The power of focus has been an important lesson I’ve learned in life. Our focus creates our reality. It is very easy to determine what we have been focused on — all we have to do is to look at our results.
Our results reflect the types of thoughts we’ve been having and what we have been giving attention to. If we want to change our results, we must change what we are focusing on.
This concept of focus resonated withe me so much that I named my business, Focused On…®. I knew that people’s ability to get better at focusing on the things they do was the ket to improving all aspects of their lives.
When I started writing my first book, Hoops and Freedom, it was the only thing I focused on at that time. I had left my management career so I had all the time I needed to focus on my writing.
I was able to write my first draft within five months, which for me at that time, was a fantastic achievement. Before I started writing the book, I did not anticipate completing the book within five months. It was all because that’s all I focused on. Since then, I have learned better and more efficient ways to write books, which I have used to write three more books.
Being able to stay focused is one of the biggest challenges facing us today especially in the digital age we now live in. The question then becomes, “How do we stay focused on what matters most in life?” Here are seven things we can do each day to focus on the things that are truly important to us.
- Have an overall mission for your life. Everything we do must be aligned to an overall mission. This mission can also be called our purpose, our highest vision or our calling in life. While the label may not be important, having something that pulls us forward is. Our mission should be the filter through which we make all our decisions.
- Be passionate about what you are doing. We tend to lose focus or procrastinate when the things we are doing aren’t inspiring or what we’re truly interested in. If we aren’t passionate about what we’re doing, then we will need something externally to motivate us to do it. A better alternative is to be inspired by what we want to achieve, which will keeps us going even if we face challenges.
- Eliminate distractions daily. We are more distracted today than we have even been in our history. With better, readily available technology comes a greater level of distraction. In the modern work environment, eliminating distractions may involve turning off our mobile devices or shutting down our internet browser when we are working. The better we become at eliminating distractions, the better we will become at focusing on the task at hand.
- Clarify your priorities for the day. While having an overall mission for our life is the big picture plan, we still need to know what we should be focusing on daily. This is why having clear priorities becomes extremely important because they determine what we give attention to each day. These priorities can be tasks we identify we must get done each day.
- Avoid making too many decisions daily. We get a certain amount of will power every day. Whenever we make decisions, we use up mental energy. The more decisions we have to make, the quicker we will exhaust our will power. This is also known as decision fatigue. The most effective way to overcome this is to develop daily routines or habits. These habit do not require any conscious thought which means they will not consume our will power.
- Maintain your energy level throughout the day. Our energy level is everything. The better we are able to maintain our energy level throughout the day, the better our concentration levels will be. There are many things we can do to boost our energy level which includes taking regular breaks, staying hydrated and having small, regular meals throughout the day.
- Organise your environment for optimal productivity. Our environments should be designed in such a way that they inspire us to take the necessary actions to achieve what’s most important to us. This may involve having our workspace designed for maximum productivity, having the correct light or ambiance, or having the tools and documents we need readily available to us.
Staying focused is one of the most important skills we can develop in life. It’s time to commit to getting back to a simple approach to life, to focusing on only one to three major things at a time. Day by day, moment by moment, move your life toward only those things that truly engage and energise you.
Question: What is another technique that can be used to stay focused on what matters most?
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