How to Focus?

Shawnee Love   •   May 4, 2020

When I was learning to drive, my driving teacher (who is also my dad) told me to focus on where I wanted to go.

Same when I was learning to golf.  I was told not to look at the ball, but where I wanted the ball to go.

What we focus on is what we move towards. That’s why we are told to write down our goals and post them on our fridge, to frame our vision, values and mission for all to see, or create a vision board which sits prominently in our room.

This isn’t a blog about manifesting or encouraging people to “think and make your dreams come true”.  Rather I am acknowledging that if you have any hope of accomplishing something, you better know what it is and keep it top of mind.

It’s hard to stay focused amidst distractions (physical, social, emotional, etc.) but that is the point.  If it was easy, everyone would accomplish a lot more.  Finding a focus is really difficult and once you have it, staying on target (think locked on like Luke Skywalker – Happy Star Wars Day) is beyond difficult.

A few years ago, I read an article about focus that had some practical tips. I share it here because I made these tips mine and use them to this day:

-I set out my to do list of priorities at the end of each day and each week, so I can jump into my day (or week) without hesitation.  I also have personal and professional goals written out and strategically placed where I will be reminded of them regularly.

-I do the hard parts first (because I do my best thinking in the morning).  I also do my creative parts last (because I am more creative at night). Knowing how I work best means breaking up my day.

-Part of how I work best involves a break mid afternoon to get outside or exercise as for me that is time to rejuvenate.

-I batch my work along with time to review emails and media and take calls. That helps me eliminate distractions for the part of the time when I need to think.

These are 4 tips for focusing but all of this must be tempered with the reality that none of what is happening currently is normal. So give yourself grace if you fail and simply try again. This too shall pass, and when it does, you will be a lot further ahead than if you were starting from scratch.

May the Force Be With You!