The world is rapidly changing, each person experiences millions of distractions daily. You can start working on something, but due to the multiple distractions you will end up on something totally different. If you don’t build focus in your life, it will be almost impossible to achieve your goals.
Focus is a crucial ability that can help you complete your simplest tasks while being fully productive. Learning about how you can build focus can really help you achieve your goals and minimize all the irrelevant distractions.
Without focus, you will lack critical thinking, prioritization and you will end up frustrated. If you can't focus effectively, you can't think effectively. Focus can truly change your life.
Focus is equally important for digital nomads, for whom routine and goals might be slightly different. As a digital nomad, you can also have multiple distractions and internal factors that might challenge you. You need to stay focused on completing the task or finishing that project even if it means ignoring your phone for a time period, or minimizing the interruptions in the co-working place. Focus can save you a lot of time, help you to stay in the zone, be more productive and manage time more effectively, while keep enjoying the experience of the digital nomad.
But what exactly is focus?
Focus is defined as the act of concentrating your interest or activity on something. To put it in a better way, focus is your ability to concentrate on something in your environment. Or in other words, focus is having clear objectives and goals, and dedicating your time, effort, energy, resources in achieving this specific objective, either it is in your personal or professional life. The direct mental effort toward it is critical for learning new things, achieving goals, and performing well across a wide variety of situations. Focus is like zooming in on something without allowing external distractions, environment or information to intervene.
Whether you are trying to finish a report at work, competing in a marathon, or start your own business, your ability to focus and to critically evaluate can make the difference between your success and your failure.
Elimination is considered a prerequisite for focus. Tim Ferriss once said that “What you don’t do determines what you can do.”. Focus is your key to become productive because learning when to say no, or in other words put it as a next priority, will boost your ability to accomplish the one thing that is your key priority.
Being focused means being in the moment and nowhere else, being fully present. When you focus only on the goal or objective you have and on nothing else that can be a distraction, you put all your energy there and you work more productively for it. As Tony Robbins says "Energy flows where the attention goes.". When you focus on something, it gets bigger, you are fully there.
The benefits of focus:
You become a better decision maker.
You are able to identify more opportunities.
You become more productive.
You produce more high quality.
You achieve your goals smartly.
You achieve your desired success.
You activate your subconscious mind.
Let's discuss now how to overcome your tendency to get distracted and focus on one thing at a time. When you arrive at this point you might often ask yourself “Okay, out of the many options in front of me, how do I know what to focus on?”.
Here comes a great model, created by Warren Buffet. The model is called “Two Lists”.
Buffett’s Two Lists is a productivity, prioritization and focusing tool where you write down your top 25 goals; circle your 5 highest priorities; then focus on those 5 while ‘avoiding at all costs’ doing anything on the remaining 20.
How to do the 2 Lists exercise:
First Step: Make a list of your top 25 priorities. You can apply this list to a specific objective, project or timeframe. You can perform it also for your life-goals.
Second Step: Circle your highest 5 priorities. Depending on which purpose you have created it, you should circle the things that must be accomplished and drive you for your .
Third Step: Focus on your top 5 and avoid the other 20 at all costs. This isn’t just about what you do, it’s about how you say no to those tempting secondary priorities to achieve real focus. Now you have 2 lists. One with the MUST-DO’s and one with the AVOID-AT-ALL-COST.
Fourth Step: When you achieve 1 of your top 5, add a new goal from the 20. This list is a work in progress, something on the ‘avoid at all cost’ list will become later a priority as you keep achieving your top 5.
This can be one of the most useful tools you can use to practically create a focus list and prioritize all your goals. However, here are 5 tips that are very helpful to build a routine to promote focus and concentration.
5 Tips that promote focus
1 - Identify & Eliminate the distractions
Start by identifying which are your distractions, it can be a co-worker who talks all day in the office. It can be your obsession to clean the house daily. After you have realized which are your distractions, it is about time to minimize them. If your distractions are coming from outside, then you might need to set a specific time or find a place and request to be left alone. If your distractions come from the inside, you might want to embrace positive thinking, or to find an activity that might calm you, like walking in nature.
2 - Write down your goals
For this, you might want to use the list you created previously or get inspired by it. Put your list in a visible place, where you have an interaction daily. Remember, the ideal goal is specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based (S.M.A.R.T.).
3 - Avoid multitasking
Doing multiple tasks at once can cut down your productivity. It can be harder to hone in on the details that are truly important. Thus, you should manage your focus. Give all your attention to one thing at a time, this can also help you build faster your focus ability.
4 - Create a plan
And stick to it.. Planning can help you focus by identifying the smaller tasks that are involved in your bigger goal. Depending on your goals, you can either create a plan to manage your time, or create to-do lists. For time-management you can use daily/weekly/monthly planners or even your digital calendar. Or if you want more to break down your goals into smaller, to-do lists is your perfect tool. You can create time-framed to-do lists with small and tangible tasks and stick to them.
5 - Practice Mindfulness
In recent years many have discussed the benefits of mindfulness, on top of that a study that happened in 2012, proved that people who are exposed to high-stress environments and practice mindfulness could improve their levels of focus and concentration. People who meditated often had the ability to stay in a task longer, to work more efficiently and to create higher levels of qualitative work.
You can practice mindfulness through podcasts or YouTube guided meditations if you are a beginner, or you can even do a deep breathing exercise like the one below. It is an easy exercise which you can do anywhere and anytime.
Quick Breathing Exercise to Focus Start by taking several deep breaths while really focusing on each and every breath. When you feel your mind naturally begin to wander, gently and uncritically guide your focus back to your deep breathing
Focus is important because it is the gateway to all thinking: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Improving your mental focus is achievable, but that doesn't mean that it's always quick and easy. You need to be persistent and keep practicing in order to develop the ability to focus and stay concentrated on your goals.
Focus can transform your life. Successful people know the importance of focus in life, as it is a huge factor in the level of success you achieve. And not only that, it helps you succeed healthily and sustainably.
If you want to learn more about how to be focused and achieve your goals, you can join the SKC community today where you will get the ultimate tools for your personal growth and goal achievement. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to provide you with further information.
“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” - Warren Buffett