We all have a natural tendency to start losing our focus as the day drags on, especially when we're working on something other than what we really want to be doing. It becomes harder and harder to pay attention to what you're doing… your mind starts to wander and pretty soon you're working at a fraction of your peak efficiency. Sometimes you may even become annoyed at yourself for it, but that doesn't really help, it just makes it even harder to focus.
There is, however, a fairly simple way to keep your focus all day long, and it doesn't even take much time. And, as a bonus, not only will it help you to keep your focus, but it will also help you to train your subconscious in what is important to you, and thus which choices and opportunities to bring to your attention.
And now onto the meat of article, how to keep your focus all day long:
The first thing you'll need to do for this to be the most effective is a list of specific things in your life that you want to improve. The easiest way to get such a list is to sit down with pen and paper (or electronic equivalent) and write down whatever comes to mind as something you would like to improve. Anything that is really general, like "I want to be more successful", refine down to one or more specifics, such as "I want my income to increase".
Now take that list and narrow it down to something like 4-6 items that are the most important to you. Take those items you have left and put them into a positive and current sentence. As an example, if you chose from above the specific of "I want my income to increase", you could take that and turn it into "My cash flow is increasing." That's positive, as opposed to something like "I'm not going to smoke", and current, rather than future like "I will make more money".
So… that's the one time preparation, although you can, of course, revisit the list at any time if you find that one of the things on it is no longer of as much importance (or if you simply find something of more importance). There is also daily preparation, done each night just before bed. Each night, just before bed, make a short list of things you need to do the next day. This shouldn't be more than few of the most important things, not a comprehensive list of everything you have on your plate.
Now, onto the next phase…
First thing in the morning, soon after you wake up, take five minutes of quiet time for yourself. Start this quiet time with deep breathing, concentrating on feeling your breath slide in and out. After you feel your body relax and your mind achieve quiet (which should only be a couple minutes if you do this regularly) repeat to yourself the phrases from your list… "My cash flow is increasing.", etc. Focus on each one for just a moment, then move to the next. After you have finished that list, quickly review your to do list from the night before and decide the order in which you are going to do those things. Now you're ready to go start your day knowing what you need to do and where you want to go… and your focus should be sharp.
You should repeat this process every two or three hours throughout the day. It should only take a few minutes each time, and the time it takes is likely to go down as you get used to doing it. It gives your mind a chance to clear out all the debris that working builds up, refocuses you on what you want to improve in your life, and offers a chance to review what is left on your to do list, letting you see your progress and keeping you from straying off too far with distractions.
Each of those three things is important, but the thing that helps the most is clearing out the mental debris. This builds up constantly during the day and most people only clear it out at night when they go to sleep. If you keep it cleared throughout the day, however, it's not there impeding your ability to focus, and also lets you get to the good sleep faster, since there is little built-up debris to clear first.
And that brings us to the final phase…
First thing in the morning is the most important part of the execution phase, because it sets the tone for the day. There's another very important part of the whole process, though, and that comes at the end of the day, just before bed. This is the time when, after doing your deep breathing and review of the areas where you want to improve, you review your to do list to see which things on the list were accomplished. This can be a good way to feel like you got something productive done that day.
After you review your list for the day, take the time to make a new one for the next day. You can include anything that wasn't completed from the day just past, as well as anything new. Take a moment to picture yourself the next night with your new list accomplished, and then put it away until the next morning.
It's also a good idea to mentally set a time that you intend to wake up in the morning, and use another phrase, something along the lines of "My sleep is restorative and refreshing. I awaken each morning focused and alert." This combination, setting a specific time and essentially telling yourself that you are going to sleep well, can help you to actually sleep well and awaken in the morning feeling refreshed and mentally clear.
This process generally takes no more than 30-40 minutes of your day, in 5 minute chunks, and will more than compensate for that time by keeping you focused and operating near to your peak efficiency. It also helps you to keep an eye on what areas of your life you want to improve, teaching your subconscious to bring situations and opportunities involving those areas to your conscious attention. If that isn't enough to talk you into trying it out, remember that it also helps you to focus on getting the most important things done each day, with reminders throughout the day of what you wanted to accomplish.
All of that works out to help you easily keep your focus all day long. It also helps you to reduce your stress, frustration, and feelings of not getting anywhere, bringing more peace into your life. It can even help improve your relationships, as that can easily be on both your "areas to improve" list AND your "to do" list.
If you have any suggestions for ways to improve this process, or other things that you can add to it, please leave them in the comments.
You might also like