Today we’re going to learn how to focus your mind to ignite your life just like you can harness the power of the sun with a magnifying glass.
Being overwhelmed by too much to do leads quickly to burnout. With the right mindset, you will cut off the source of that burnout, be healthier and more productive, and sleep better at night.
What Is Focus?
Focus is a skill that every successful person has. It’s integral for accomplishment.
Simply put, focus allows you to start a task without procrastination and keep up your attention and effort until the job is complete.
Why Can’t We Focus?
Usually, it’s because of boredom or lack of interest. Sometimes it can be overwhelming. Is your to-do list a mile long? And have you been ignoring doing the number one task for days?
It’s natural when your mind drifts off to more interesting tasks or thoughts. That leads to procrastination.
Inner vs. Outer Focus
Inner focus is more common than outer focus. It’s how well you can block distractions and be in the present moment to complete the task at hand.
Outer focus is where you put the demands of others ahead of what you know needs to be done. This could be the coworker who likes to drop by and chat, or it could be your newborn baby.
Benefits of Focus
When you keep your mind from wandering, you get more things done faster.
- Less room for error
- Higher success rate
- Improved energy
- Reduced distractions
- Enjoy work more
- Improves decision-making abilities
- Take control of your life
- More job and life satisfaction
- Reduced stress
- Increased momentum
You’ll have so much more positive energy each day. And you’ll look forward to starting the day.
How much better will your life be when you wake up excited?
And go to bed completely relaxed knowing you got everything completed that needed doing.
So what’s the first step?
Escape the Busy Trap
The busy trap is one of the most common procrastination tools. We go through emails or are surfing online saying we’re researching, but we’re not getting our priorities accomplished.
To escape will require some courage and boundary setting on your part. But in exchange, you’ll reclaim your time, unravel the burnout, catch up on sleep, and reduce your overall stress.
To start, you need to know your priorities. Then you need to craft a plan to get things done.
That way when you sit in front of the computer, you’re not wondering what you should be doing.
Next, you need a way to track time. If you go to check social media for five minutes, make sure you set a timer. And when it goes off, look back at your priority list, and do the next task.
Take a look at your desk. Is it messy? Are there many things that could distract you like your cell phone or a candy dish?
Clean up and organize your desk to make it easier for you to focus on one item at a time.
Simple Tips and Strategies to Create Unbeatable Focus
One of the best benefits of the power of focus is that you will never have to worry again. You will know that something can get done on time.
When you eat natural food, your brain works smarter and is better able to focus. Processed foods can mess with your hormones causing mood swings and sugar cravings.
So reach for that apple and whole grains over a candy bar and processed foods.
Learn to set yourself up for better sleep. I won’t repeat everything from my prior post. I will say to be sure to watch caffeine and alcohol intake. Use natural cleaners on your cotton sheets.
And set up a ritual so you can have a comforting routine. Make sure you hide your cell phone and get away from the computer screen at least 45 minutes before your bedtime.
If you read on an electronic device, use their blue shade or nighttime mode.
Exercise In Some Way Daily
Even if you only go for a walk, make sure you do something to move your body. We humans weren’t meant to sit at a desk all day.
If you want good focus, make sure you take regular breaks to walk around and stretch out your body.
If you can take a yoga class or do some weight lifting, you’ll help your brain and your body stay in great shape for many years.
Craft A Vision
Highly successful people know exactly where they want to be in life.
Often we aren’t crystal clear on who we are and what we want to achieve. Start by writing down what you don’t want.
Then look at turning that around into what you do want. Spend some time journaling each day until you get a crystal clear picture of exactly what you want to achieve.
Then spend time journaling why you want to get there. Having a strong why will keep you connected to the what.
Set Your Priorities Each Day
Your priorities may change regularly depending upon what happened. Maybe your priority was to finish a report when your child got injured on the playground.
You will still want to get to your report since it is important, but you wouldn’t finish it and then go take care of your child.
When something new gets dropped on your plate, clarify the priority. Its possible your manager forgot to tell you it’s low priority or you have a few weeks to complete it.
And don’t forget to prioritize what’s important to you. You will want to schedule your workouts, and time for shopping and cooking healthy meals. You will want to schedule time to improve your mind.
Learn to Say No
I’ve talked about saying no in a prior blog. It’s essential that you learn to set boundaries. There are polite ways of declining if you aren’t comfortable saying “No, thank you” directly.
Do One Thing At A Time
Our society was ruined by computers. We thought that they could multi-task projects, and therefore we should be able to as well.
I’ll tell you a secret.
Even computers can’t multitask. The processor can only handle one task at a time. And so should we.
Pick one thing to work on until it’s done, and you will be astonished at how much more productive you are.
My Final Thoughts
The fastest way to focus is to connect with your sense of purpose. When you know WHY you want to get something done, it’s easier to stick with it.
Remember to divide up big goals into smaller goals. It will reduce your feeling of overwhelm. And make sure you set deadlines that are achievable yet will make you stretch a bit and grow.
Remember to reward yourself when you achieve these goals. I believe in rewarding even small changes in behavior. If you were able to focus on a task for 35 minutes, and you’d never gone more than 10 minutes in the past, reward yourself!
Learn to take breaks. Remember from the Pomodoro method? Your brain does need regular time away from the task to process and reset.
What one thing are you going to do today to improve your focus?