Do you ever get to the end of the day and wonder where the time went?
I have had lots requests from clients recently asking me for ways to stay focused, instead of getting sidetracked. I thought I’d share my favourite three tips with you.
1. Start with the end in mind and visualise the outcome
Stephen Covey, who wrote the book: ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’ came up with the concept of starting from the end point.
The brain tends to work more efficiently when it has a clear destination. If you tie this in with a visualisation – it can fire up your motivation and help you to see what really needs to happen.
1. Think about a clear moment that would represent your creative project being successful. For example – if you are a writer, imagine what it would be like to have your own book launch. (Apply the next steps to your journey)
2. Imagine exactly where the launch would be. See the building, the interior and imagine how you would be feeling walking into the door, knowing that there will be hundreds of people awaiting your arrival.
Imagine what it would feel like to have the book in your hand. Imagine yourself looking out at a group of friendly people, waiting for your speech. See the faces of who you would like to be there, sipping red wine and mingling. Listen to the sorts of things that people would say to you after your speech.
3. When you see this clearly. Plan backwards which steps you need to take to reach this outcome. Your positivity levels will increase your capacity to think about the solutions.
Your imagination is the most powerful way to fire up your passion and enthusiasm for important projects. It can help you to feel more focused to define the best route to get there. (I do a session entirely on visualisation. See this page for details).
2. Do one task at a time
Countless studies show that both our IQ and performance levels dramatically dip when we multi task. Not only that, our satisfaction levels go down because we are not fully engaged. Turn off your emails, twitter feed and focus. Separate your tasks and do one thing only. A great book on productivity is David Rock’s ‘Your brain at work’.
3. Start your day with a meditation and practice present moment awareness
Meditation can take many forms. In short, a meditation is focused attention. By practicing paying attention to what is actually going on in the present moment, instead of being distracted by your thoughts, you will improve your ability to focus. I also recommend starting the day with a short meditation by concentrating on your breath for a few minutes. This habit alone will help you to create more awareness and tranquillity throughout the day. When you notice yourself becoming unfocused again, stop and choose to pay close attention to what is going on around you. Pick an aspect to focus on. This could be the sensations in the body, the sounds in the room or the colour of your nail varnish!
And – if you really want to get focused, my new group coaching programme Trailblazers is getting nearer. I have updated my website with dates. Have a look here for details.
Finally – what do you do to stay focused? Do let me know your tips below.