With the busy lives we live, it is easy to lose your focus. I spend time in the morning thinking over the day to come. I write down 3 goals for the day. I do what I have on the list if it feels right. If I feel a lot of resistance, I try to determine what is behind the resistance.
Finding my way through my own emotions helps me to stay focused. My brand of procrastination takes the form of resistance when I am unsure of the direction I am going. So I have to especially vigilant when change is my direction.
I am in the space now of being unsure. Planning helps keep me centered and focused. I use the focus–then refocus–and finally review at the end of the day.
“7 keys to getting more things done:
2 don’t make excuses
3 celebrate small steps
4 ignore critics
5 be consistent
6 be open
7 stay positive”
- From “Staying Focused” by Tony Kenyon:
Make fewer decisions. The more decisions we make, the more tired our brains become and the less effective we are over the long-term. So first, stop jumping from one thing to another! Mindlessly ‘browsing’ things to occupy your time consumes incredible amounts of concentration; every new direction and every new ‘to-do’ eats up your mental energy and reserves. It costs not only your focus but your willpower too, not to mention your ability to find focal points in the future. If you’re looking for something in particular, search for this ONE thing, find it… and then move on. Try to limit your mind wandering and get back your focus and your sense of direction.
Clearly define your objectives. Most people show up, especially to meetings, without any clear intention and, as a result, they end up taking on tasks that aren’t important. Ask yourself, “What do I really want? What should I be doing with my time at this moment to help me reach my ‘specific’ objectives?” Figure out what steps are needed, remain focused, identify the action points required, and then be ruthless in minimizing your time spent on anything else.
Say NO to anything that does not help your end goals. Make a decision that from now on you won’t opt for the YES, and then struggle with it. Don’t immediately commit to taking on tasks regardless. Check them against your objectives and goals. Ask, “Should I focus on this right now in my life? Yes or no? Is this good for me or bad for me? Is this the right time or wrong time?” Learn to say NO to anything that doesn’t fire you up with commitment and enthusiasm.
2. From Do You Have A Home Office?—by Lisa Hoover:
“One key to staying focused while working at home is to create a dedicated work space that you can turn your back on at the end of the day. While you may not have the space to set aside an entire room as an office, the kitchen table probably isn’t your best bet either. Try to find a nook somewhere that you can use exclusively for work and, more importantly, turn your back on at the end of the day so your unfinished tasks aren’t staring you in the face during your down time.”
3. From “How I stay 150% focused, all the time“:
One thing I learned over the past few years is you can’t improve everything at once. A better method might be to focus on habits that have the biggest impact. An example of this might be focusing on things like sleep and working out. If I prioritize working out before work, 4 days during the week this ends up cutting out a lot of other bad habits I may have. For example, knowing I have to wake up early and workout, I can’t eat unhealthy meals at night, I can’t stay out too late, I can’t really drink alcohol, etc. Therefore, by focusing on what are sometimes called “keystone habits” I end up affecting other areas of my life as well. Then, once working out and waking up early become habits, I can move on adding more habits to my life.
Some people don’t have issues with being disciplined. They know what they need to do and they do it. However, for people like me, there is this gap between knowing what I should be doing vs. actually doing those things. I have tried many methods to get myself to bridge this gap and I’ll go in to what has worked for me in another post. In short though, you just have to have faith in yourself that you can improve and you need to keep testing different methods until you find one that works.