead you go with a better option.

Is watching 4 prank videos going to help me be motivated and inspired?

No, so instead I’m going to watch something actionable.

There’s no perfect diet or routine for me to layout for you. It’s going to take you being self-aware enough to know what helps you or doesn’t.

For me, when I eat a mostly meat diet. Limiting my carb intake to only a day or two a week.

Drinking 1-3 cups of coffee a day along with 3-4 liters of water.

I also only listen to high energy music, biographies, and informational videos as I notice an instant energy shift when I listen to them.

If I were to watch prank videos and listen to low energy music, I will noticeably be moodier and less productive.

Why? Because everything you see, touch, and hear is brainwashing you.

Meaning if you’re always listening to sad music, watching low IQ entertainment, and eating bad food – it will 100% affect you.

So focus on consuming things that make you feel inspired, uplifted, and inform you in some way.

Ignore the rest.

You Become What You Focus On

Nobody is so powerful that they aren’t affected by the noise around them. Which is why this will be a continuous commitment from you.

Always being self-aware, knowing what you’re eating/watching, and cutting out your worrying thoughts once they pop up.

Even me after working on this for 7 years I am still improving daily.

If you know someone who struggles with getting things done, share this article with them. It will save them a lot of wasted time.

Until Next Time.

Your friend,

Dylan Madden

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About Dylan Madden

My name is Dylan Madden. I write articles for the person looking for more out of life. Who knows they can be better, but needs a little guidance and motivation. I work online while traveling the world. And live a life where I can do do whatever I want. If that interests you, welcome to Calm and Collected.

1 comment add your comment

  1. What a brilliant post. Especially the, “You’re Now Aware” portion. Now every time my brain starts to go into auto pilot mode, there’s a reminder of this post tagged in my head, and I go back to aware.

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