how to stay focused

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Choose What You Focus On Wisely

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Life can be very stressful for any number of reasons. Some of them are self-inflicted, while others are out of your control.

Regardless of why life is stressful for you, you need to be able to block it out when it’s time to get to work, otherwise you’re going to be pulled away from the projects you need to do in order to make money.

One type of burden that has appeared much more often recently is now known as “doom-scrolling,” which refers to the act of continuously scrolling through bad news even though it has a negative impact on you mentally.

You might go to just check the top headlines on any news site, and just continuously scroll through looking at all the bad news you can, which ends up making you more stressed and upset.

This is one of the more self-inflicted burdens. Much like being addicted to social media, people have found themselves addicted to reading the most upsetting headlines constantly, which just ends up being bad for them.

If this type of behavior is inhibiting you from working well, you need to tune out from the news for a little while and focus on work, especially during hours that you should be working.

There are tons of burdens which are either out of your control or only partially in your control, such as marriage problems and concerns with friends, which can also negatively affect you in work.

You have to understand that there is a time to work on these problems, which is outside of work. If your job stresses productivity as most jobs do, you’re not going to fare very well if you’re constantly distracted by problems outside of work.

Wait until you’re on your own time to deal with these types of issues. There are a few different reasons as to why these types of issues should be dealt with on your own time.

For one, they can make you stressed out and have you on edge, which can negatively affect your work performance in many ways.

You can end up being more intimidating to clients and co-workers if the perceive you to be stressed out, and you can also end up working much slower if you’re distracted, leading you to have much worse performance.

If you’re getting poor performance reviews and losing clients due to being stressed out, you’re going to be adding on more stress to what you already have, due to the financial problems that come along with lower bonuses and less clients at work. It is difficult, but you have to leave the problems you have at home behind when you go to work.

Remember that you choose what you focus on so choose wisely. These decisions can have a significant impact on the direction of your life so learn to make wise decisions.

One way to do this is to study decision making and there is a great book that can help you do just that. It is called Mental Models and I have done a quick review of the book below.

Mental Models Book Review

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If you’re like most people, you can often make decisions based on the wrong input. The information that you get can fools you into thinking that you must handle something when it doesn’t need to be handled at the moment.

In the book, Mental Models, the author shares valuable lessons ranging from how to make better decisions to how to approach those decisions. Readers will also learn how to handle problem solving when the need arises.

The book opens with a chapter on decision making. The first part teaches readers the importance of focusing on the things that are important, rather than things that are urgent.

When something is important, this is what your true priority is. The author explains that important things are what will help you to achieve your goals. These are necessities and require action, but they won’t come across as urgent things to deal with.

You’ll discover that urgent matters can sometimes masquerade as important but aren’t. These are things that you think you must take care of right away but it’s not true. Usually, these urgent matters come up as a result of other people acting like the matter is urgent.

Or you can prioritize a matter as urgent when you want to put off doing something else – something you should be doing. The author shares the “Eisenhower Matrix” with readers.

This is a system that divides tasks into important and unimportant. Then it takes those tasks and further divides them according to what’s urgent and what’s not. The system teaches you what you need to do right now, what tasks you should plan to do, what someone else can handle and what you can ignore completely.

Another chapter shares with readers the importance of being able to correctly see. This part talks about using the brain’s second system. This system is where slow and deliberate choices are made, unlike in system one of the brain, which often makes decisions without thinking things through.

You’ll learn how to know if your perspective is correct when you’re solving problems. This same area of the book also shares how you can understand your own issues or faults and how you can learn to check those.

An interesting chapter in the book focuses on avoiding things and how doing this can actually help you to succeed. The information shared in this chapter goes against the most common advice you might have heard.

For example, one directive is on avoiding to-do lists. Another part tells readers to avoid dealing with direct goals. While this advice is contrary to some popular advice, the information in the book is solid and can help you learn to improve your decision making.

If you want to become a powerful decision maker, his book is a great place to start. Check out Mental Models here.

As you can appreciate, all of this decision making and maintaining focus can take a lot of self-discipline and a positive attitude. If you don’t have this, you will probably struggle to maintain any focus and creativity, so it is well worth your while to adopt the correct mindset; I know this may sound a little cliched, but it does really work.

If you want to develop more self-discipline, click on the featured resource below to get a free report, The Power Of Self-Discipline; download, read it and take action 😊

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how to stay focused

Take Time To Gain Perspective And Plan

stay focusedLining everything up and getting it done isn’t something that as easy as it sounds because the full speed ahead method doesn’t usually work on a project. You might be someone who likes to choose your project, write out all the steps, then try to plow through from start to finish.

While that sounds great in theory, you can miss things along the way. Or you can end up not doing the best job that you could have done with a system check in place. When you’re working on a project, you need to pause to make sure you have the right perspective.

By strategizing, you can make your project have the best possible outcome. When you’re working on something, take the time to think carefully about what you’re doing. Look at what you’ve done so far.

Check to see how what you’ve worked on lines up with the goals you’ve set. This will allow you to see if anything is veering off track. It’s better to catch that periodically throughout working on the project rather than reaching the end and find that you’ve missed a lot of important steps or completely missed your goal.

Look at the work that you’ve done so far. Study it to see how you’ve performed. This can show you if you’re struggling in any part of the project. It can also allow you to check to see if what you’ve done so far meets your expectations.

Or see if it meets consumer expectations. Creating anything is a two-fold step of having the vision in your mind, then bringing it to life. What can happen is that what you see in your vision can be totally different once you start working on it because you might find that you’ve inadvertently gone in a different direction.

While this might not be a bad direction, if it doesn’t line up with your vision, then it’s not in line with your goals and you have to steer things back onto the right track. When you take the time to gain perspective, this can help you see if improvements need to be made at specific points.

For example, when working on something, give yourself check-in points at certain places in the work. Some people check in at the third of the way mark while others check the work or results when they’re halfway done.

By having a strategy in place to check your work, you’ll be able to tweak what’s not working or to make improvements on what is working. When you pause to gain perspective, this can help to give you new strength for working on the project.

It can also allow you to make sure all of your goals line up. Or, if a goal you’ve previously set needs to be changed or brought back into focus, you’ll be able to make a change at that time.

Now you have your strategy in place you want to be as productive as possible so you can implement it quickly and see results, and this is where the Pomodoro technique comes in.

Using The Pomodoro Technique For Increased Focus And Creativity

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If you have trouble allowing little distractions to pull you away from your work several times a day, the Pomodoro Technique might be a great fit for you. This is a great time management method.

This technique is also great for those who have work that could take an unlimited amount of time like if you were writing a book. The Pomodoro Technique has four basic steps.

The first step is to simply pick a task from your to-do list. The second step is to set a timer for twenty-five minutes and you would only work on that task for the allotted amount of time.

This means you wouldn’t pause to check social media or have any distractions open in the background. It also means that you wouldn’t switch to a task that you find easier or feel more urgent.

Once your twenty-five minutes are up, the next step in the method is to take a five-minute break. After the break, you would then choose a new task, or return to your first task if it wasn’t complete and work for another twenty-five minutes.

Each task is referred to as your pomodoro. Once you’ve done four pomodoros, or after four of your twenty-five minute sessions, the final step is to take a break that is at least fifteen minutes long.

This final break shouldn’t exceed thirty minutes. This technique has become so popular because it helps you break down complex projects into ones with manageable amounts of time.

It can be hard to do research for five hours, but it becomes easier when you do it in twenty-five-minute sprints. You can also put more than one pomodoro in a session. So for example, if you have some simpler tasks like folding laundry or paying the doctor bill you can put them together in one session.

You’ll be surprised at how quickly you can cross things off your to-do list when you use this technique. If you’re in the middle of a pomodoro and you remember you need to do something else, don’t stop.

Simply write the forgotten task down and continue working. For this technique to work, it’s important that you don’t stop during the middle of one. Some interruptions—such as needing to pick kids up—are unavoidable.

If this happens during one of your pomodoros, simply take that time as your break, and start a new pomodoro after the interruption is over. You may find it useful to plan your pomodoros in advance to head off interruptions.

Divide your blocks of time into sections and write next to these sections what you’re going to accomplish during your pomodoro. You can also write down how many pomodoros you think it will take you, or how many you would like it to take you and then strive to reach that goal.

It’s important when planning your pomodoros not to assign yourself so much that you can’t cross everything off the list. This will leave you feeling like you failed or that it didn’t work at the end of the day. Start with the more pressing and urgent tasks, and if you have more time, then work on the smaller things.

As you probably already know, having a strong mindset is critical to any attempt to plan and stay focused, so click on the featured resource below to get a free report on how to develop a strong mindset. Download, it read and take action 🙂

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2 Quick Tips To Help You Stay Focused

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I’m sure you’ll all agree that staying focused has a major impact on your productivity and thus ultimately your success.

Why? Well, focus allows you to stay on track and avoid the many distractions that life will put in your way.

If you can manage these distractions then you will be able to reach your goals that much quicker, and reaching goals quicker will help to motivate you as you are seeing results; it’s a positively reaffirming success cycle.

Of course, focus isn’t just about work or business. Focus impacts many other areas of our lives such as study and our relationships and if you lack focus it can cause many problems in these areas so it is well worth learning how to stay focused!

Medication and lack of sleep can cause people to lose focus so it is definitely worth taking these things into consideration if these are relevant to your particular circumstances.

So how do you stay focused?

Well, there are many ways and in this post, we are going to look at a couple of ways that you can keep your focus on the right things.

OK, on with the show…

Tip 1: Don’t Give In To Temptation

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By this I mean that you need to avoid the temptation to do things you would rather be doing!

Let’s be honest, most people don’t actually enjoy doing work. It takes a lot of time out of your day that you’d rather be spending either relaxing or getting small things done around the house, and it’s not always very fulfilling.

Obviously, you still have to get your work done – otherwise you won’t be making money. In order to keep up with your work, especially when working from home, you have to avoid the temptation of doing other things.

When you’re working for a large company in an office, it’s not so hard to stay on track. There are people around you frequently, and if you’re goofing off and watching Netflix during work hours, people are going to know.

However, while working from home, kicking back and relaxing instead of doing work is much easier. If you’re working on your own computer, you’re just a click away from watching some TV or movies, or a second away from pulling out your phone and checking social media.

For some, avoiding the temptation isn’t too difficult. You might be able to just set it all aside and get all of your work done before you choose to relax, and if that’s the case, that’s great!

However, some people have a more difficult time resisting the urge to go and do something that they enjoy instead of doing somewhat tedious work. One trick for people like this is to use a sort of reward system.

For doing a certain amount of work, you can engage in a specific amount of down time. If you do an hour of work, you can watch an episode of your show. This isn’t exactly a permanent solution, but it should instead be used to wean yourself off of these distractions so that you can really have a full workday to get as much done as possible.

Alternatively, if you’d like to easily cut yourself off completely, there are lockdown programs you can install that will block you from accessing certain websites, such as Netflix, during hours that you’re supposed to be working.

This option essentially makes your computer only able to do work related things during the hours that you want it to, and even on certain days. It’s understandably tempting to blow off work when nobody’s around and you have the freedom to do so, but in order to grow your business and bring in a good amount of money, you need to fully commit to working hard and not get sucked in by random distractions.

OK, now you have managed to avoid temptation, here is the second tip that can help you to stay focused on the task(s) at hand…

Tip 2: Allow Yourself The Right Kinds Of Distractions

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Part of being creative is being somewhat distracted by the world around you, because it allows you to draw a great amount of inspiration that you can channel into your work. The problem is, when people think about being distracted, they think about the wrong kinds of distractions.

Instead of being distracted by things that can help you be more creative, you might be getting distracted by things that can make you completely unfocused and uncreative. One of the most common types of sabotaging distractions is social media.

Most social media apps and websites have been designed quite cleverly to keep you scrolling and scrolling for hours on end. Never-ending timelines and feeds can have you hooked for far longer than you may realize, and they seldom contribute to your creativity.

In fact, even if you’re only following things related to what you’re being creative with, you’re still not going to be coming up with many of your own ideas, and instead might end up accidentally ripping off something or someone else.

Another major distraction for people is video streaming services. There are so many popular ones out there, from Netflix and Hulu to YouTube or Twitch. All of these can easily suck you in, just like social media, and you’re still going to be uncreative during the entire process.

The reason these distractions aren’t very helpful is a simple one. The whole point of being unfocused to boost your creativity is that it helps broaden your vision, and instead of being hyper-focused on one little thing, you’re more open to the world around you.

With things like social media and online streaming, you’re still very focused, just on something unrelated. Being distracted and being unfocused are not entirely the same thing.

Being unfocused is like going for a walk in the park with nothing in particular on your mind. You’re able to absorb all the little things around you, whether you notice it or not, and your mind isn’t crowded by something else.

This allows you to gather more inspiration to fuel your creativity. Even if you’re unfocused, you can still have creativity at the forefront of your mind, so you can at least try to pick up on things that can help you be more creative.

Distractions, on the other hand, just give you something else to focus on. If you’re really invested in a show and you’re watching it closely, you’re going to be heavily immersed in what’s going on. That doesn’t leave much room for your mind to wander or for you to be creative.

Having a strong mindset is critical to any attempt to stay focused, so click on the featured resource below to get a free report on how to develop a strong mindset. Download, it read and take action 🙂

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