What is focus, what does focus mean? There are 2 sides to focus: the quantity of focus and quality of focus. The quantity of focus is our ability to focus on one thing at a time. The opposite to focus is when our inner butterflies get triggered and we start focusing on numerous things at once. Multitasking is also the opposite to focus. Women,you understand multitasking. We do that all the time.
The quality of focus is the thing that you’re focusing on, where you’re putting your focus, time and energy. Be careful here, we can often get caught up focusing on the activity that we’re doing but forget about what outcome we want to achieve by focusing on this activity. Before focusing on any activity you must first start with the end in mind, what do you want to achieve by focusing on this activity and work back from that goal.
The Quantity of Your Focus
The objective here is to build your ability to focus on one thing for a maximum of 50 minutes at a time. You’ll then take a 10 minute break to relax and recover. Eventually the idea is for you to be able to build into your day 4 to 6 of these 50 minute focus chunks each day. This idea comes from Peter Drucker’s book called The Effective Executive. One of the things Peter talks about in this book is that we don’t focus on one thing long enough to achieve great results. We work on something for a little time and then we get distracted; we never build up any momentum. Momentum and longer term results comes from focusing on one thing for a longer period of time. If you don’t have the ability to focus on just one thing for a long period of time you’re never going to get any significant results. If you only focus for 10 minutes that’s not even enough time for your brain to get going.
The Quality of Your Focus
Let’s look at the quality side on what you need to be focusing on. In life we have different things that we might like to call our big opportunities, our big leverage points, the place we can invest and get a lot of return. No one is going to tell you what to focus on; you need to figure this out for yourself. You will know yourself where and when you have the best opportunities to leverage yourself. For example when is your most productive time throughout your day (morning, afternoon, night), when are you most productive at work, at home and with your exercise routine? These are the times when you know you get a big bang for your buck.
Your mind doesn’t know the difference between fact or fiction, it doesn’t understand don’ts, it only understands the literal. If you focus on don’t eat chocolate or don’t get caught up in external distractions (negative phrases) your mind just hears “eat chocolate, get distracted”. Children hear “do that” when you say “Don’t do that”! Use the words “Never do that” instead.
Your mind is your best friend and what it does is look for evidence to back up what you’re thinking because it doesn’t want to let you down. Here’s an activity you can do to understand the power of your mind! I don’t want you to think of a purple pig!!! Now I told you not to think of a purple pig, I know it slipped into your mind even though you told yourself not to think of it!!! You first had to think of it before you could eliminate it from your mind, that’s just how the mind works.
You’ve got to get very clear on the positive outcomes that you want. What does the finished, completed picture look like? When you have a detailed picture of what it looks like finished and you look at it, it gives you more motivation to do the work to get it. If you don’t know where you’re going then you don’t have any motivation to get there.
Not only do you need the strength and ability to focus for longer periods of time, the ability to know what to focus on, you also need the inner motivation to know what the outcome is and to be constantly putting the picture up in front of yourself to remind you why you’re doing it.
ARE YOU GETTING YOUR DESIRED RESULTS? Check your FOCUS….
I would like to hear your comments below. Thanks for stopping by.
Just saw a new post from John Maxwell (whom I respect so much).It is about Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. An awesome article.Check it out here.