8 Steps to Focus

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Fall Colours

October is coming to an end, there are more leaves on the ground than the trees. Time to get back on track to the main topic of focus after focusing on the terrible events of last week.

Previous posts have explored reasons why the ability to focus seems difficult for many people in the current constantly connected, digital society.

The absence of a strong why, goals and a mission or crusade are big factors. Distractions a major hurdle. Good, productive habits or the lack thereof, establishing an environment to support focusing, following routines, all have an effect.

Which is the most important? Why?

Explaining in words how all these factors relate to each other and the combined effect on our ability to focus gets complicated. A graphic example much like a flow chart simplifies it.

 

focus

Focus Flowchart – PeterWrightsBlog 2014

If we consider the ability to focus is the result of all the steps in the chart, it is easy to understand why distractions can derail us at each point. If any single step is weak, it is easier to be distracted than to do what the step requires. Easier to check emails instead of focusing on finding customers for example. If the first steps, our why, goal and mission are strong, the other steps are easy to take.

We can lessen the power of distractions by creating a better environment, putting up firewalls to stop them catching our attention. Creating habits and routines that help us keep our focus.

All the steps are important, but for some goals they might be automatic. In the example of finding a cure for a sick child, your why would be so strong that distractions would have little chance of affecting your focus.You would go straight to the action step and stay there, relentlessly taking action until a solution was found.

Setbacks happen. They are part of any worthwhile journey, they can easily erode our commitment, cause our focus to be distracted. Sometimes we need more or different action to overcome setbacks, at others a course correction, perhaps an adjustment to our focus. Sometimes the setback exposes an insurmountable hurdle which requires a rethink on our goal or mission, a new strategy and action plan. That is when distractions have their greatest power to destroy our focus. To lead us astray.

Which step do you find more difficult? The one where you get distracted?

 

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  4 comments for “8 Steps to Focus

  1. Roberta
    October 29, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    There is no one place on your list where I might be distracted. A phone call is a distraction. Noise outside can some times be a distraction. Hunger can be a distraction.

    However, every distraction is not calamity. Sometimes when I get back to work something magical happens – I know exactly what must write. I find a better way to say something. It is like my brain needed a break, a distraction for creativity to take over.

    Some of my best ideas have come after a distraction or a break.

    • October 30, 2014 at 1:41 pm

      Too true Roberta, but the key is “Sometimes when I get back to work…” the difficulty is when the distraction is so compelling that we don’t get back to what we were, or should be, doing.

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