The brain has to deal with 11 million bits of information every second, of every day! That’s a TONNE of information to deal with but there are ways you can focus.
Luckily, we have a mechanism in our brain known as the reticular activation system (RAS). It filters this information from your sub conscious to your conscious mind.
If you were conscious of all this information you simply wouldn’t be able to function in day to day life as you would be completely over whelmed with the amount of input of data you’re receiving. The mind knows intuitively that you wouldn’t be able to cope with that level of information, it decided to have a ‘gate keeper’ from your sub-conscious mind to your conscious mind. Only allowing information that your mind deems ‘important’ to survival to pass through the gate. Think of your level of conscious awareness as the tip on an iceberg (5%) and your sub-conscious awareness as the majority of the iceberg submerged under water, (95%) as a metaphor to appreciate the scope of what you (and every other human being on the planet) don’t consciously experience or are aware of. Pretty crazy right?
How does this link to me improving my focus?
So essentially your RAS is your selective focus. Most people’s focus is on the prevention of potential danger. Now this is fine except your brain generally perceives change as dangerous. The human brain naturally perceives change as dangerous, when you’re trying to produce positive change in your life (growing your business, self development ect…), it tends to be resilient to the initial change in behaviour. Because of this, it’s very common that people are successful at changing their habits short term, but when it comes to long term change, their success generally doesn’t continue.
So how can YOU stay on track with the habits you’re trying to reinforce into your neurology to improve your business and personal development? Well you need to start to take control of your RAS. In the words of Tony Robbins, ‘focus equals power’. If you can control what you focus on, you can control the results you get. So here’s a simple trick you can do TODAY to start to take control of your selective focus (RAS).
The First Hour Of Your Day
The first hour of your day will set the theme for the rest of your day. If you check your facebook, texts or emails as soon as you wake up you have conditioned your brain to go into ‘reaction mode’. This is because you’re now reacting to the information you’re being exposed to. You aren’t contributing, you’re reacting. This will instantly spike your body with cortisol (stress chemical) and activate your sympathetic nervous system (flight or fight mode). Not the best way start to your day!
So here’s what you want to do…
When you wake up in the morning, don’t look at your phone (even better, put your phone on aeroplane mode the night before). Take out your note pad or diary and write down the 3-5 things you want focus on. This can be that you need to contact a particular client that day, you need to sort out a meeting with employees, you need to make a phone call. Anything that you know you need to do to help grow your business.
Because you’ve taken the time to sit, concentrate and write down the 3-5 things you want to focus on, you’ve told your subconscious mind that this is important and I want to focus on this today. This will keep you in a more parasympathetic state (focused, calm and relaxed). Then when you log into social media you’ve now set the theme for the day on what you’re doing, massively improving your likelihood for following through on what you need to get done that day.
Main Points To Think About :
- Don’t check social media first thing in the morning.
- In your notepad or diary make a list of the things you want to priorities that day.
- By staying in your parasympathetic state you are less reactive and more responsive.
- Being in a responsive mindset is better than a reactive mindset when it comes to making proactive decisions.