Monday, November 21, 2011

How To Improve Your Focus

Tonight I wanted to spend some talking about how to improve your focus. It's been my experience that when I focus on one thing, I tend to a better job at it. In this world of multi-tasking, it's extremely hard to focus on the task at hand. Because of that, we have a tough time achieving what's really important and that is results.

While there are many different paths to a successful result, it doesn't really matter if you never embark on a path to begin with. Improving your focus is an important component of results. That being said, I think it is important to also realize that there are two places you need to improve your focus.

The first is on a specific direction you want to take. If you can't hone in on exactly where you want your life to head, then you can also expect your results to reflect that.

I know when I used to work for a company that allowed me to sell all of these different products with all of these different companies. I could literally do so many things for people that in the end, I never did any of them well. Once I changed my focus to just one product with one company, my results improved dramatically.

The other area that I think focus is important is on the activities you do on a daily basis that help you achieve your overall directional focus. Notice here that I didn't feel you needed to focus on results. What I suggest you do is break down the activities that are required to help you reach those results.

Once you have defined those, then the challenge becomes focusing all of your attention to those specific activities before anything else. And, it's here that the problems often start. Surrounding those all important activities are all of these other tasks that we would also like to complete.

It's this environment of choice that creates internal conflict that breeds inaction and a loss of focus.

To illustrate what I mean, let's look at smart phones. When I was growing up, we didn't have a smart phone. We had a phone in the house connected to the wall and only one phone company to deal with. There weren't many choices. You knew you needed a phone, and then spent a few minutes at the store and decided.

Because there were few choices it was easy to move on and meet the overall objective - get a phone.

Compare that with today. First of all there are several players in the market. We have to pick a carrier. All of the plans are slightly different in how they remove basically the same amount of money from our pocket each month.

Then, we need a phone. Do we get the smart phone or a regular phone? Does the phone have enough memory? Is it fast enough? Will it play well with our GTD system.

Because we now have so many choices, we may lose site of the overall goal. If anything, it lengthens the time it takes to make what should be a pretty easy decision. The reason - choice.

Choice is the enemy of focus.

Reduce your choices and you'll improve your focus. I know there are times that I will take something that I have a difficult time getting done and hiding everything else unrelated so I can tackle it.

Start by removing distractions. Take the task at hand to a place where that is the only thing you have with you if you need to. Do whatever you have to eliminate the enemy - the enemy of choice.

And you'll notice it will be easier to improve your focus.

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Michael Kuhn

Black Belt Project: Build Mental Strength