A lack of focus is one of the biggest barriers for many people wanting to accomplish a significant goal. With all of the distractions in life today its very easy to become side tracked. Combine all those little distractions with the reality of very busy lives and its not surprising that people become bogged down and don’t accomplish their goals. If you’re ready to change that trend in your own life, keep reading for some great tips on how to keep focused.
Remove distractions. Constantly checking your email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or responding to calls and texts will get you nowhere. There is a time for those things but not while you are creating a sacred space for your work. You'll get more done if you allow your mind to get in the groove with some peace and quiet.
Turn off your email, close your web browsers, shut your phone off or forward it to voicemail, and put on headphones if you’re in a noisy or distracting environment. Do this with the understanding that very little is so urgent that it cannot wait while you work for an hour. Disconnecting in this way can be difficult, but being in constant contact is simply a habit that you can change with commitment.
Decide to commit 100% to your goal.100% commitment makes accomplishing your goal much simpler. No question, no waffling, no uncertainty about accomplishing your goal. You are accomplishing that goal, NO MATTER WHAT.
Make sure your goal is really what you want. If you’re even a little unsure about the goal, it becomes harder to be fully committed, and you're more likely to allow distractions to overtake your mind. More often than not, you'll use distractions to create excuses and exceptions to justify your lack of focus.
When you are committed, it is easier to ignore distractions and keep your focus. This is something only you can decide.
Set a time limit. Decide how long you have to complete the portion of the goal you are working on. This is an important element of effective goal setting.
When you decide on a completion date, you'll be more likely to accomplish your goal.
Take breaks. This may sound contradictory, but actually makes a world of difference when you are working within a large block of time. If we work too long at one time, not only do we become physically tired, but our minds tire as well. This makes us more susceptible to distractions and shatters our concentration.
Work intently for an hour and then allow yourself a 10-minute break. When you return from the break, you'll be more focused, your mind will be clearer, and you'll be more likely to work for another hour without losing focus.
Think of your favourite song. Now imagine if that song had no breaks between the notes, no pauses, no variation in the length of the note. How fun, interesting, inspiring, and beautiful would that song be? Life is just like music. We need breaks and variation.
This strategy allows you to get more work done in a shorter time.
Use lists. Lists are wonderful tools that help you accomplish your work quicker and easier. Before beginning, write down everything you need to accomplish and then cross out each task as you complete it.
The process of crossing things off your list can be a great motivator to keep you working without distractions, plus it helps build the momentum to get everything done.
For some people, a “ta-da” list is more effective than crossing things off of a list. When you complete a task, move it to your “ta-da” list.
Check out www.workflowy.com for a great online list-making tool.
Reward yourself! When you complete one of the steps towards your goal, reward yourself. Rewards are not just for the bigger end result. Use rewards to maintain your motivation and focus. They don’t have to be big rewards. Something as simple as your favourite latte, a glass of wine, or a sweet treat can be a great reward for completing one of the steps towards your goal.
Rewards remind you to value yourself and your efforts, and nothing is more important than remembering your worth!
Remember, you're human, too. If you lose focus, let go of annoyance at yourself, take a deep breath, and recommit to your goal. As soon as you can after recommitting, get back to working on your goal. Practice these techniques until they become habit and enjoy your rewards!