Reclaim Your Focus

Aug 10, 2023

What could you accomplish if you stayed focused? And do you ever wonder how you can achieve that?

If you keep reading, you'll three tips to help you reclaim your focus.

Focus is Vital for Success

This is important because we live in a world of endless distractions. If you work in an office, maybe a colleague stopped in to chat this morning just as you were getting started on an important item. Or maybe you had the intention to watch a 10-minute YouTube video to learn about a specific topic and two hours later you're still on YouTube. Or maybe you sit down for family dinner and everyone brings their smartphone, contributing to continual interruptions during your conversation.

The truth is that focus is an important principle for success. Focus is your ability to concentrate and bring your attention to something. And it's a function of your will. Your will is one of your higher faculties and it's built into you. Now it's a matter of strengthening and reclaiming your focus.

Three Tips to Support You in Relaiming Your Focus

Tip #1 - Prioritize

You must determine what's most important to you everyday. And your daily priorities are a function of  your goals, because without goals you're at risk of being easily distracted. As author Robert Heinlein warns:

"In the absense of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we are consumed by it."

Do you have goals? And are they written down? When you have clear goals, they become your north star. Then you can set priorities, including daily priorities based on your goals. (See ABCs of Goal Setting blog dated January 3, 2022 to help you with setting effective goals.)

Tip #2 -  Eliminate Distractions

You must first identify your biggest sources of distraction and then consciously develop boundaries to protect your focus.

Maybe you work from home and you're constantly interrupted? Then you must block times when you can focus on your work, and establish and communicate your boundaries.

Maybe you leave your smartphone on when you're trying to concentrate and you're interrupted by notifications? Then you must block time when you are 100% focused on the matter at hand and turn off your device.

Maybe you unconsciously check your emails and social media throughout your day? Then you might block specific daily times in your calendar when you check your emails and social media.

Tip #3 - Take Breaks

Although it can seem counterintuitive, taking breaks from concentrated attention is vital and can help your focus. And when you take breaks, be sure to nurture yourself, even in a small way. For example, it's important for me to take a daily break at lunch time or in the afternoon that gets me outside in nature, even if only for 15 minutes. That self-care is nourishing and helps me to stay calm and focused. As British writer James Allen explained,

"Calmness of mind is one of the beautifiul jewels of wisdom."

The more calm you are the better your capacity to focus.

Your Quality of TIme is a Function of Focus

Arianna Huffington, co-founder of Huffington Post and CEO and founder of Thrive Global explains,

"We think mistakenly that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in."

When you implement the three tips you've learned here and reclaim your focus, you'll understand that the quality of your time increases dramatically. And it's a function of your focus.

Implement these three tips for a month or long enough to begin to build the new habit of reclaiming your focus. You'll be pleasantly surprised how much your productivity improves!

Stephanie Hessler is a High Performance Coach. She helps high-achieving corporate leaders and business owners who want to rapidly advance their careers and create a vision others want to follow, but have hit a roadblock. Therefore, Stephanie guides her clients through a transformational coaching journey called the BLISS Accelerator to turn their goals and dreams into reality. Previously, she worked in the investment business, including on Wall Street, for sixteen years. She earned her MBA at The Wharton School and her BA at Wellesley College. 

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