KEEPING THE FOCUS

Maintaining focus is difficult. You will not have one hundred percent success every day of your life. What you are aiming for is a better focus than you have had before. The practical tips in this section are designed to help you even more.

Minimise Life

Yes, decluttering has been a topic you have seen before. Here are some more practical tips to help you.

  1. Reduce your stressors in the workplace and at home.
  2. Plan more to keep all priorities in mind, and become less forgetful.
  3. Stop accepting all tasks, at work and at home. You do not need to take every extra shift, every new job that is available, or allow your children to take every after-school elective.
  4. Adopt the mind-set of “do what you can,” and let all other goals wait for tomorrow.
  5. Help others, but leave time for yourself. Only commit to what you can reasonably fit in.
  6. Take one day where you have an hour or more for yourself. This is the time you do something you love as a reward for all other days.
  7. Cut the distractions. If streaming TV is an issue, stop paying for TV, and block yourself from the internet.
  8. Use music to relax and help you focus.
  9. Accept that burnout can happen and the consequences of it. Use this mind-set to avoid getting into a situation where you let yourself burn out.
  10. Schedule spa days, massages, or other things you love., Accept the cost of them, and enjoy a little of life as a reward.

Only you can declutter your life, not only physically, but mentally. These ten steps will help you set up a way to focus on one thing, without feeling like you owe everyone something.

Let’s consider Individual A. The clock is a bad thing, and it distracts. But when the person reaches specific goals, it is allowable to check the time. For example, if typing 2,000 words in an hour is a goal, the person can look at the word count, and assess if a time check is necessary. Finding that over 2500 words are typed in an hour, helps relax the person and realise that hiding the clock was the right move. Reinforcement is essential.

Work and Focus

Work is different from your personal life. In your own life, it is acceptable to dwell on certain feelings, think about others, and find a way to complete individual tasks like cleaning the house. At work, you should not bring personal situations with you.

Here are some tips to help:

  1. Eliminate clutter. Even if you need to bring in some desk organisers, file cabinets, or other organising products, do so, to help remove the clutter.
  2. Schedule nothing for the last fifteen minutes of the day. The final few minutes are cleaned up for preparation for the next day. During these minutes, you file things, organise piles, and remove the clutter of the day. You can then walk into a clean area.
  3. If you receive a phone call, plan to stay until the clutter is gone or handled. The ultimate goal is to make the start of the next day smooth and without anxiety or things that will take away your focus.
  4. Remove personal items from your workspace. What happens if you work at a desk, look over, and see a picture of your children? Do you take a few moments to think about them? You do. You may also start to worry about personal things again. Individual pictures and belongings may sound like a positive reward for the office, but they can take away your focus. It seems horrible to remove them, but overall, it is better.

Let’s say you have someone come into your office. You have pictures everywhere of family. You spend the next ten minutes discussing your personal lives, the meeting starts late, and now your next meeting is late. To be efficient and focused, you may need to eliminate the private experience. Yes, pleasantries are nice, but you can also be professional without bringing non-work topics up. Pleasantries such as “how are you?” are fine. You can then say, “I have another meeting right after this. Forgive me, for wanting to get right into the task at hand.” At the end of the meeting, if you have time left – —talk about family and life. But, wait until the end.

Quick Focusing Tips

Quick guide to refer to when focus seems to be disappearing.

  1. Check up on yourself. How are you? What is happening that is causing you to lose focus or feel anxiety?
  2. Pinpoint the cause, and address it.
  3. Be prepared for anything, such as a new primary task to override minor ones. Set time aside for the last-minute issue.
  4. Go offline, in personal and professional situations. There are ways to shut down social media, email, and phone calls. Even if you go offline for ten minutes – —do so to accomplish what you need to do.
  5. Take a break. You do need a break. You may not feel like you do, but there are times when you need to stop, re-energize, and focus.
  6. Tune everything out. Music is one way for you to focus at work or home. With other noises around you, music can help you focus on the melody. You concentrate on the feelings it gives you, and you begin to relax. You do have to choose relaxing music.
  7. Break things down. A massive project may seem too overwhelming, so break it into sections. Writers, for example, take a large book and put it into parts. Each chapter is a new task. It has a structure that is followed. As long as the structure is maintained and the outline available, the writer can concentrate and not worry about being blocked.
  8. If necessary, clean up before you begin new tasks. Clutter can happen while working on one project, so the remnants need to disappear for your focus to return.
  9. Set a deadline. If the project does not have one, set one. It can be any duration you want it to be, but make it a realistic timeline.
  10. Be an early bird. When you go to work, arrive five minutes before you should. If more people come early, then be there fifteen minutes early. It can be nice to enter a space without anyone else being there. It gives you time to focus on the day. For most people, if the workday begins at 8 a.m., then coming in at 7:50, putting items away, arranging the desk, and going over the tasks for the day helps retain focus throughout. The person that arrives late or on time often finds they need five minutes to get settled, and this distracts from their attention the entire day.

You have the power to come up with things that will work best for you and your personality type. These ten suggestions are quick guides to get you going on a better path of focusing on one thing at a time and meeting your goals.

The Gratitude List

The Quantum Evolve

 NLP Consultancy, specialising in Smoking and Substance Abuse and  advocates of general Mental Health & Wellbeing.