9 Practical Ways to To Help Stay Focused

Stay Focused

Your attention is everything these days. As the media and the people in your environment will always find new ways to distract you from what’s important, it’s even more important today to maintain your focus.

By doing so, you remain to be “the eye of the storm,” calm and focused. Being focused is more of an art than it is a science.

Here are 9 practical ways to stay focused:

  1. Choose one or two objectives for the year.
    I think goal setting is important, but setting too many goals can be a trap.

I spoke to a woman earlier this week that is a friend of mine. I sensed that she seemed a little confused. As we got to talking, she told me about the different businesses she works in. I asked her, “how many business do you have?” and she replied, “I have three.”

If you ask me, that’s two, too many and here’s why. Having too many businesses (or objectives for that matter) scatters your focus, energy and your actions.

Instead, choose one or two objectives for the year. In this case it might mean focusing on one business first. Get it up and running until it runs almost automatic. Then you’re ready for your next big project.

  • Create a daily ritual.
    I’m a Life Direction Coach, but I’m also a blogger and I have a newsletter. Since writing is part of the career I choose, I write every morning regardless if I’m going to publish an article or not. It’s become a very powerful morning ritual that keeps me focused. 

This daily ritual is the same habit that helped me write my ebook when I was working full time as an engineer. I wrote every morning for 30-60 minutes and finished a 16 page ebook in 8 weeks.

  • Do the most important first.
    Ask yourself, “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?” This works with the 80/20 rule. 20% of your actions create 80% of your results. If that’s the case, then are you focused on the 20% that will get you the most powerful results? 

If not, then why not? Are you inventing things to avoid the important? In most cases, you’re avoiding the important actions because there is a fear of rejection built into those actions.

Realize this: You’ve mastered your life when you know it isn’t important what others think of you – it’s more important what you think of you. Take your most important actions today and yield the greatest results.

  • Give yourself daily quiet time.
    I like the way John Assaraf puts it. He says, “You want to slow down inside so that everything speeds up on the outside.” 

Take a manual transmission car for example. When you shift from first to second gear, the engine slows down but the car speeds up. As you shift from second to third, the engine slows down again, but the car speeds up even more.

You want to do the same thing: slow down on the inside so that you speed up on the outside.

Make it a daily ritual to mediate, breath or visualize every day to become calm of mind.

  • Trim the fat & eliminate the noise.
    Environment plays a big role and affects your inner world; it can affect your mind. It affects your inner game. 

Don’t let it. Get rid of any noise or nuisances that distract you. If you want to do the heavy lifting you have to trim the fat. And that means eliminating the distractions in your life that prevent you from staying focused; things such as: watching the news, listening to media via the radio, surfing the web or checking email excessively.

I spend a maximum of an hour each day surfing the web and most of the time it’s for research or marketing. I also check my email twice per day. Once at mid-day and once at night. Trim the fat and eliminate the background noise in your life.

  • Take care of yourself.
    You have to remember that if you’re going to stay focused you must be able to perform. And you can’t perform unless you take care of yourself first. 

Make sure to include a daily or at least weekly ritual to experience the things you really enjoy. In my case that means playing hockey twice per week, getting to the gym and reading inspirational books. Give yourself the time to do the things you really love to do. Take care of yourself and you’ll be able to take care of others.

You’ll can only give what you got.

  • Visualize daily.
    You could make this part of your daily ritual. Spend a minimum of 5 minutes daily visualizing your ideal life in all areas. 

Vision is the magnet that pulls you along your destination. It’s gives you the juice to move towards a bright future instead of pushing against it. It’s like rolling downhill instead of pushing uphill. Having a vision moves you with the current instead of against it. Stay absolutely focused with a daily visualization.

  • Complete everything you start.
    Make completions a habit. Finish everything you start. These are the promises you make to yourself. If you made a promise to a friend and then didn’t do it, do you think they’ll trust you? It’s unlikely, but what’s worse is that you begin to doubt and loose trust in your own self. 

And a lack of trust leads to low self confidence and a poor self-image. If you have a low opinion of your self, how productive do you think you’ll be?

  • Develop your will power.
    When you start your daily ritual it’s going to take will power to stick the routine. It’s never easy in the beginning, but with persistence you will develop the daily habits to stay very focused. 

Will power is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more you use it. To get started, burn this quote into your mind:

“Do something every day for no other reason than you’d rather not do it or don’t feel like doing it.”~ William James

Start by choosing the daily ritual that will have the greatest impact on your life. Then commit to it for 30 days. It may be as simple as visualizing for five minutes every day. Once you become stronger in one area, you can develop your confidence and your will power in other areas.

Being “the eye of the storm” is no easy task, but it can be very simple. Choose one tip and commit every part of your being to make it happen. It will make all the difference as you steer your ship through those turbulent waters – and ultimately help you stay focused.

Written on 5/20/2009 by Steve Martile. Steve is a Life Direction Coach and the creator of Freedom Education – Mind Power for Your Personal Growth. He is also the author of the ebook that you can download here: The Genius Within YOU. Photo Credit: Marvin Kuo
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