Have you ever been late for an appointment? Missed an important phone call? Forgot about a special event or date? You got so engrossed in what you were doing or your mind was wandering here and there. You forget to show up/take a break/eat/etc.?
It’s been happening to me a lot lately. So today I thought I’d share my thoughts about the POWER OF FOCUS. Because I really need to start focusing and I know how much it helps me personally and professionally when I do.
What about you? Do you have trouble focusing sometimes?
Does it feel like you are constantly going in ten different directions, are you easily distracted, have you really planned what it is you want or should be focusing on, you have a hard time saying no to other peoples requests or favors, does it feel as though sometimes all you want to do is get through the day? If so, then you may be experiencing varying degrees of what I call “lackofocus” disease. When you suffer from lack of focus disease, productivity is down and stress is on the rise. That’s the bad news. The good news is that it is curable .
First you have to Define your Purpose, Set Goals based upon your purpose, and set an “Expiration date” on achieving your goals so you can get closer to fulfilling your purpose.
Here are some tips to help you get and stay more focused:
Don’t say “YES” to anything right away – Take time to assess the request. Then turn down any requests or opportunities that will not help you either achieve your goals, realize your purpose or increase your knowledge. Don’t do projects simply because you feel obligated to do them. Pay attention to how you spend your time.
Capitalize on your “productive time.” IF you are a morning person, then that is most likely your optimum time to accomplish your goals and you will find yourself more productive in a shorter time frame than forcing yourself to focus on a goal during another time of day. My best time is 10 am to 1pm so that’s when I do the important stuff such as writing, planning and working on projects. I use the other times of day to communicate with my colleagues and friends, network, check email and file.
Ask for help – If you find it difficult to stay focused, get a mentor or coach to help keep you on track. Tell her or him about your aspirations, what your current and future goals are and how you plan to achieve them – its amazing how much more you can accomplish with an accountability partner.
Eliminate unnecessary activities – that includes the busy work you do every day that does not help you achieve your goals. Think email – instead of checking email every few minutes try scheduling time during the day to focus only on email – make it during your less productive time.
For one week (or even one day) keep a journal of all the distractions you have faced. Take a good look at the list and decide to eliminate or manage those things that are causing your lackofocus.
Learn to enjoy down-time without feeling “unproductive” – this will re-energize you to begin again. Focus is about Purpose and Determination and Balance. When you get focused, you accomplish more, you feel empowered, not to mention it can really add to your bottom line.
Start with baby steps – if you take on more than you can handle, you will be right back where you started. When planning your goals, break them down into smaller do-able activities then pat yourself on the back as you work through and reach each goal.
If you want to know just how focused you are, take this quiz: http://www.thepoweroffocus.ca/take_our_quiz.asp
What rituals or tips do you have for getting and staying focused and sticking to your goals? Feel free to share in the comments section of my blog.
Need help with your focus? A coach can help! I work with authors to help them get their book done and with small businesses to help them set and reach their goals personally and professionally. Give me a call at 954-625-6606 or email me at heidi (at) successandthensome.com. I
Heidi Richards Mooney
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