We have all experienced successes and failures in life. Ask yourself, do you feel focused? Or do your find your mind wondering off when you are trying to get things done? Think about one of your successes. Can you determine why you were successful? Now look back on a failure, can you determine why you failed? Why you didn’t reach that goal? While there are many reasons for not meeting your goals or timelines, for many people, it can be due to a lack of focus. Here are a few things that you can do to help stay focused:
SCHEDULE your day – Outlining the actions that I need to take for the day and then actually scheduling time for each item on my calendar has made a huge impact on how much I get done in a day. If I don’t do it, distractions find their way into my day much easier. You can either use the first 30 minutes of your morning to outline your plan for the day or you can do it the night before. Whatever works best for you.
Work in BLOCKS – Another tool that really helps me stay focused is a productivity tool that I learned from Eben Pagan. He trains to work in 60-60-30 blocks. You work for an hour and take a five-minute break and then work for another hour. After the second hour, you take a 30-minute break. During this longer break you can take a quick nap, have a small meal, workout or meditate… whatever you decide but you need to totally unplug. Per Eben, this 60-60-30 plan can actually help you double your productivity if you plan your 60-minute blocks so that you are working on the tasks that will make the most impact on achieving your daily goals. I actually break my time out a little differently and work for 60 minutes, take a 5-minute break, work for another 55 minutes and then I take my 30-minute break. You can play with different blocks to see what works best for you but I would not recommend working for more than 60 minutes without a break.
WRITE it down – Write your goal with your reason (your WHY) on a few note cards as well as 1-2 positive affirmations on several note cards. Post those note cards throughout your house. Put a card on your bathroom mirror and read it while you brush your teeth. Put a card on your refrigerator so you can read it while you prepare your meals. Put a card in your car and read it before you start your car and before you get out at your destination. This helps you keep that goal at the forefront of your thoughts. Your subconscious will begin to create the actions to making that goal, your reality.
Limit DISTRACTIONS – There are so many distractions these days. Text messages, emails, apps, etc. With emails, I find it helpful to check my inbox twice a day for about 30 minutes each. I schedule my day’s activities by 8:30am and then I check my email. I check it again around 3:00pm. Texting is a little more difficult to avoid, especially when you have kids. They prefer asking questions or let you know where they are via texts. However, try to limit how often you check texts as well. Definitely do not check them during your work blocks.
These are just a few of the ways that will help you stay focused. One other thought that I feel is important to mention, especially at this time of year when everyone is thinking about New Year’s resolutions… Limit the amount of things that you focus on. Like I have mentioned before, if you have too many goals, you can’t possibly find time to fit everything that you have to do into the 60-minute blocks in a day or even a week. Prioritize your goals, determine what actions will get you the closest to your ultimate goal and focus on those first. Out of 10 goals, for example, prioritize and pick 2-3 goals to focus on first, finish those, then move on to the next. You will find that you get much more done. If you only finish 7 out of the 10 goals for the year, that is better than completing 10 goals half-way!
I would love to hear what you do to keep focused. Please share your ideas in the comments below.