Focused or Rigid? 3 Essential Steps for Flexible Focus

Cat Focus

Always focused!

Being focused is a powerful feeling. Have you experienced it?

Focusing on a project, right up to its successful completion is just wonderful. You feel carried forward by the flow of your concentration. And your confidence grows as you stay on track.

But rigidity is another matter entirely.

Fear-based and destructive, rigidity comes to the fore when you want SO much to stick with your plan that you’re willing to let other parts of your life suffer. Relationships can be the first casualty when you become overly rigid. And your body may complain bitterly, too.

It’s essential to learn the difference between being focused and being rigid in your daily decisions. So here are 3 ways to strengthen FLEXIBLE focus and avoid the pitfalls of rigidity:

Staying Focused and Flexible

Step #1: List your top priorities and COMMIT to balance.

Rigidity is focus that has lost its balance. This can happen to anyone, but it won’t happen as often when you consciously broaden your perspective. You may find it helpful to write down your central commitments, and then clarify boundaries for each in advance.

For example, you might resolve, “I won’t let this report interfere with my weekend plans!” Then, if you are tempted to cancel an important family get-together to review your project for the fifth time, an inner warning bell helps you readjust your perspective.

Step #2: PLAN your day the night before, giving each priority its fair share.

Some people mistake planning with rigidity. But realistic planning actually PROTECTS you from going overboard! First, if you chunk your project down into daily increments, you won’t be pulling all-nighters at the last minute, while losing your temper with those nearest and dearest to you.

Second, keeping to a well-planned schedule will help you sustain the tempo of healthy daily life, especially if you factor in a little flex time. When you are rested, healthy and well nourished, you retain your perspective more easily, and you build resiliency.

Don’t Let Sudden Change Derail You

Step #3: Compassionately FLOW with the unexpected.

Despite your best plans, your schedule may be up-ended by sudden change. If you grimly refuse to flex, your rigid focus may actually collide with the new state of affairs! So bring in compassion, breathing deep. Affirm that you can thrive despite this current setback, and ground yourself in your essential self-worth.

Next, call forth your nimbleness and creativity to explore fresh opportunities. Let your options broaden as you map the new terrain. Then intensify your focus onto your new course of action. You will find this process much easier to engage in if you have followed Steps #1 and #2.

Flexible focus is a skill you can build. And self-reference is one of your best allies. Keep checking in with yourself to find your “sweet spot” of balance, as you flex here, and hold firm there. Assess your results with friendly objectivity.

And you may have noticed that your boundaries play a vital role in creating and sustaining flexible focus. Well, stay tuned, because I’ve got something new to share with you at the end of tomorrow’s post…can’t wait!

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