Laser Focus–Make it Your Watchword for 2012
I totally agree with the trend back towards FOCUS, as opposed to ‘multi-tasking’, which is the modus operandi of anyone who is easily distracted by the latest shiny new thing. In fact, I’m making it a major part of my business plan for 2012 to learn to focus. It’s going to be a challenge for me because naturally, I have what my mother used to call a butterfly mind.
Multi-Tasking–Out With the Old!
I always felt rather uncomfortable with multi-tasking, even when it was regarded as a virtue, because it just doesn’t sit well with me that when you’re flitting from task to task you could possibly be doing your best work. And now it has been confirmed that multi-tasking is actually bad for you. Could you read three books at a time? No! You unquestionably get more out of your reading experience if you allow yourself to focus on the words of one book at a time, and read it in sequence, page-after-page, right to the end.
To me, it seems common sense that everything in our life is like that. Natural health experts of all persuasions tell us, for example, that we benefit more from our food if we allow ourselves to focus on nothing else, and if we don’t try to combine eating with catching up on email, or watching TV.
And there’s no question that what allows Olympic-class athletes to be the best is focus. Often assisted by some kind of meditation or mind training.
While i acknowledge that being too much of a perfectionist could be what’s holding many of us back from reaching our true potential, when we put off completing anything because it’s never good enough, I still believe that a far higher level of focus than average is necessary to plow through our to-do list and reach our goals. The key is balance. To be focused while you’re in the midst of a project, but to have the presence of mind to know when the task is done, not perfect but done to the point where it serves its purpose, and just put it out there for the world to see.
So, for me, the order of work for 2012 is going to be to create a plan and tick off those tasks, one-by-one, with as much focus as I can muster until I reach my goals.
What can laser focus do for you?
- Increase your productivity.
- Improve the quality of your tasks.
- Reduce the stress associated with intense multi-tasking.
- Brings tranquility and order into your life. The more you focus, the more you invite tranquility.
- Reduce stress-related health issues.
- Free up valuable time to allow you to set more ambitious goals for yourself.
- Give you a huge sense of achievement.
Learn to Focus!
OK, so that’s all very well. But how can we improve our levels of focus to a point where we’re achieving nicely?
- Decide when you are most likely to achieve that all-important mental clarity that can lead to intense levels of focus. It’s not the same for all of us.
- Create a checklist of sub-tasks that, when completed, will mean that your project is finished. This is so that you don’t become subconsciously distracted and convince yourself that the project is finished when it’s not. There are a million online tools for creating your to-do list, but here’s the Google lead–it’s free and good.
- Decide on a length of time you want to focus on a task to the exclusion of all else
- Use a timer and ignore everything else but the task to hand until the timer goes off
- Don’t set yourself unrealistically long periods of time for focus. Anything from 2 minutes to 30 minutes is optimal. But the trick is to ignore everything else while you’re ‘focusing.’
- Learn how to meditate. It increases your powers of focus no-end and has other desirable side effects that will help you move forward in your life.
- Increase your powers of focus by training yourself not to move on to another new project until you’ve finished the one at hand. The more unfinished projects you have in the pipeline right now, the more important this part will be to you… (note to self…)
I sincerely hope that you achieve mental clarity, laser focus, and all of your goals for 2012!