The Power of Focus


A few days ago, I was giving two of my friends, Ned and Jane a ride to the mall. Ned was doing some work on her IPad. I think it was a registration submission that was getting late. Along the way, it got real cloudy, like thunder storm dark and it started to pour. After about ten minutes of driving in the rain, Ned raises her head from the Ipad and goes “jeez when did it start to rain?” Jane and I go “you can’t be serious…”  As we were chiding her on the stupidity of her question,
something I’d known for a while just got highlighted to me, it’s ‘The power of focus’. She was so focused on what she was doing that she didn’t even experience the darkening of the clouds and the pelting of the rain.

The power of focus works in two ways. It sharpens your vision and it blinds you. The trick in making it work for you, is in being able to tap into the sharpening effect while also being in control of  the blinding effect. Let’s look at the two main functions of focus and why you need them so much.

  •  It multiplies time

  In life, there is so much to do and very little time to do it, so much to achieve and too little time. The power to focus on a single task at a time is the greatest time multiplier in human history. I have a formula which is, “when you focus completely on a task, it takes you less than half the time to achieve results than if you are distracted”.  Take for example, this morning, as I’m trying to put down these thoughts, my phone won’t stop buzzing (Aargggghh, I hate that thing sometimes. Don't get me wrong, I love y'all buzzing me though), so I have to keep going between my laptop and my phone. If you would achieve anything, you must learn to consciously and deliberately focus.

  •  It blindsides you

 Everything in life is fighting for your attention! Note that your attention is one of your greatest resources because in it lies the power to achieve. Everyone from an irate boss to a jobless colleague, between your one million deadlines, one trillion desires, and your constantly buzzing phone, everything is struggling to get your full attention. if you do not consciously ignore some, you would end up achieving nothing at all. On the other hand, when you are focused, like my friend was, the screaming world fades to the background, like the pelting rain did.


HOW DO YOU FOCUS?

I believe the key to focus is planning. When you don’t plan your life or your day, everything is welcome and meaningful productivity is impossible. You are dragged along by the need which like an un fed baby, screams the loudest (and we know it’s our unimportant desires that scream the most). So every morning, make a ‘to do’ list (don’t roll your eyes, I know it’s boring and you seldom follow it, but still do, it’s important)

I read a book once “The Power of Focus” by Jack Canfield et’al , very good book. If you can lay hold of it read it, but if not, Micheal Zipursky did a good summary of the book into nine lessons.

Lesson #1 - Each week take one day completely off. No business phone, no emails. No work. Just make it your day to think and plan. But don't actually do an business work.

Lesson #2 - Spend time with your family. At least one day each week should be a full family day. if you can't do that, be sure to spend as much as you possibly can each day in the mornings or evenings with the people you love and care about.

Lesson #3 - Before going to sleep, create an outline of what you want to accomplish the following day. Not in your head, write it down, Do that from Monday to Friday.

Lesson #4 - Find one thing that makes your day better. Each of us has things that we enjoy doing. Make sure you do something you enjoy each day. Whatever it is. Treat yourself.

Lesson #5 - Take a nap. The authors suggest taking 25 minutes to sleep mid day during the week. this will re-charge you and get you more focused. Especially if you're waking up between 5:30 - 6:30am each morning.

Lesson #6 - Ask more. Don't be scared of rejection. You need to ask people in all situations for what you want. It's what kids do. It's what works. Ask and you'll often get.

Lesson #7 - Be consistent and persistent. Don't give up on something after only a couple of tries. It can take often years of toiling away to make an 'overnight' success'.

Lesson #8 - Keep your promises. Most people don't follow through and do what they say. If you do, make sure you promote that fact.

There are no hard and fast rules people! You can adjust to fit your peculiar need. 


WHAT DO I FOCUS ON?

Focus on the first thing on your list every morning, and ignore the rest until it is done, then you move to the second and on and on until your list is done or your time for the day expires. The power to focus will help you achieve so much more in less time, so start right now.    

"Image courtesy of Jeroen van Oostrom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net"

Kanayo Aniegboka

Kani is a writer, entrepreneur, blogger, public speaker and an all-round knowledge junkie who likes to view life from different angles.

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