Focus, it is not just the name of a 4GL reporting language which morphed into WebFOCUS a decade ago. Focus is critical to achieve the milestones and goals that we are reaching for.
The obstacle for many of us, and one that I am in the middle of right now, is how to stay focused on the task at hand and not get distracted to the point where we fall into the puddle of procrastination, actually, I should say something more like the quagmire of procrastination, because it is really difficult to extricate ourselves once we are sinking in it.
I am sure you have experienced this before or are in the middle of it right now, you have a project due by end of the week, whether it be a work project, a course deadline or even a home personal project. Today is Wednesday and oops, you are nowhere finishing it (and I am nowhere finishing it either), so what to do?!
You have self induced distractions, news, the weather, Aunt Sylvia’s phone call, errands, bills, friends that are experiencing their own meltdowns at work, in school or in their personal lives, the ebb and flow of life.
So I have been thinking about this today because I must get focused and here is the plan how to do it.
First, know the target. What exactly are you trying to achieve. Get clarity on that number one. It cannot be vague, like I have to study, without knowing exactly what information you have to get through.
Second, move towards the target, slowly but surely.
It is the same when you are traveling to a destination. Of course, today with on board navigation services, we do not even have to bring a map, awesome! Just tell your navigator where you want to go and they set up your car to let you know how to get there.
But, you have to know where you are going! Otherwise, even the navigator cannot help you.
So, right now, tell your navigator (yourself), what is the destination.
Once you have that, then start moving towards it. Every hour, stay focused, meaning, minimize the distractions, especially the easy ones.
If you would keep stopping on your road trip, you will never get where you are going. Some stops are must stops, like gas and a meal, but others will just take you off course.
Applied to our situation, we have to make the stops that are critical, fuel and rest, but at the same time, we have to eschew those that are not critical, like spending an hour reading about Murdoch’s pie in the face or watching Jimmy Kimmel. I think Kimmel is pretty funny actually, but now is not the time to start laughing at his jokes when you are faced with a deadline that you have not yet met.
Think of a laser. All that power from concentrated energy.
So these are the three steps:
Get clear on the goal.
Start moving towards that goal.
Only make critical stops along the way, like fuel, rest, exercise and helping yourself and your friends (for example writing this post!).
Now, let’s try it out, let me know how it worked out for you, and I will let you know how it worked out for me today!
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