Focus Keeps You On Track — 5 Tips to Help You Thrive

Focus keeps you on track.

Your focus keeps you on track, but it can be hard to maintain when you’re busy and life is moving fast.

In thinking about your focus and how important it is, this proverb may be clarifying:

If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.

Chinese Proverb

So, step back and take an inventory right now. Do competing priorities, interruptions, worries, or daydreams distract you?  Do you have trouble maintaining your focus? 

Focus keeps you on track, but…

As the examples below illustrate, there are lots of ways to lose focus as you move through your day.

#1 Your mind wanders and time gets lost as you try to complete a task.

You’re going over your finances on Saturday morning and you stumble upon an old check you forgot to file. It’s one you wrote a year ago for plane tickets. The next thing you know you’re five-minutes into a daydream about your that trip to Barbados that seems like it was a lifetime ago. 

In this example, you get your task done, but it takes longer that you expected.

#2 Multiple tasks steal your focus.

You’re working from home and you decide that you’re going to start a writing task that’s been on your to-do list for a while.  When you turn on your computer, you first quickly check your e-mail. The dog barks and you remember that you need to let her out. On the way to the back door you notice the dishes that need washing. As you turn on the water, the phone rings…and so on. 

In this familiar scenario, you are going to accomplish things, but they are often not the things you planned to do.

#3 Others’ worries and tasks, added to your own, distract you and pull you off course.

Your boss has a pressing deadline, your kids need the internet for remote classes, you’ve got bills to pay and dinner to make, and the phone is ringing.  Setting a course and sticking to it feels just about impossible. 

When you’re in this zone, you feel chronically stuck, torn, and unproductive.

Here are 5 Tips to help…

Because focus keeps you on track, finding it in the midst of any day is key to your success. These tips, and steady practice, will help.

#1 Start with Mindfulness.  Notice when your attention is wandering.  Don’t do anything about it.  Just notice.

#2 Bring it Back. After you get good at noticing when your mind wanders, start gently bringing it back to the task. 

#3 Explore, Don’t Ignore. If your mind keeps wandering to the same place, try setting your task aside for a moment.  Ask what you are trying to tell yourself.  Set a time frame for this, and don’t spend too long.  Make sure that your exploration doesn’t itself become a distraction.

#4 Make a Note. If what’s tugging at you seems important, make a note and promise yourself to come back to it later.  Set a specific time for doing this.  Build trust that you’ll come back to it later. Then you’ll be more willing to let it go in the moment.

#5 Focusing Means Saying No. You must have boundaries to stay focused.  Once you have decided on a task, keep saying YES to your focus and NO to your distractions. 

There’s so much to learn here.

What are you saying YES to when you let yourself wander? 

And what are you saying NO to? 

How does that change when you stay focused? 

Experiment a little. Document your successes. When focus keeps you on track, you’ll be amazed at what you are able to accomplish.

And for more help…

Setting and maintaining boundaries is a skill that makes everything else in your life possible. And it’s a difficult challenge for lots of smart, motivated people. People like you.

“Your Secret Power: How to Honor Your Time and Claim Your Space with Boundaries” gently steers you to a more profound understanding of where and how your boundary-setting efforts get short-circuited. Not only that, but it helps you establish the boundaries you need to unlock the door to your freedom. Boundary-setting is a skill that’s learnable, doable and definitely within your reach. And the strategies, tips and exercises in “Your Secret Power” help you discover how to:

  • Set and maintain boundaries to enhance your productivity and, yes, make more money;
  • Recharge your energy so you have the time and freedom to do what you value and what you’d like to do in your life; and
  • Learn how to say no, which opens the door to your next big Yes.

Ready to start using boundaries to maximize your time and energy? Click the link below to learn more about this transformative time tool and the bonuses that come with it:

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