The Power of Focus
By Anik Singal
What do you think is the biggest obstacle between people and their goals?
- Not enough money? Actually, there’s plenty of money out there.
- Not enough time? Actually, you have all the time you need to achieve just about anything.
- Not enough motivation? Actually, you don’t need this at all. (Really.)
The biggest obstacle is something far more sinister than any of these things: distractions.
If five years from now you are not earning what you want to earn, it will probably be because you allowed distractions to get in your way.
We live in the age of distraction. We are always connected. That’s great in some ways (don’t even think about stealing my smartphone!). But it’s disastrous in other ways.
Here’s why: we are much, much more productive when we focus on ONE thing.
Some people claim that they are expert multi-taskers. But even they would get a lot more done if they stopped multi-tasking and tackled one task at a time.
Distractions are obstacles because they steal our focus. That saps our productivity – and that means less money.
If you want to become successful in any area of life – especially financially – then priority number one is to take control over your distractions and unleash the power of focus.
What happens when you focus?
– You are more creative
– You get more stuff done in less time
– You are more effective
– You feel more fulfilled
– You get motivating “small wins”
Keep Reading to find out HOW to do this on a task-by-task basis and on a “big picture,” goal-setting level…
|Discover How Your Own Mind Could Be Poisoning Your Life:
The Big Picture: The Power Of Mini-Goals
If you’re reading this, I assume you are an ambitious person. You see that there is abundance in this world and understand that you are worthy of having it in your own life.
This means that you have some pretty big goals. You might want to start a business. You might want to go travel the world. You might have a pile of debt that needs to be paid down.
Thinking big is great. If you want to live an inspired life, you need to create inspiring goals.
There is, however, a drawback to having big goals: their size is REALLY intimidating.
In fact, sometimes your goals are so intimidating that you freeze and take no action at all.
Does this mean that you should stop having ambitious goals? Of course not! All you have to do is break those goals down into mini-goals. Then, instead of obsessing about the big goal, focus all your attention on the next mini-goal.
When you break down your goals and focus on the next step, something magical happens. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you feel empowered.
Assuming you broke down your big goal the right way, the next mini-goal will be something you can achieve relatively quickly. Mini-goals give you the opportunity to get motivating “small wins.”
As long as you systematically tackle each mini-goal, you will inevitably arrive at your big goal. If you want to do this in the most efficient and pleasant manner, you need to get the “little picture” of focus right too…
The Little Picture: Get Into The Cycle Of Fully Engaging And Fully Disengaging
A 2008 study at The British Institute of Psychiatry showed that checking your email while performing another creative task decreases your IQ at that moment by 10 points. That is a comparable drop to not sleeping for 36 hours or smoking marijuana – yikes.
I don’t know what your working environment is like, but generally coming to work stoned or horribly sleep deprived is NOT encouraged. Yet we willingly put ourselves in a comparable state every day by allowing distractions while we work!
Therefore when you are working, you need to completely immerse yourself in the task at hand.
The way you get immersion is simple: control those distractions.
There are a lot of simple ways to do this. Close your web browser. Turn off email alerts. Silence your phone.
This doesn’t mean that you never check Facebook, respond to emails or talk on the phone. All it means is that you stop that automatic response that dictates: whenever one of these alerts go off, you HAVE to see what’s going on. Honestly, do you really HAVE TO? No, of course not. All that will wait.
Stop those knee-jerk responses. It’s your tie, so take control. Only allow yourself to check these things, say, once an hour.
Say to yourself, “after doing an hour of work, I give myself permission to respond to emails/surf the web/socialize with coworkers.” Make these things a reward that you earn or a separate task, rather than a compulsive reaction.
And here is something that is just as important as fully immersing yourself when you do work: when you are not working, you need to NOT be working. Free time needs to be just that – free time.
Of course, the biggest distraction that prevents you from really enjoying your free time is thinking about work! See the vicious circle here? It’s all designed to twist your mind into knots that disempower you.
Disengaging is vitally important because how you spend your free time is just as important as how you spend your working time. Your free time is when you recharge your batteries. It’s when you refresh your energy. It’s when you take time to connect with others you care about and take care of your own needs.
If you have to work long hours, disengaging during free time is even more important. After all, if you’ve only got four hours of free time on a normal workday, then you had better make sure you spend those four hours doing stuff you really enjoy.
Quality free time = quality work time.
I recommend taking at least one day off every week where you completely disconnect from work. Believe me, as an entrepreneur who’s passionate about his business, I know how difficult this can be! But it’s essential for peak performance and to avoid burnout (which can be deadly).
Focus is like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it’ll get. If you are constantly distracted right now, okay, that won’t vanish right away. Just keep working that muscle, and eventually you will get to a point where focusing on one thing at a time is the norm.
Now that you understand why focus is so important, take a look at the time you spend working right now. How much of that time are you fully engaged in your work? During the times when you are not fully engaged, what are the biggest distractions that pull you out of that mode?
Likewise, take a look at your free time. How would you judge the quality of your free time? Do you bring your work home with you? If so, what can you do to switch to recovery mode and allow your batteries to recharge?
Answer these questions now, make the adjustments you need to make, and prepare to get more done AND enjoy your life more!
“Wise words! Thank you teacher! I am grateful. This completely resonates! Now I can be mindful during situations where I am off and requiring mindful shifting of energy or doing something else, especially when engaged in a desirable pursuit. Blessings to you!”
I love that Anik brings our attention to the importance of focus even in our “refuel time” – think about the last time you were taking time for yourself (and if you can’t remember the last time you took time for yourself, you MUST schedule at least 15 minutes STAT!)
Okay, now, be honest – when you are taking time for yourself, were you fully plugged into what you were doing and how you wanted that experience to go and to feel? Or were you thinking about work, or money, or what you need to do for your kids or anything else that would instantly block you from actually experiencing and getting the benefit of taking time for yourself?
Now, don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to shift everything overnight – I’m simply going to ask you to find 15 minutes each day, for the next 7 days (yup, it’s a 7 day challenge) – and these 15 minutes are set aside for YOU. And here’s the most important part – during those 15 minutes, your only MUST is to fully engage with that “refuel time”.
Got it? Do this for 7 days, and you will completely get the power of engagement!
Are you in??? Leave me a comment and let me know you are!