Focus: The Hidden Driver of Success (Untapped Can Spell Failure)
Without your focus, you would absorb less than 20% of this article. The world is full of people, organizations, brands, and businesses which want our attention. However, we also need our attention to get work done and to live a good life. The problem is, we do not put as much effort into maintaining focus while these organizations spend lots of resources to get out attention.
What is focus?
Focus is hailed as the hidden driver of success. This is largely true. Focus as a driver of success makes sure that you keep at one thing until it is done then you move on to the next. Focus is the ability to give full attention to a task, project or any other activity without giving in to distractions. On the flip side, focus has to do with resisting the temptation to do the many other things you could do and sticking with just one.
Why focus anyway?
Experience greater productivity faster
Maintaining focus on a singular task at each point in time allows you to reap the benefits of concentration. Wherever there is concentration, there is too much of that substance. In this case, too much work done and even at a faster rate. This may seems untrue and a blatant lie but hear me out. It takes about 23 minutes to get back to a task after a distraction according to research. And we often get distracted within the next 3 minutes. I hope you are beginning to see the problem? Concentrating on the task at hand and doing so devoid of any distractions will enable you to do away with the unnecessary waste of time and dedicate all your creative juices to making that one thing happen even faster.
Achieve superior quality work
Being focused allows you to use all senses in doing the job at hand. This allows you to look at solving the issues from almost all possible angles resulting in a highly superior solution. This is because your mind generates the best ideas when it is left undisturbed and concentrated on a set of thoughts and solving something in particular.
Explore more creative aspects of your mind and being
Using more senses means you’re employing all your creativity in achieving the singular task at hand. Being focused will enable you to explore deep into things you wouldn’t normally get to because of constant distraction and shallow thinking.
Focusing is essentially anti-multitasking. Once you have made up your mind to focus, forget about multitasking. Science has proven that multitasking is actually a not so good habit. Focus is far superior to multitasking and trying to everything at once and yet achieving nothing at the same time. Focusing allows you to finish one task and then moving to the next.
You will experience more control and positivity
It takes control to resist a dozen things and keep at just one thing until it is done. Especially in this world where phones, screens, and other technologies have been designed to steal our attention. Focus is valuable now more than ever. It allows you to feel more in control of your life because you are able to resist all the unnecessary things and do the necessary ones.
You will be a better problem solver and make better decisions
Dedicating all your resources to solve a problem can be the best thing. This is especially true if it is the use of your mind at each point in time. This is often called mindfulness. It allows you to use all your mental resources to reduce the most complex situations to simple decisions which will result in success.
Why you just can’t seem to maintain your focus
With distractions on the rise, we are constantly battling with others to keep our focus. If we allow others to take our attention, then we have very little opportunity to do what we have planned for ourselves.
That aside, it is often difficult to focus simply because of a different problem. This is the indecision problem. You find it difficult to focus and concentrate on your work because you find it difficult making a clear decision on what to do first. The lack of clarity on what matters to you and what should take place next makes it difficult to decide on which one thing to do. Eventually, you start to procrastinate and at some point, have quite a lot on your table.
You then all of a sudden want to do everything at once, maybe because deadlines are approaching. Then the myth of multitasking makes you feel like the best way to finish up is to try to do everything at once.
Of course, it is a trap.
First, make a list for each day and decide what comes first based on what is important for you and not others or what you think. Try to be objective about this.
Then decide to stick to your plan no matter what.
It about decisions.
How to stay focused in a world of distractions
Plan your days beforehand
Planning your days will give you the ability to prime yourself for the day. You can plan your time. Take into account what is important and must be achieved first. If you are able to have a list of what you need to do within each day, you can determine beforehand the ones which must be done immediately not just because they are urgent but are important. Not what is urgent is always important. Find the balance.
Do the most important tasks first, Not the urgent ones
It is easy to be caught up with urgent matters while leaving the important stuff to the background. Focus on doing what needs to be done not what others think or what you feel is right at the moment. It is mostly easy to focus on present matters but knows that if you believe in the future, you must prepare for it.
Eliminate anything that steals time and distracts your flow
It is clear social media and phones are often our number one distraction. The problem is you know this deep within yourself and yet you sit and do nothing about it. We all get distracted from time to time. The trick is to make sure that you snap out of it and get doing some awesome stuff.
Build up your focus stamina
Focus doesn’t just happen. It takes time to build. Deciding to focus doesn’t mean you won’t get distracted from time to time. You must keep concentrating and letting your subconscious know that you have made a firm decision to remain focused. This will help you gain the courage to snap out when you fall into distraction.
Find ways to keep your energy levels high
This may take the form of periodic breaks, short enough to replenish your energy and jump back to work. Taking long breaks may cause you to feel relaxed and fall into distraction. It’s best you time yourself for productivity and breaks. For example, 55 minutes of work and 10 minutes of break. This helps you to stick to what you have already signed up for. If it doesn’t seem to work out at the beginning, get an accountability partner. This should work well.
Do not multitask, it affects your brain
As already explained before, multitasking may be good at certain times but it often isn’t especially when it involves many tasks at a time. Try to do a thing at a time and devote all your energy and mind to one thing before moving to the next. Focus!
Social media has come to stay and is now a part of the daily lives of billions of people throughout the world. To maintain your focus, dedicate specific times you would use social media during the day. Use just enough time to catch up and get back to work.
Be intentional about your goals and ambitions
Being intentional is just what focusing is about. It is about deciding and sticking to it no matter how strong the urge to do otherwise.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying full attention to all that is happening at the moment. It is living in the moment. Living in the moment will help you to focus on your current goals and tasks.
Takes periodic breaks to refuel
This point can’t be overemphasized. Take some breaks, relax, the world would appreciate you more if you have the energy to make some good impact.
The multitasking myth
When considered from the viewpoint of getting multiple tasks done at once, Multitasking sounds very convincing. We all know that isn’t true. You may only be able to concentrate on one thing at a time. This wouldn’t allow you to do multiple things at once. As already explained, it takes time before your mind adjusts to the new task. Jumping from one thing to the other isn’t that good a practice than giving your time away to distractions and using triple the time you would have used to get all tasks done.
Common distractions to productivity
- You are stressed (Like really…)
Focusing may not be the easiest of success habits but it certainly is one of the secret drivers of massive success. Create the habit and it will eventually become easy. The beginning may be rough and hard but there is no smooth and easy road to what is worthwhile. Do what you have to do to succeed.