One of the biggest struggles I’ve found personally as I get older is maintaining my focus.
Between running a successful business, trying to get everything in my personal life done that I need to and oh yeah, making sure I eat right and get my exercise in I often find that I’m jumping from one thing to another and not getting anything done. I call it jumping from fire to fire and never really putting any of them out.
Sound familiar? I’m sure for many of you reading this it does. So how do you boost your focus and determination? We’ve all got tons of things waiting to distract us as we strive to reach our ultimate goals. I lump them all under one umbrella.. LIFE But the important thing in life is that you can't tell a success story without including a determination chapter and this one is often the longest. Success demands us to have many traits and the most important ones are willpower and determination. Most of us believe that determination is an innate trait. That's an absolute fallacy. It would be unfair to think people are born with determination and only those can be successful. The fact is nobody is born with infinite success. If you ask any successful person what they did it to ‘make it’ in life, they will tell you that determination is a sacrifice they had to make. Instead of living under the false belief that they were born with determination, they came up with ways to harness and utilize what they had more effectively. So how do you go about doing that? Well I thought I’d share what are the 3 things that work best for me over the years and that I fall back on when I find myself struggling a bit with my focus. My three ways of achieving focus are: ● Always plan your day the night before; ● Start with the most challenging things; ● Get rid of time wasters and distractors. Let's cover them in more detail shall we? Always Plan Your Day The Night Before For me this is the most effective thing. Each day before I leave my desk or sometimes even before I go to bed, I plan my next day’s activities.
More specifically, I come up with 3 things I want to accomplish the next day and they
become my priority. Most of the time I write them down as my "to do list" so when I get to my desk the next morning they're staring me right in the face.
Others I know go even further. For some they’ll plan what they’re going to wear, the meal they’ll have for lunch, dinner, and anything else they can think of. Maybe they pack a healthy lunch for the next day before they go to sleep, instead of deciding about it minutes before they set off for work. There is no right or wrong on how much you plan or what you focus on with your planning. As I say: You do you! Here’s some other examples some of the people I’ve worked with over the years have found have helped them. Some have gone so far as to plan a budget to avoid spending money on unnecessary items. The key is once you decide on a budget, stick to it. Others have decide the night before that they won’t surf the internet or check their emails until you've attended to the more critical tasks that need to take priority. Many create a schedule and stick to it. The key to all of it is that when the day ends, you shut your eyes for a minute and congratulate yourself on the excellent way in which you've taken charge of your day. Adopting the habit of planning your day helps you decide what should take priority and what can be postponed. This will help you avoid getting side tracked and wasting precious time and energy on small things. Start With The Most Difficult Things Let’s face it…most of us procrastinate and push off doing the hard thing because well… their hard and often not fun to do. Complicated things are not easy to handle when someone is tired. So you might even find yourself fretting or putting them off. Me.. I like to start with the most challenging task in the morning while my mind is still fresh and I have more energy. It also feels good when I cross that one off my to do list early in the day and then don’t have to stress about it anymore. Our minds are fresh and sharpest in the morning hours. This is the best time to tackle demanding tasks. After completing them, we can rest and then attend to the more routine tasks that don’t require as much energy whether mental or physical. Get Rid Of Time Wasters And Distractors Real emergencies (and yes Life) can happen, and we must find time for them. However, most of the things that come up only cause distractions and don't require an immediate response. Attending non-urgent requests will only make your day more difficult, as it will pave the way for more distracting issues. By ignoring them, you’ll be proving to yourself that you are strong-willed, focused and too busy to be bothered by trivial, time-wasting things. Bottom Line Distractors emerge as we age, making us lose focus on reaching our ultimate goals. The key is to minimize them and the effects they have as you can’t fully eliminate them most of the time. It’s when we let them affect us too much that we start having issues. Some things are critical to maintaining our focus and determination.
Planning, avoiding distractions and starting your day with the more challenging tasks will help eliminate stress, make you more productive, enhance your focus, and ultimately help you to age gracefully.