How to stay focused and stop being distracted by Mark Pettit

One of the most important capabilities you can develop is the art of staying focused on your most important projects and activities.

In a world of distractions and complexity, mastering the simple art of being present and focused can set you up for success.

If you want to achieve your biggest goals, you need to learn how to stay focused.

When you are laser focused it’s easier to remove distractions.

You can be more productive and make progress towards your goals.

But, it’s pretty easy to get distracted.

You get pulled in different directions, emails, phone notifications, a long-to do list.

If you’re being distracted right now and want to improve your focus, this article has 10 practical steps you can use right now to help you increase focus and productivity.

How to sharpen focus on your goals

People get distracted from their goals because:

  • They’re not exciting enough

  • There are no clear measurements in place

  • No deadline has been set to achieve the goal in

  • They have too many goals

Stay focused by building a long-term vision and focus on a small number of goals to achieve each quarter.

Choose five major goals to work towards every 90 days.

This will help you stay focused on the activities that will move you closer towards your vision.

How to enhance focus and motivation

When we’re doing activities we’re not good at, and don’t enjoy doing, we can lose focus and motivation.

It becomes difficult to stay focused on one task at a time.

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To increase focus and motivation spend more time doing what you’re great at and love to do.

When we love an activity we’re happy to stay focused.

When an activity is dull and uninspiring it’s easy to lose concentration.

Sharpen focus on what’s most important 

To stay focused and motivated get clear on what you want to achieve.

Understand the difference it will make to your business and life.

Set up success criteria for the project or task to stay focused on achieving that result.

This will make you:

  • Be intentional about your time

  • Cut down your to-do list

  • Delegate or cut meaningless activities

  • Forget about people and activities that no longer serve you

How to stay focused 

Having 20 things on your to-list each day creates easy reasons to get distracted.

Too much to do and too little time to do it in creates overwhelm andprocrastination

The answer is to simplify.

Get clear on three things you want to achieve each day and focus your time only on those three activities.

Use time blocking to help you stay focused without losing excitement and energy.

Here are 10 tips to help you stay focused.

1. Celebrate wins to enhance focus

When we achieve any kind of success it boots confidence.

To maintain focus each day, take some time to celebrate what went well and what you achieved.

Take five minutes at the end of each day to reflect on your wins.

This will create a positive focus for the start of each day.

2. Create an evening routine to build focus

Celebrating wins should be part of your evening routine and become a positive habit.

At the end of each day write down the three things you want to focus on for the following day.

You then become intentional about where to focus time.

3. Learn to say no

Creating boundaries around your time is essential to stay focused.

We often have too many choices.

But, when you have clarity around your goals you can say no more often.

When you’re intentional with your time, you learn to say no to opportunities that don’t fit those goals.

4. Be intentional about your time

We all have only 24 hours in a day and some of us are far more productive with our time than others.

Get clear when you at your most focused and productive.

Then ensure you work on your biggest opportunities during that time.

If you are more focused in the morning maximize that time.

If you do your best work in the evening ensure you’re energised and motivated during that time.

Notice where and when you focus best.

Then divide your most important projects for those moments.

5. Get enough sleep

A lack of sleep can reduce energy, concentration and focus.

Many people are not getting enough sleep.

They’re fatigued and tired.

Many struggle to stay focused without caffeine and other supplements.

Everyone would have 8 or 9 hours of sleep a night.

If you aren’t getting enough sleep, there are some things you can do to sleep better.

6. Use time blocking to build focus

Staying focused helps you get your most important work completed in less time.

It helps you work smarter, not harder.

When you use time blocking techniques you can stay focused and energised.

Time blocking helps you single task with energy and focus rather than multi-tasking.

I use the 60-60-30 method for time blocking.

Work for 50 minutes and then take a 10-minute break.

Follow the same process again and then take a 30-minute break.

Continue with the same task if incomplete or start a new one.

This process also helps if you are batching.

7. Create an optimal work environment

Create an environment that helps you stay focused and removes clutter and distractions.

When we have physical and mental clutter it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus.

Make sure your desk is tidy and remove anything that might distract you.

Go to a space that is calming, be that a home office, café or in nature.

If your mind is full of clutter, take time to write everything down to clear your mind.

Or, meditate for a short period of time.

8. Stop procrastinating

Procrastination is the thief of focus.

Procrastination happens when:

· We know we should do something but haven’t taken action

· When we know we shouldn’t do something but we carry on doing it

When we procrastinate, we waste time.

Learn how to stop procrastinating by identifying the activities you are procrastinating on.

Then make a decision to take action on the biggest one.

9. Maintain energy to boost focus

When you’re feeling tired or fatigued take a quick break to maintain energy levels.

Take a brisk walk.

Get some exercise.

Do some stretching.

Take a nap.

Do whatever creates results for you to take a brief retreat from the work and regenerate.

You will come back to your task with renewed vigor and a sharper mental focus.

10. Remove distractions to stay focused

To remain focused and productive you need to remove distractions.

Distractions include people, emails, social media notifications and phone calls.

It’s difficult to cut all distractions.

To help increase focus try:

  • Turning off social media notifications
  • Putting out of office on emails
  • Closing office doors or moving to quiet areas

Over to you.

What tips and tricks do you use to stay focused?

This article was originally published at Lucemi Consulting 

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