Focus is so hard yet so easy. Understanding how to focus really helps in getting much more done, so it is well worth understanding the principals. Follow these 5 steps showing how to focus in any situation and you will soon see your successes build.
- Picture Yourself Having Achieved Your Big Goal. Feel It And Smile
- Decide On And Take One Small Step
- Be Ruthless With Distractions
- Keep Your Energy Up
- Practice Micro Celebrations
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
How to Focus (on Anything, Anytime)
Step 1) Picture Yourself Having Achieved Your Big Goal, Feel It And Smile
There are several ways to do this. You only nee
d a few seconds – say 10 breaths. The important thing is to hook an emotion to it like pride, love, enjoyment, fulfillment, personal satisfaction, even relief, etc. Smile to re-enforce it.
- Visualize what it feels like once you have achieved your next big goal.
- Another good way is to put a picture on the wall to keep your goal in mind.
- I like repeating a First Person Future Completed affirmation like: “I feel so good now that I make $1000 per day, everyday”.
Step 2) Decide On And Take One Small Step
Big successes come in small steps (see my video if you like). So just do the next small thing that brings you closer to your goal.
Important: If this is not working for you then take smaller steps. This is the most important thing to keep in mind with Focus and small steps. Think of it like a child’s attention span which develops with age. Be realistic with yourself and plan for small successes rather than big losses knowing that your wins and progress will increase as you get better at focusing for longer periods boosted by experience and momentum.
Small steps can be as small as reading one page if focusing to study, making one sale at work or focusing on completing one blog post.
Step 3) Be Ruthless With Distractions
Distractions come in many shapes and sizes. Here are my tips:
- Distractions – Ignore them
- Interruptions – Terminate them politely but instantly
- Commitments – Lie if needed to get out of doing them
- Annoying (Ie non-energy building) Social functions – Excuse yourself and leave early
- Known potential distractions (Phone, Food, Facebook, TV, etc) – Switch them off or put them out of sight and earshot
Know that you only have one life, and you can not do everything. Accept it and do the one thing that is most important without worrying about all the rest.
Step 4) Keep Your Energy Up
Focus is really all in the mind, and the way the body works means that the brain uses up to 40% of your total energy. Therefore it takes a massive amount of energy to really focus on a task even if it is not physical. Yes – thinking will make you tired, sleepy and hungry. Know this and be ready. Top tips to improve focus:
- Drink plenty of water (the brain needs water)
- Eat healthy foods
- Get enough sleep
Ask yourself what gives me energy? – Whatever works for you, do it regularly (eg relaxing, meditating, going out, etc). These can be as a reward or simply planned into your week. Make sure you get enough.
Hype yourself up like it is an emergency – also one of the the Instant Focus exercises.
Set yourself a challenge.
Step 5) Practice Micro Celebrations
Micro celebrations are just small pauses to recognize you are making progress. You can take one deep breath, stretch and feel the pleasure at having achieved any of the following:
- Completing one small step.
- Ignoring a distraction
- Knowing that you have done something to keep your energy up
- Celebrate that you remembered to celebrate!!!
Now you know how to focus. It’s all in the technique, so go for it and remember that small, focused steps will get you there.