ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Work With The Razor Sharp Focus Of A Zen Monk

Updated on September 25, 2012
writesuccess profile image

Ruth Barringham is a writer and author who runs a popular website where she helps writers write more and earn more. Subscribe now.

The hardest part of running your own online business is staying focused.

It’s easy sitting down and getting your work done when you have a 9 to 5 job with a boss looking over your shoulder. But it’s a whole other world when you’re working at home on your own with no deadlines and no accountability except to yourself.

Self discipline is easy to say but can be hard to achieve.

So if you’re having trouble with concentrating and getting your work done, then you need to practice having the razor sharp focus of a zen monk.

Can you imagine how great it would be if you could have complete focus on whatever task you were doing and forget about everything else? Just think of how much you could get done and how well you’d do it?

How Do Zen Monks Focus?

Zen monks (and all monks) focus by only ever concentrating on one thing at a time.

If they’re gardening, they’re only focused on the plant in their hand. If they’re walking they are focused on each step as they take it. They never think ahead as to how to garden will look or what they’ll do when they reach their destination. Instead they concentrate on whatever they’re doing in each moment.

How Can You Focus Like a Zen Monk?

Working this way requires forward planning. If you want to achieve the same kind of focus, then you need to plan ahead so that you know what you have to do and when to do it.

You also need to break things down into tasks, not projects.

For instance, creating a website is a project. Finding a hosting company, building a web page, writing content, are all tasks that make up the project.

Planning ahead frees up your mind by removing all the clutter. Clutter is the worrying you do over other tasks you still have to do.

Zen monks not only have clutter-free minds, they also have clutter-free lives. They own very few possessions which frees them up so that they can spend more time on what’s important to them instead of cleaning and maintaining possessions they don’t need.

You can also rid your own life of unnecessary clutter. Sell or donate what you don’t need and you can have more room for living.

Don’t let distractions clutter your attention either. When you’re working, ignore the phone if it rings and don’t check your email all the time. If your phone alerts you to emails and messages all the time, turn it to silent and put in in a drawer in another room.

Keep Your Focus Longer

If you find that your focus starts to wane, take a five minute break. It can be helpful to work in short bursts of 30 to 40 minutes and then have a 5 minute break to go and make a cup of coffee or pat the dog. Just do something unrelated to your work.

Breathe More

When you work hunched over a desk for too long you may find that your breathing becomes shallow.

Zen monks believe in the stress-reducing and focus-inducing power of slow deep breathing.

If you find you’re hunching over your work, sit up with your spine straight and take a few slow deep breathes and it will clear your mind and help you to focus more.

And stay away from excuses - I’m too tired, I’m too stressed, I have writers’ block. These aren’t reasons for not working. They’re only excuses.

Whenever you feel yourself procrastinating, say “No Excuse!” and get back to work.

Take A Leaf

The late, great copywriter, Eugene Schwartz, worked like a zen monk and he earned millions of dollars from his writing.

So take a leaf out of his book (figuratively speaking, not literally) and make sure that when you’re working, you’re working in a ‘zen’ state.

Start simple and don’t overwhelm yourself.

All you need to run a successful online business is a computer, an internet connection and the ability to focus like a zen monk.

And if you’re reading this then you already have the first two.

So’s your focus?


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)