Focus. A word that we hear everywhere, whether it be in school, at home or in the workplace, this word continues to be thrown around but we do not always take it seriously.
I always used to acknowledge that in order for me to achieve the goals I set ahead of me, I need to focus on what’s set before me and completely eradicate “non- beneficial” things. However, I sometimes find it is not always possible.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve started to understand the concept of focus and what it truly means to ‘stay focused‘ which is what we’re going to look at from now.
What is Focus?:
When I think of focus, I think of goals.
I know I have to reach the goal that I, or someone, else has put before me.
Meaning, I need to work towards it and in order for me to succeed and excel, I have to focus on making sure I hit that target.
To others, focus means putting all your energy into something, like your work and craft or even just acknowledging that there’s an end goal that needs to be fulfilled.
The Google definition of focus is to ‘ pay particular attention to’, which I found interesting as the word ‘particular’, suggests that we’re not isolating everything else in our lives completely. Instead are prioritising what’s important at this present moment in time.
So if focus means paying attention to something in higher detail, whilst managing other aspects of our lives, why do we struggle to do it?
What stops you from focusing?
I believe the most common things that stop some of young people from focusing are the following:
- Social Media
- Misplaced priorities
In this day and age, it’s very easy for us to turn our attention to what’s happening to other people and what they’re getting up to. However, we seem to forget that the same energy we put into paying attention to other peoples work and lifestyle, should be reciprocated into our goals and ambitions.
Focusing on other peoples’ lives takes away time for us to be working on our goals and ambitions and you’ll end up at a point where you’ve invested so much time into other people that when you sit back and look at your situation, others would have moved 2 steps forward, whilst you would either be in a place of complacency or you may have taken 2 steps back.
You cannot remain focused when you’re in a place of disorganisation.
When you’re in a state of disorganisation, the route to meeting your goals is messy.
For instance, if we take the analogy of a road, imagine a road with many cones scattered everywhere, the car will not be able to reach its destination easily and there will be periods where the car will be at a standstill.
The car would have used a lot of energy to overcome one cone, that it does not have enough sufficient energy to overcome the next. You are the car, the cones represent disorganisation.
The road to you achieving your goals requires total focus and organisation in order for you to meet it.
A question you should ask yourself is; have you’ve planned how you’re going to achieve your goal?
If you haven’t you may end up focusing on many things all at once instead of having a clear idea on what to focus on in the present.
When your priorities are all over the place, its very hard for you to identify what you’re supposed to be focusing on. When you don’t have a sense of priority, everything in your life starts to feel urgent.
Now, you’re open to everybody’s demand including people who don’t add anything beneficial to you, which means whilst you’re saying yes to people who are using you in order to achieve their own goals and putting your focus on them, you’re saying no to those who are beneficial to you and removing your focus from your goals and your end destination.
Take a step back and look at all the things you are juggling with, what things are helping you achieve your targets, what things are distracting you from moving forward? Once you’ve identified these things, start paying particular attention to the things that are moving you forward and not holding you back and you’ll start to see how productive you’ll become.
Procrastination is hands down one of the biggest things that stops us from fully focusing on what we need to do to reach our potential. For me, I think that procrastination links hand in hand with fear. We spend so much time on questioning whether we should take route A or B, because we’re scared of the outcome of our decision.
Normally, we also try to convince ourselves not to do something, even though we’re fully aware that this step will take us one step closer to our goals. It’s time for us to stop making excuses on why we can’t do something and start focusing on ways to get things done.
How can I improve my Focus?:
It’s time for you to let go of insignificant things that do not serve a purpose in your life. The way I like to maintain and regain focus is by taking a step back and analyse my current position in different aspects of my life, whether it be education or career for example. I ask myself 3 key questions:
- Where am I currently?
- Have I made any improvements?
- Where do I need to be?
Once I’ve done this, I do a self check on anything that I may be allowing to distract me from focusing on important things. Then, I start working on finding ways on how to let go of these things, because truth be told, its hard to let go of these distractions, on the other hand it’s more damaging to hold on to them as well.
I try to always make a plan on how I’m going to achieve what I want to achieve, so that I create myself a clear path on how I’m going to reach point A to B. With this, I can then focus on the goals that are ahead of me more efficiently. Now, this doesn’t all happen over night, I’m still improving my focus.
However, it is a process worth undergoing. Hopefully, you will start to see your focus shift and you will become more productive and also start to see the finish line of your goal, instead of being stuck in the same place for a long period of time.
Little progress is better than no progress.
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