Focus is about where you put your attention and your time. In today’s overly distracted world where we get interrupted, instant messaged, emailed, texted, What’s App’d, and so on, it’s easy for focus to leak. When your focus leaks, your potential can evaporate along with it.
If you’re not getting the best return on your focus, here are five strategies to apply:
- Focus on Your Strengths. While it is important to be aware of your weaknesses, it is more productive to build up your existing strengths. As Marcus Buckingham says, “you grow the most in your areas of greatest strength.” Where you have a natural aptitude, your growth is exponential when you invest your time into developing that talent. Instead of focusing on deficiencies, focus on your strengths and delegate around your weaknesses.
- Focus on Essential Skills. Identify the 3 or 4 most important activities or skills that lead to success in your chosen pursuit. Identifying these critical keys helps you determine how to prioritize your time and develop your skills so that you excel in these areas. Rather than engage in “random acts of learning” focus your reading, skill development, and knowledge acquisition around those key skills.
- Focus on Your Why. Knowing your unique why can help you to stay focused and push through the tough and tedious parts of accomplishing your goals and living up to your potential. What are you working toward? Why are you trying to achieve it? Why does it matter? Your Life Purpose statement keeps you anchored to your why and helps you stay motivated.
He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.– Friedrich Nietzsche
- Focus on Momentum. Goals take time to accomplish. As time passes, it is easy to become discouraged and lose momentum. Small, manageable steps taken consistently will maintain your momentum and accumulate to contribute to the success of your overall goal. The keys here are small and consistent. Committing to small daily actions (for example, reading one chapter of a book on a relevant topic) builds a habit and keeps you moving towards your goal. As you accomplish each step, celebrate and use that dopamine reinforcement to push on to the next step.
- Focus on Today. You can’t change the past, and you can only influence the future by the actions you choose to take today. While you can learn from the past or plan for the future, reality only exists in the here and now. Give the present-day your full attention. Be fully present in the now for all life offers and recognize the possibilities that exist for your potential to be fully recognized.
You are brilliant, talented, and have incredible potential. You owe it to yourself and everyone around you to eliminate distractions and harness your focus. Pick a strategy and see how you can increase the return on your investment of focus