When I started working online, I had no focus. I was all over the place, because I was trying to do too much at once. And then I was introduced to Mark Joyner, a man who strongly believes in focus in life, and that’s when my life took a turn for the better. He answers the question, ‘What is focus?’ in an easy to understand way, and he clearly shines a light on why it is so important to every area of your life. You can always go and check him out, but if you are debating how important focus is in your life, then you will want to keep reading.
What Is Focus?
Focus is being fixated on a certain point. It may be on a certain goal you have for your health, relationship, career, or happiness, or it may be something that is demanding your attention right now, such as a sick loved one or another personal crisis. When you live with focus, you fixate on something and can clearly see what it is and what needs to be done. Your brain is thinking about whatever your focus is on, and it stays there until something else demands its attention.
What Is Focus Good For?
In short – everything. Having the ability to focus is a characteristic that will benefit you in every area of your life, not just in your goals.
1. Focus Helps You See What You Need To Do
When you can keep your attention on something long enough, you can clearly see what you need to do. But, when your attention is being pulled from one thing to another, you don’t have the same ability.
For instance, if you run a business, then staying focused on things you are implementing, and the results they are getting, can help you tweak what you do in your business for more success. But, if you are running a business and trying to do something else on the side that requires a lot of your attention, then your focus is divided between two things, and you may miss opportunities to tweak your business and make it more successful.
2. Focus Helps You Achieve What You Want
If you have the ability to stay focused on a task, despite setbacks or delays, then you can achieve what you want to achieve. When you are focused on what you want, your attention stays there no matter what happens. You don’t get lost in thought or worries, instead, you keep finding ways to move through issues and get the results you are looking for.
3. Focus Helps You Achieve Things Faster
When I first started focusing on what I wanted, I was able to finish a week’s worth of stuff in one day! Again, this is thanks to Mark Joyner and his Simpleology software. It’s amazing how much faster you can get stuff done when you are focused on it. You don’t switch between tasks. You don’t stop to check something else out that should just take a few minutes, but ends up taking an hour to two. You just stay committed to what you need to do and that focus helps you get things done quickly.
4. Focus Keeps You In The Present Moment
Being focused helps you stay present. You don’t worry or regret. You are too busy focusing on what you need to do and want to get done, which means you are busy doing, not thinking. When you are doing, you automatically start living in the now. You don’t get lost in thought. The action you are taking is keeping you in the moment and centered on what you need to do.
How Can You Stay More Focused?
The truth is that everything is hard to do before it becomes easy, including being focused. If you are used to a million different things pulling your attention from one place to another, then you are going to have a hard time staying focused on any one thing. You need to have discipline in order to develop a new way of thinking and behaving, but once you have developed that discipline, life is going to get much easier for you.
There are different techniques you can use to develop that discipline. Following are just a few of them.
1. Plan Out Your Day
Experts say that every minute you spend planning out your day will save you as much as 10 minutes of action. In other words, planning helps you figure out where you need to put your focus and get busy on doing the stuff that matters most. So, you may want to get some sort of software or planner that will help you plan out your day.
I’ve talked about Mark Joyner and his Simpleology. All you have to do is sign up, learn how to use the software, and start using it the way it was intended. If you do, you will find that you have a much easier time staying focused. It will be the training tool that helps you get into the habit of being focused, and even after you start to become more focused on what you are doing, you will still use it – because it is a tool that helps you plan your day and your life.
There are other software’s that can help you stay focused too. Goals on Track is one of them. It helps you break down your day and clearly see what you need to do before the day is up.
And, if you prefer a planner, then get that. Just make sure you don’t spend too much time writing stuff down and going over it, because planners can draw in that kind of behavior. Instead, use it to write stuff down, figure out what you need to do next, and keep your life organized so that you can just focus on what you need to do.
2. Pick What Matters Most
Once you plan out your day, go through the list and figure out what matters most to you. When things really matter to you, you will be more likely to put and keep your focus on them. If things are not really interesting to you or feel like a bore, then you will find yourself reaching for other things to do in order to avoid the pain of doing them.
A lot of experts recommend doing the things you hate first. But, others recommend doing things you love and getting rid of the things you hate. I have found that the latter has been beneficial for my happiness and success in life, and it is a much better option for keeping myself focused on what I want to do. However, if you can’t get rid of those painful tasks, then use some of the following tips to get through them as quickly as possible.
3. Use Alerts And Notes
It seems counterproductive to use an alert that pulls your attention away from what you are doing, but it works if your attention is in the wrong place. If you can set an alert to go off on your phone or on your computer that reminds you about what you should be doing and why you should be doing it, then you will immediately get your focus back on the task that helps you achieve what you want.
People focus on what they think about. So by using alerts, you can help yourself think about things that really matter to you and keep your focus on them.
Notes work too. If you can put up sticky notes to remind you who you are, who you want to be, and what you want to do, then you will be much more likely to keep your thoughts on those things. Putting notes in appropriate places is important. For instance, on the fridge, you can put up a note that tells you to choose the best option for your meals. That will help you focus in on what the best option is in your fridge and stay focused on why you should choose it.
4. Remove Distractions
If you are working online, then get an app that helps you remove distractions so that you are not tempted to go and play around with them. For instance, StayFocusd is an app that you can add to Chrome to limit the amount of time that you spend on time-wasting sites. You can choose which websites you want to block, how much of them you want to block, and how long you want to block them for.
If you are offline, then do what you can to eliminate distractions. Put your phone away. Let people know that you busy and cannot talk or hang out when you need to stay focused. Make your focus a priority by setting up boundaries and rules in your life that keep you focused and on track with what you need to do.
4. Remind Yourself Why Focus Matters
As you go through your day and start to lose focus, remind yourself of the importance of focus. For instance, remind yourself how important it is to focus on your loved ones and have deep and meaningful conversations with them. Or remind yourself of the rewards you will get from finishing a task quickly. If you can create reasons that being focused will be more pleasurable than not being focused, you will be more likely to stay focused and reap the rewards.
5. Get Clear On Who You Want To Be
The most successful people know who they are and what they want. Unsuccessful people, on the other hand, don’t know who they are, why they are here, or what they want to achieve in their life.
If you get clear on who you want to be in life and what you want to achieve, you will make focus a priority. You will not want to waste your life being pulled from one thing to another. You want to keep control of your life and live it on your own terms, which is what being focused will help you do.
In short, if you want to experience more happiness, more success, and more satisfaction in life, then you need to focus. If you don’t, life is going to pass you by pretty quickly and your chances to do what you want will become smaller and smaller.
To help you stay clear on this, use visualization. When you can visualize where you want to be in a few years from now and how staying focused on your plan can help you get there, you will be much more likely to carry out that mental picture as you go through your day and stay motivated to be focused.
6. Build Your Self-Esteem
If you value yourself highly, then you will value your time and what you do with it. People who value themselves think about how they spend their time and don’t engage in things that waste it. They simply don’t want to spend time doing pointless things that don’t benefit their life.
I can say that, for me, this is very true. I want the best out of each day because I feel like I deserve the best. I want to experience time with my loved ones, time towards my success goals, time towards my health goals, and feel good about myself when I go to bed. When I had low self-esteem, I could have cared less. I was stuck in a place of victim-hood, so staying focused on what I wanted wasn’t a priority – just getting through the day was.
7. Increase Your Optimism
If you are constantly saying, “This won’t work out anyway!” then you are not going to be very motivated to stay focused on what you want. Pessimism is a huge enemy of focus, and when those pessimistic thoughts creep in you will be more likely to sit on the couch and watch TV than focus on the things you want to do in life.
Pessimism encourages giving up. Optimism encourages commitment. If you want to stay focused, you need to stay committed, so get more optimistic about life and what you are capable of achieving in it.
8. Improve Your Health
Lastly, make your health an important focus point of your life, above work and everything else. Your health affects everything in your life, including how focused you are able to be. If your health is suffering, then your energy will be lacking. You will have a hard time concentrating on things, you will have a hard time putting forward the attention you need to put forward, and you will never be able to stay focused enough to get things done. You need to take care of your physical and mental health so that everything else in your life can run smoothly.