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The Mindful Entrepreneur

Focus on Tasks, Not Concepts

Categories: Productivity

I often find myself thinking “I need to do some work, I need to do some work” over and over again, and I’ve been thinking about this lately, and come to the realisation that rather than motivating me to get work done, it actually has the opposite effect.

The problem is, that rather than focussing on a given task, and thinking about what I could do with that task, how I could improve it, etc… I’m just thinking about the concept of “work” over and over. This gives rise to a few problems;

1. It’s just a concept, so I’m not actually contributing any positive thoughts to a specific task – I’m just nagging myself to work. Additionally, whilst I’m “nagging” myself to work, I’m actually concentrating less on what I’m actually doing at that moment in time. So the consequence is that not only is my work suffering; so are any tasks that I’m doing outside of work, whether that’s spending time with the kids or just reading a book.

2. Constantly thinking to myself that I need to work, is creating a negative feeling towards work itself. Rather than thinking about how I can complete a task, I’m just reminding myself that some work NEEDS to be done. The reality is, I want to do it, but constantly reminding myself and pushing myself into the concept of working, is actually making me not want to do it.

3. When I’m working, I don’t really even consider it working. Why am I labelling it as such!?

So the solution here is obvious. I’ll stop thinking about “the need to do work” completely. If I think of it, then I’ll let the thought pass over me, mentally note it and then, forget about it (unless I’m a position to do some work, in which case, I’ll probably just start working!). It will still be there, as a feeling at the back of my mind, but I won’t consciously hassle myself about it. Instead, when I feel ready to do some work and any distractions are complete and out of the way, then I will just start working.

The first task I will do whenever sitting down to work is to reference my “external brain” (See the Evernote section in this post), to remind me of what needs to be done and then I can simply start working – focussing on an actual specific task itself.

This will help me feel like I actually want to work and I’ll be able to concentrate on a given task, rather than on this odd concept of work itself.


Ok, time to do some work! ;)…. You’ve probably noticed that this post has been more of a conscious stream, rather than an informative piece, but writing it has certainly helped me. I hope it helps you too.

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About the author: I’m the Founder of Own the Web (aka. Mindful Marketeer), & I’m passionate about helping good causes, local & small businesses grow by bringing clarity to situations. I do this through my work at Own the Web, whilst practising mindfulness & blogging about it here. Other quick facts also include I’m a vegan, an individualist, equality champion & a mindful free thinker. Connect with me on Twitter or Peter Leigh on Google+.

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