How to Stay Focused: The Power of 48 Minutes

Is there magic in the number 48? Does this number hold any significance in your future success? Speaker Don Crowther suggests that there is. In his presentation at the NSA Summer Symposium, Don told the audience that 48 minutes is the magic number. Here’s how it works… Set a timer for 48 minutes. Close out all distractions and work continuously for 48 minutes. When the timer goes off, get up and stretch, get coffee, use the restroom etc, in the following 12 minutes. Repeat as necessary.

how-to-stay-focused

Don reports that this technique repeated four times a day allowed him to write a 200 page book in just two weeks. The ability to focus on one task for 48 minutes straight was the key. I have been testing Don’s idea and I have to say it works well for me. This eliminates the distractions that have a way of derailing even the best laid plans. Taking a short 12 minute break once an hour is refreshing but not enough to get you off track. You can learn to stay focused easily with this method.

How to Stay Focused

So the question comes up, If this solution works well how can I use it in planning out my daily schedule and applying it to future goals. Can I successfully write a blog post in 48 minutes? Can I write a book chapter in that time? As I’ve tried the process, it has been a challenge to sit in one place that long. But when I do my productivity soars. I find it best to just keep writing, not worry about mistakes, and get everything on paper. Once I have the points on paper I can go back and make my edits and corrections.

My usual morning schedule has about 2 hours of productive time available. I’ve tested the idea of blogging for an hour and then working on a book for the second hour. So far this has worked well with standard length blog posts and has yielded a book outline.

There does seem to be magic in the number 48!

This technique does require a little planning and it helps to have a coffee cup warmer on your desk. The best timer I’ve found so far is a countdown timer with large numbers and a loud alarm. The easy to view numbers give instant feedback on how much time you have left.

Using this simple technique may help me streamline my daily blog postings and help me be much more consistent. The book outline is taking shape and given me hope of actually completing the project.

Update: This technique helped me write my first book (first draft) in a little over three months utilizing this method for two hours per day. Currently it allows me to really focus on my new book and easily get my 1,000 words in per day. It’s actually quite easy to learn how to stay focused.

If you find yourself getting distracted on your projects give this simple technique a try. It has really helped me focus and get things done!

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