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How to focus and make real progress on my projects? | [Leigh]

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Just seem to struggle with an innate desire/distraction to do everything I can…..stuff with family, kids, house work, sport, sport events, study and work to the point I feel I get nothing done then my view as to what how much is changes and normally the one thing I did not get too……on reflection life is great we live in US since recently, which was a big jump in forties for wife with her career but still have desire for more and more of everything, that takes up time and distraction to plan or plan and not get approval rather than physical self, career focus or specific focuses, maybe being a poor Dublin kid from way back when lingers in back of mind in terms of the need…..

Conor, I thought your TEDX was amazing when I saw it and just seemed to give me focus around lots of little things and just keep going along the lines of what you can do in a year and betting on that rather than planning to do too much in one day and then at end be disappointed. If I had one question it would be any simple tips to enable real time gratitude or tips to focus on getting a few things done well and focused rather than lots of things and not feeling you are achieving enough of any of time…..

Hope the above makes any sort of sense.



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Topic starter

I struggle with this.

I remember an interview from back in 2008 with Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.  The interview asks them “What is the secret of your success?”

The two of them answer immediately with the same word.


I remember at the time thinking to myself “oh well then… if I am to be successful in my life, it will be a different type of success from Warren and Bill.”  Focus is not one of my strengths… and I find that most of the fun in life comes when I accidentally stumble upon a conversation or a film or an experience…

In my years working at IESE Business School, I have been encouraged by my mentors to write cases, articles, technical notes and books… and I remember my first few years.  I wanted to… I had the sincere intention to write… I spent time on it…

And I produced nothing.

No articles first year, second year.

In the third year I hired a writing coach.  I paid him $1000 a month. We spoke each week.  He would keep asking me “how many words did you produce today?”  He was only interested in word production.  He shared with me many ideas on writing, but the core was that “A writer is a producer of words. If you produce words, you are a writer. If you don’t produce words, you are not a writer”.

To cut a long story short… I found a tool that has helped more than anything – the Pomodoro technique.

This post is my resource on Pomodoro technique: https://conorneill.com/2017/01/31/i-cant-focus-how-to-learn-to-focus/

Another person who has had a huge influence on my approach to live is Dan Sullivan.

His big concept is to only do 3 important things each day.  No more.

I implement this idea.