Am I dedicated to removing distractions and mental clutter so that I can concentrate with clarity on the real issue?
This question has had me really thinking all week! My book for this month is How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell and so far, guys, it’s awesome!
But let’s go back to this question! So as an Enneagram 9 I find focusing hard at times. Even as I’m writing this I’m struggling. There are so many interesting things in the world – haha!
But no really, I put this question up on my board this past week and it was a quiet reminder to actually use the focus tools I already know all week! Now I want to help you fellow “Strugglers of Focus”. Here’s a few reasons you should focus and tips on how to focus from the book.
Reasons why you should do some focused thinking:
- Focused thinking harnesses energy toward a desired goal: when you take time to focus on one thing it gives you energy! You will find ideas begin to flow and solidify as you focus in.
- Focused thinking gives ideas time to develop: setting time to just ponder a thought allows you to begin to connect dots you never thought to connect when you’re moving from one thing to another
- Focused thinking brings clarity to the target: taking time to look deeply into an idea will make the idea grow from a hazy dream to a clear executable plan.
- Focused thinking will take you to the next level: This type of thinking will allow you to think outside the box!
Now these are just really good and valid reasons to focus and if you’re reading this you probably already know you need to get some focused thinking going but you don’t know how! Alright so let’s answer the next logical question. Sonja, how in the world do I create space for focused thinking.
Here’s 5 ways to do it:
- Remove distractions
“Don’t do easy things first or hard things first or urgent things first. Do first things first- the activities that give you the highest return” John Maxwell
Yup, remove the distractions that keep you busy doing everything but the main thing. For me, that sometimes means closing down and blocking apps like Instagram and Facebook for a few hours a day, or waiting to review email until I finish that big task at work. It also means having clear space to work. What does your desk look like? Clutter causes a cluttered mind so work to clear some space for your best work.
- Make time for focused thinking
Research shows that multitasking really isn’t a thing. We aren’t built to move from task to task effectively. We can make it happen but the quality of your work will suffer. So, take some time to focus in and take down one task at a time.
- Keep items of focus before you
This one looks like me putting that question I opened with right on my whiteboard so I can see it every day while I work, or having a planner with your major tasks prominently in your face all the time. It also looks like reminding yourself of your goals daily! I have a morning routine that plays on my Google Home that tells me my tasks for the day but then ends with reminding me of my 3rd quarter goals and then the best words ever “You got this girl!” It’s the best motivation every morning- haha!
- Set goals
Actually, set SPECIFIC goals and WRITE THEM DOWN. I promise you writing them down does something to you. Writing them down and then putting them somewhere you see daily takes it to the next level. David Belasco said “If you can’t write your idea on the back of my business card, you don’t have a clear idea.” So write that goal down, make it SMARTER like the awesome productivity guru Michael Hyatt teaches and run with it!
- Question Your progress
Finally question your progress and question it often. Do you have a goal to lose weight? Then you probably should be weighing yourself on some type of schedule, right? Weekly and quarterly reviews are great ways to start.
Now I’ve given you some reasons to focus and a few ways to start that process! Go and kill it this week!