This past week has taught me a lot about focus and how easy it can be to get knocked off track. Events transpired where I shifted my focus on a priority at the moment only to be derailed on what I am most passionate about, health and wellness and inspiring others to live holistic. Lesson learned, which is why I am sharing my experience on how to focus in life and the 5 ways you can easily live a life with purpose.
1. Understand what is your why and your purpose
This is extremely important which is why it is the first thing you need to have in order to focus. So often most of us feel like we are drifting along in life just doing what we “should be doing”. Job…bills…living ok. But we are put on this Earth to do more than ok. It is a waste of talent, space and life if we don’t understand who we are as individuals and what our true purpose or calling is. I also think this comes with age or with people being in tune with themselves and setting boundaries of what they will allow and not allow in order to be happy. The best way to do this is to do the following exercise:
– Take a blank piece of paper and make 2 columns
– Number both sides 1-20
– Right column is all the things you love to do and want to do more
– Left column is all the things you don’t like to do and want to do less
– After you list them out, circle top 10 on each side
– Then really look at those top 20 and narrow it down even more to top 5 on each side
– You should find what you most gravitate towards and what you want to get rid of
– Do this even more to get to that ONE thing to focus on
This is a great exercise as it gets you really thinking about yourself and your life as it currently stands. Are you in a dead end job, do you want to be healthier, do you love to travel, do you want to be more philanthropic, do you want to find love, be a better wife/husband/mother/father, do you want to make a difference and inspire? Whatever they are, you now have a clear understanding of what is important to you and what you stand for. This is where your purpose comes in. The how will come, but just knowing why you are here is the major part. Now you are ready for step 2.
2. Specific goal writing
Now that you have your purpose the next step is writing out goals to achieve what you want in life. I am not talking using a goal app on your phone, I tried that and it didn’t work. For some reason it didn’t feel real as writing them on a piece of paper to hang up wherever you will see it most. Goal setting is a lot more than just writing out general goals you want to accomplish. This is too vague and cannot be measured or worse yet, not followed through. When you put together your goals, make sure to carve out some quiet time (I do mine on Sundays). And follow the S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time) method.
– Specific: As I mentioned, vague goals such as “I need to lose weight” will not get anywhere. More specific like I need to lose weight around my belly is more specific
– Measurable: Being able to measure your goals will keep you on track. Using the same example, writing out I need to lose 5 inches around my belly is measurable. For work it can be a goal is $10,000 in sales.
– Attainable: Throwing out a high number just because it looks good is setting you up to fail. The goal must be attainable in order to follow through and be successful.
– Realistic: This goes along with attainable, know your limits, schedule, and life in order to put a realistic goal down. Challenge yourself, but don’t overwhelm. The how is imperative, action is louder than words. What is the realistic action/s you can take for example to lose 5 inches of belly fat?
– Time: Time is extremely important in goal setting. For example, lose 5 inches of belly fat in 6 months. Then write a monthly goal of 1 inch a month. When you set a time you are held accountable and also goes back to measurable. You can go back and see what you need to tweak or keep doing to ensure goals are met.
So you have your purpose and goals to achieve now is 3rd step.
3. Delegate and trust others to do things
Ah, this step is probably one of the hardest steps. We all want to do things ourselves, like the saying goes “if you want to do something right you have to do it yourself.” Well, forget that! That saying does more harm than good. It is impossible to do everything and the more we take on the more balls are dropped and the balls happen to be our own lives. We need to be better at saying no and not feel bad. Go back to your list from step 1, I am sure one of your top 5 on the “don’t like to do and stop” column is being overwhelmed. It is only up to us to break free from that and utilize our resources..those around us. I have my husband help with the cleaning on Sundays. You can have your kids do the chores or if you are at work, and you have a huge list to get through the day, it’s ok to say no or to delegate to another colleague. Knowing that you need to focus on what is important will help all the distractions and overloading and keep you on track. So now you are ready for step 4.
4. Do not try to multitask
I see so many companies still requiring multitasking skills and they probably do not know that multitasking actually is less productive than doing one task at a time. Why is that? Just think, when you stop to do something for something else, you are spending a couple more minutes of getting your train of thought back to the previous task and the idea or response that was thought of originally is gone or took on another message. Our brains are not wired for that. Now I know first hand that sometimes you cannot stop from being interrupted, there are 2 ways around this. 1) Say you will get to them in a minute and complete your focused task 2) write down where you left off and train of thought. Either way, being able to again avoid distractions will make your life better. Now for the last step
5. Don’t forget to have fun
Play is important in focus. How so? When we try to force our thoughts and get so serious in our quest for happiness we end up being miserable and not very creative. When you have your goals set as advised above you know your deadlines and action steps, but one of the goals should be to play more and enjoy life. This is when creative juices flow, this is when you be you and experience life. Play can be as simple as taking time out to play with your kids or pets, date night, hang out with friends, or just read a book. Play can also be a trip, taking up a sport, etc. Whatever it is, let your inner child out! This will make all the difference in your ability to get back to a better focus. You will be doing your brain..and heart…a favor!
It is very easy to lose focus in our everyday busy lives. If you follow these 5 steps you will have an easier time to get back to what is important in your life which will lead to a happier and healthier life. What do you do to keep focus? I welcome all comments below. Thank you!