Ready, Set, Focus!

With each new year comes new goals.

Goals come in all forms; some are small and easily achievable while others may seem as if they’re pipe dreams.  But all goals have one thing in common – they all require focus.

Do you ever feel that you struggle when trying to reach your goals?  The reality is that most people do.  When you set goals for yourself, you undoubtedly have the very best of intentions.  You want to succeed with your goals and reap the many benefits that come with making successful and important changes in your life.  However, lack of focus sometimes gets in the way, obstructing us from achieving our desired goals.  If you cannot remain focused on your goals, you will lose momentum and fail to make the progress you desire.  These failures will rarely be due to the lack of knowledge or skill.  It is far more likely that in a hectic world, you struggle to stay focused on your goals.  Our brains are finely attuned to distraction, so today’s digital environment makes it especially hard to focus.  In this article we will detail tips to help you become more focused and more productive.

Do the tough work first.  Typically, we do mindless work first and build up to the toughest tasks.  That drains your energy and lowers your focus.  An hour into doing your work, you’ve got a lot less capacity than at the beginning.  Every single decision that we make tires our brain.  In order to focus effectively, reverse the order.  Check off the tasks that require creativity or concentration first.  Then move on to easier work such as responding to emails or scheduling your week.

Allocate your time deliberately.  Most people focus best in the morning or late at night, and studies show that 90% of people do their best thinking outside of an office atmosphere.  Notice where and when you focus best, then allocate your toughest tasks for those moments.

Train your mind like a muscle.  Practice concentration by turning off all distractions and committing your attention to a single task.  If you find your mind wandering, stop and refocus your attention to the task at hand.  Although multitasking is a beneficial skill to master, you cannot accomplish your best at everything when doing multiple things at once.

Instill daily rituals.  You cannot have high levels of focus if you do not follow a routine that will keep you within the boundaries of productiveness.

Visualize your goals.  Creating a vision board will give you a great presentation of your dreams and goals, making them feel more real.  When you visualize your aims clearly, you will work harder towards their achievement.

Don’t leave things uncompleted.  The only way to stay focused on your goals is to complete everything you start.  Don’t give up on a task that you have started; because that will weaken your mental strength and leave you with diminished self-confidence.  Stay determined and always do your best to complete every single task you start.

Make daily to-do lists.  Making daily to-do lists is a great strategy to train your brain to stay focused.  When you end the day with all of your tasks for that day crossed off, you will have a great feeling of accomplishment and be happy to repeat that feeling every single day.  Plan your goals by organizing your tasks into a few categories and separating the things you need to do today, tomorrow, this week, and this month.  Making to-do lists is also a great way to make priorities and keep your energy focused on the most important tasks.

So now that the new year is upon us, let’s make a conscious effort to be more focused on achieving our goals.

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