Why do some people have laser focus and others don't? Some just have a better ability at turning off the noise by blocking out their environment and the internal chitter chatter, while others have to work really hard at focusing.
We are all on different levels when it comes to our ability focus. Can our individual brain chemistry be to blame? While this may have some impact, it is mostly about our individual tendencies to be distracted and how we handle it.
Why is it so difficult to zero in on what we want, and tune out the noise? Let’s face it, there are way too many things that draw on our attention. Our minds are constantly processing information, and jabbering on about whatever we are sensing or attuned to. Just take a moment to reflect on that. How long can you put all of your attention onto just one thing? Can you fully engage in a book or on a project without thinking about checking your emails or your mind wandering on other tasks? When you catch yourself drifting off topic, try to take notice on where are your thoughts going.
It is so incredibly easy to let our attention stray! All it takes is a simple stimulation…a feeling, thought, sound, or visual distraction...as simple as a fly buzzing around your head when you are trying to work. You can choose where your awareness goes, and how you respond to any distraction will affect your outcome. Your ability to bring your attention back to your main point of interest or primary objective is a powerful tool that can affect the outcome of your entire life. There is always going to be some kind of distraction that pops up out of nowhere. If you can develop and practice skills to work around those obstacles, can you imagine how much easier that will make your ability to stay on track with whatever you do?
10 Quick tips to developing focus skills:
1). Identify your goal or objective. Try to plan out the night before what you want to accomplish the next day so you can put aside the time needed to complete your list. Be specific and have a clear purpose.
2). Visualize yourself working on and completing the task within a time frame. Don’t allow yourself to make compromises…stick to what you started out to do until it is finished.
3). Schedule and use your time appropriately. Don’t dip into your work time for someone or something else unless it is an emergency. The more you practice this, the better you can avoid or handle interruptions.
4). Find a place to work that will be conducive to you staying focused. If you work better in a coffee shop with headphones in, then that is what you should do. If you are more productive in your home office, stay there but remove typical distractions that happen at home.
5). Eliminate barriers and be prepared to handle interruptions. Turn phone off or put on silent. If you work on a computer, close out all tabs not pertaining to what you are working on (you can install an anti-distraction tool like Stayfocusd or Cold Turkey Writer).
6). Become aware of what you are sensitive to being distracted by on day to day basis…i.e. social media, TV, phone, people. Learn how to set time aside for each activity so they don’t burn into your work time.
7). If you are not familiar with meditation, just practice bringing your attention to your breathing. Focusing on your breathing brings your attention back to yourself and off the subject of distraction.
8). Don’t invite distractions in. Learn how to tune them out before they have an opportunity to gain momentum. Identify the potential issue and let it go. If it doesn’t apply to helping you, then do not give it your energy!
9). Tell others what you are trying to do so they can help hold you accountable. Sometimes we need others to shake their finger at us, or remind us of what we are trying to accomplish so we don’t go astray.
10). Choose a task and set a timer. Get to work and don’t start until the timer quits. If you gained momentum and can put more time in, go farther. Even if not much gets done, it acts as a reminder for you to stick to your commitment.
Always keep this in mind….The ability to focus is a major contributor in what separates the people who get things done and follow through, from the ones who have difficulty finishing what they start. Focus equates to your success!