Life is full of roles, responsibilities, and consequences; therefore, being able to stay focused is important when seeking balance in any overwhelming experiences life decides to throw at you. Success in life is nothing without being able to share it with others, and having the ability to focus will allow you to stay present when working and playing with others. In life there are believed to be three states of focus in which you can be engaged: 1) being in focus; 2) lacking focus; and 3) being focus obsessed.
The benefits of being focused in life could almost be considered unlimited. One benefit is the confidence you feel, and with increased confidence you’re given the ability to step out of your comfort zone and make improved decisions. With improved decision-making capacity, you are able to find purpose in your life, have the passion to take on life’s stresses as they come your way, and ultimately improve your overall well-being. So simply putting focus first helps you live life to the fullest and allows you to experience the best in everything you do.
Life is short, as they say, and there’s no time to be wasted being unfocused. But how do you stay focused or engaged? For some, staying focused on tasks and current situations can prove difficult, and doing so thus takes practice to improve. A great tip for learning to increase your ability to stay focused involves giving yourself a reward for meeting “being present” goals. For one week keep track of how well you stay focused on tasks. For example, say you need to write a blog that is 500 words in length. Look at the clock when you sit down to begin writing. Note the moment your focus wavers from this task, and look at the clock to note the time. When you’re able to refocus on the task at hand, note the time again.
Continue keeping track of different tasks—including those you really enjoy doing as well as those that are on the “need to do” list instead of the “want to do” list. At the end of the week, look at what your average length of staying focused might be. So let’s say, for this example, you can stay focused for ten minutes before your focus wavers. Your goal then is each week to increase your average focus time by one minute until you reach your next desired interval level. In this example it might be thirty minutes. Remember that the goal is to set yourself up for success and not to set the challenge so high that you don’t reach it or so low you do not challenge yourself to improve.
As you track your time, you want to be sure you’re not tracking ten hours a day of tasks. Instead, pick a two to four hour window at different times of the day so you don’t find yourself in the “obsessed” segment. And remember, a few days a week are meant to be “play days”—so take a few days off from working on improving your focus to just play.
Increasing your ability to stay focused is not something achieved overnight or over a week, but rather with time and patience. Your motivation and enthusiasm to stay focused is part of how you will improve your ability, but remember not to deny yourself the element of play and fun during the process. If your stress increases due to trying to improve your ability to stay focused, you will end up spinning your wheels with no movement.
Your life’s purpose is not always fixed; it can evolve with changes in your life. You need to be able to adapt your focus to feel empowered to embrace the flexibility needed not only to survive but thrive during times of change. You do not need to be fully focused 100 percent of the time; be patient as you begin to prioritize your desire for improved focus. Your overall success and well-being will be supported by your ability to focus; how you prioritize improving your ability to focus remains with you.
Until next time, embrace your inner wisdom.