How do you stay focused?
Coming up with an answer to this question is one of the most important things you’ll do in your lifetime. You should make it a priority to learn how to take back focus in your life. To get clarity what your focus really is and to finally tell yourself:
“Hey, if I don’t get my focus in check I’ll keep wandering around in life distracted. If I keep looking at everything that pops up. Listening to peoples complaints. Saying YES to everything and keep doing whatever anyone tells me to do. At some point, I’ll lose myself and lose my life.”
And not in a physical way. You won’t die.
But one day you’ll wake up feeling that you haven’t accomplished anything meaningful in life. That you don’t have a job that you feel for. That you lack a connection with your friends and family.
And all this due to a lack of focus. Because at some point, your focus is what drives everything in your life. Drives you forward. It challenges you and makes you grow as an individual.
Your focus drives your thoughts and your emotions. If you focus on negative things, you’re going to be negative. If you fail to focus on the important things in life, how do you think that will affect your relationships? What happens with your quality of life when you fail to focus on your priorities?
So the key here is to understand that focus drives everything in your life. But you got to get it back!
And we’re not just talking about being productive here. We’re talking about experiencing and living your best life possible. About enjoying the best quality of life imaginable.
“Ok this all sounds great, but what exactly should I do to get my focus back then?”
1) Make fewer decisions
The first thing you have to do is to start making fewer decisions.
It has to do with something known as brain fatigue. The more decision we actually make, the more our brain becomes fatigued.
This is why you often get tired during afternoon meetings at work. Unless you’ve eaten a box of donuts during lunch, and your crashing during the afternoon. You being tired is most likely due to brain fatigue caused by taking too many decisions early in the day.
This is also one of the reasons you see figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Barack Obama wear the same outfit every day. They don’t want to spend energy on making small decisions like what outfit to wear every day. They need that energy saved to be able to take the bigger decisions during their day.
So, you want to minimize the number of decisions you are making. But how do you do that?
I know, you probably found this piece of content because you were browsing. But I’m telling you if you constantly keep browsing through life eventually it will wipe out your willpower and focus. Even the smallest things will drain it.
And once you go back to focusing on something, guess what happens?
Most likely you won’t be able to focus on one thing and get that done. You’ll start multitasking on a lot of things that won’t be accomplished simply because you’re unable to focus long enough on the task at hand.
So all that browsing. All those facebook posts you’re reading. All the gossip feeds you’re reading. Guess what? Every time you give it your attention, your mind has to make a decision whether to pay attention or not. All those small decisions add up and are costing you focus power and resources later on, even if you don’t know it.
If you’re constantly fatiguing your brain by focusing on a million things, you’ll never get your focus power back. So start focusing on the things that will move you forward. But what are those things?
2) Define your goals
In order for you to be able to focus on the right things, you have to define your goals.
You got to have a goal for what you’re doing today. And there has to be an intent and purpose for what the next task is going to be. If you set this up properly you’ll never have to worry about not knowing what to do. You’ll prevent yourself from thinking “oh well I guess I should just do some stuff today. Let me just check Facebook first”.
If you don’t have defined goals the chances are high that you’ll end up doing many things that have no meaning whatever towards your mission.
Figure out what it is you want in life. In your relationships. In your career. Then reverse engineer the steps to getting there and start working on a plan to achieving those steps.
Get very clear on what your goal is, and focus on working the plan to getting there!
Everything else will have to wait. For now.
3) Start saying NO to things
I know this is contradictory to all those “gurus” out there claiming you “have to say YES TO LIFE!!”. Well, yeah…a lot of people said yes to everything and that is probably the reason why they are miserable.
Start saying no to things, just at first, so you can start checking it against your goal. So it’s not like you shouldn’t commit to things. You should. Just give yourself a little break and make the decision a few hours later, or the next day or so.
So if something comes up that makes you excited and you just know you can do it. Take your time and really evaluate if this exciting new thing moves you towards your goal, or away from it. Say something like:
“No, this sounds exciting but I really need to focus my energy on the right things right now so I will need to take some time to figure out if this is right for me or not”.
Set some criteria for what is acceptable tasks to commit to, and what is not. Then run the opportunity against those criteria and see if it is something you should say YES to or not.
You should be able to gain some future value out of it or personal development of some sort. Just make sure it leads to a result connected to the goals you have set up for yourself.
Your job is to get back to a very simple level of life. To focus on simple tasks. To make sure that you focus on one or two major things at a time.
So you’re not going to allow all those other distractions to suck you in.
You’re not doing everything that other people want you to do.
You’re not clicking all those links that pop up on your screen.
You set up criteria for what makes you progress forward towards your goals. And you make sure to filter out everything that doesn’t fit those criteria.
If you keep saying yes to too many things you will end up not moving forward. But by cutting out the distractions and trusting your filter, you will make progress and move forward every day.
Little by little.
What are you doing to make sure you keep your focus? Comment below 🙂