Finding Your Focus & Concentrating on What's More Important
Have you noticed any trouble focusing lately? With the number available distractions increasing daily, it can be hard to keep track of your goals . In this video, we discuss the benefits of maintaining focus, as well as ways to prioritize focus.
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I’m happy to start the year with you on a topic that is dear to me and revolves around the notion of: “How can we get our focus going so we can achieve the most in our year?”
Why is focus so important?
Focus helps you coming to life with more daring solutions. When you have ten possible items, you are not going to start from the most difficult. You are going to start with the quick and dirty ones, those low-hanging fruit that will most probably not bring the biggest change in life. By focusing, you give yourself the chance to even envisage the more audacious solutions, the ones that are more transformational, that are more stimulating and therefore will probably bring you the biggest return on your efforts.
What can happen if I improve my focus?
Focus is sitting in the left hemisphere of any of our brains. In the left hemisphere of our brain also sits positivity. So when you focus, you stimulate positivity. Once you stimulate positivity, it creates a virtuous circle and a spillover effect on many other aspects of our lives. And you start delivering, you start achieving, you start having results. Which will give you encouragement, which will give you energy, which will give you confidence to move towards more daring solutions or decisions. Which is why I really insist that my clients choose one aspect, because the moment this aspect starts to move, other parts of your life will be affected in a positive sense and you will manage to also move those along on a midterm perspective. It’s really important that you help your brain achieve what the brain is supposed to do.
So remember: Focus sits in the left hemisphere of the brain. As does positivity.
How do I know if I need help focusing?
One question is “How do I know that I’m not focusing right now?” How does that manifest itself?
The answer is to listen to your body. If you feel a certain amount of trepidation, if you feel you’re in chaos, if you feel you’re overwhelmed, if you feel that you can’t put your grip on anything, that you have too many juggling parts, that it’s hard for you to know where you stand on various items. In all likelihood you are being unfocused. I think when we’re focused, we all have a sense of deeper alignment and a kind of laser concentration. One that is not tiring. In fact, it’s interesting. It is evolving and engaging to focus. When you start feeling that you are all over the place, then you’re probably not that focused.
You’re not the only one who is struggling
You might have noticed that it’s been harder to focus lately. There are a lot of articles around our capacity to have a certain degree of attention to things. It is getting harder to focus. We’ve never had as much stimuli from an outside standpoint than nowadays. It is very hard to say “Okay, I’m going to dedicate this chunk of time to focusing on something.” It is hard to focus and the first thing to do is to start acknowledging that.
When we manage to focus on something that means we make choices. That means we eliminate options and remove distractions. You can really put your resources into fewer items. Imagine that your brain only has so much energy that you can dedicate to new things to think of or solutions to find. By focusing, you really help your brain to tap into that bucket of energy and dedicate a maximum amount of energy to a minimum amount of items, therefore maximizing your chances to deliver on those chosen items. It is very simple. It is like spreading thin resources versus concentrating the amount of your resources onto fewer items.
What can I do to enhance my focus
One of the tools that I recommend to my clients, that is very straightforward and simple to help locate where you are, is called The Wheel of Life.
The Wheel of Life is a simple tool that on a number of criteria, ranking from family, friends, love, romance, entertainment, career and money, finances, allows you to position yourself on a scale from 0 to 10. You are going to decide “Okay, one or two areas that are really meaningful that I want to improve because that’s going to really make me happy.” Maybe you have another three or four topics that you want to deal with, but I would really urge you to choose one or two, which you’re going to focus on almost relentlessly for a period of time until you’ve moved the dial, until you really managed to shift something.
I usually help my clients have this conversation of choice. Once you have made the assessment, then time comes to choose and you will choose an area, let’s say finances. And then we will start finding an action plan. As simple as it sounds, what are the things that you could be doing so that your assessment and finances go from 3 to 6? That would be my typical question. And then the client would come with something along the lines of “I want to do this. I could do that. I could do X-Y-Z.” Okay. We list a number of actions. That’s brainstorming at that stage. Usually the obvious answers are the one coming first. And then I say “Okay, you said 3 to 6 and I’m going to challenge you — what can you do to go from 6 to 8?” Meaning what’s the stretch? Where can you think of a more daring sets of solutions that are going to be more challenging? Because my job is really to help you get there, not to start doing what you could do without me challenging you in a way.
So, I would help the client brainstorming to going the extra mile. What would it mean to go from 3 to 8, for example, whatever the 8 means. And what are the ideas that would be more daring, more unconventional, maybe more challenging that you were kind of afraid to even contemplate? Those that would have a bigger return on investment. I really help you explore a whole range of options and solutions. We’re still in the brainstorming phase. Once the brainstorming phase is over and we feel that we’ve really explored all kinds of ideas, I will ask you to think it through and come back with two or three different meaningful actions. Meaningful actions in the sense that you’re really interested in doing them. You’re really saying “Yes, that’s what I want to do!” And there’s truth in it. There’s motivation, curiosity. Those actions that keep you awake at night in the good sense of the word, you want to get things going.
I encourage you to tell me if you want to share some ideas or some questions around how to assess where you can focus in your life.
Be well, be happy, happy new year and thank you.
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