“The sun’s energy warms the world. But when you focus it through a magnifying glass it can start a fire. Focus is so powerful!” ~ Alan Pariser
What is focus?
Well, let me start by explaining what the lack of focus is.
Many times when I’ve opened a new document and have started writing – with the whole idea in my mind and everything I need to keep writing for a long time, or when I’m in the middle of a great book on an issue that’s important to me (self-improvement, lifestyle design, writing, simplicity), I start doing something else.
Usually it’s a completely pointless action like browsing the Web, checking social media, or even playing Solitaire. Now that I’m saying it, it sounds even more ridiculous. It’s pure procrastination caused by the lack of focus on my main activity.
During the whole thing I realize that what I was doing in the first place is really important, and is actually interesting. No one makes me do it and I’m the only one that knows the exact benefits it may have on me – me learning new things, collecting ideas for writing, getting inspired, or motivated to take an immediate action, or writing a post, or an eBook that will become a success some day, taking big decisions to make changes in my life or way of thinking, etc.
These are really important things to me. And they will happen as long as I keep doing what I know I should do – constantly reading, writing and working on my blog.
But the one problem that slows the process and sometimes takes me a step back is my inability to be fully engaged in my activities and concentrate for a long time on the essentials.
It’s a combination of procrastination and laziness as people tend to have a short attention span and are easily distracted only because staying focused requires brain engagement and thinking.
I’m sure many of you will recognize this behavior. You may have experienced losing focus on different occasions but the final result is always the same – poor performance.
Trying to do many things at once is another example as you end up not finishing them at all or having bad results because you can’t concentrate on two or more activities.
To change that we need to find focus in daily life. To start being in the present moment no matter what we’re doing right now. To let go of distractions and concentrate on the essential.
Only then will we be able to finish projects on time, to create (everyone creates in some way), to write/read/etc. with a purpose, to do daily tasks, to be more productive and get things done, to actually achieve results and be proud of ourselves.
So how do we find focus then?
Here are a few ways:
7 Ways to Find Focus in Daily Life and Achieve More
1. Eliminate distractions.
We’re surrounded by distractions at each moment.
You may want to do some paper work at home but that doesn’t mean friends won’t decide to call you for a chat or suggest to go out, also family members may enter the room all the time, there may be noises (the neighbor may be listening to music, moving furniture or else), you get notifications all the time and your phone makes sounds.
If you’re wondering what to do about it, start eliminating such distractions.
2. Avoid temptations.
It’s also a kind of distraction but it’s usually your choice to be distracted by it. It happens every time you open a browser, check social media or email, turn on the TV or radio, etc.
The solution is to unplug, turn off, ignore and eliminate.
3. Do one thing at a time.
Multitasking is an enemy of focus. Trying to do 2 or more things at once just doesn’t work.
If you want to find focus, do one thing at a time.
4. Slow down.
Being in a rush creates unwanted stress. It makes you think that you won’t be ready on time, you may do something wrong, etc.
So try to do things slowly. Breathe deeply and calm down before you start.
5. Do less.
Here is a quote from Tim Ferriss:
“Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.”
We do so many things most of which are completely pointless. We think we’re busy but in the end of the day what have we actually done?
Simplify! Do less! These are the ultimate habits that will save us from the complexity and tension of daily life and will free us.
6. Experience the moment.
Many people choose to spend their present thinking about the past or worrying about the future. That brings stress, regrets and anxiety and ruins their present moment. Not to mention the complete lack of focus on what they’re doing right now.
Now and here is where we belong. We possess only this moment and our job is to make the best of it. I think the easiest way to learn to do that is to stop every now and then and look around. Try to see the bigger picture and realize how important the thing you’re doing is.
7. Learn to let go.
To fully engage in your activity and finish your projects, you’ll need to let go of certain things that are distracting you, making you anxious and preventing you from getting things done.
These are things like your fears, regrets for the past, uncertainties and doubts, caring about what other people think, your need for control and security, and so on.
It’s not an easy thing to do, but it’s quite simple and an inevitable step on your way to focus.
There may be many other ways to do that or things and people that will help you concentrate. Different things may work best for you. Experiment by giving these 7 a try first.
Everyone deserves to feel the magic of doing something while being 100% there. And after that to see the sweet fruits of his efforts.
Image by Justin Jensen