The power of focus

 In Transition & Decisions, Work & career

To focus on the few things that really matter can be very challenging at the best of times. But once we realise the power of focus, we can achieve pretty much anything we set out to do. I mean it – I’ve seen it happen.

I don’t know about you, but I find it sooo easy sometimes to get caught up in the buzz and “noise” of the world around us. To juggle (the illusion of) work/life balance and somehow try to fit in all the ‘want to‘, ‘should‘ and ‘must’ do’s. 

As humans we are social beings who need other people to function. Some of us need more alone time (yes, I love my alone time too!), but we all need social interaction. In addition to that, most of us also have a need to be liked and accepted by others. 

Sometimes that need to be liked (it’s only human to need some form of approval!) leads to leaning more into what other people expect from us than what we actually want for ourselves. Which inevitably leads to you spending more time on other peoples stuff than what truly matters to YOU. 

Phew – that sounds exhausting, right! Well there is a fast way to stop it. Check this out.

In my coaching program I help people navigate this in more detail, but if you want the shortcut, it’s pretty simple. Focus.  

Focus is the most powerful tool I’ve seen in others and used many times in my life myself. Focusing on fewer things frees up space in your mind to dive deeper and enables a feeling of both lightness and energy at the same time

Our brain (or heart for that matter) simply can’t process too many things at the one time. If we still try to push it too far, it sends us to overwhelm (or even worse – burnout). 

If you resonate with this and know you need to do something about it today, I want to leave you with 3 simple tricks to find focus right now. Simply take a piece of A4 paper, divide it into 3 columns and:

  1. Write down the 3 most important things/key areas in your life right now across the top (one in each column). Could be things like family, finance, work, kids, health, house or anything else. You’re only allowed 3 key areas in this exercise, so group the headings wisely. 
  2. Under each of these write down at least 3 reasons WHY they are important to you
  3. List maximum 5 key action items per area that you need to do something about first (some examples might be to save a certain amount of money for house deposit, set up sessions for next month with your trainer, book in a weekly “family date night” with your partner and kids). Only when you’ve completed and crossed the first 3 action items off an area are you allowed to add new action items, but you can’t have any more than 5 action items per area in total. 

“Being too busy” is one of the biggest reasons behind unhappiness and burnout I’ve seen in my coaching work so far, and unfortunately it’s actually both ineffective and counterproductive to achieving great things. In many of my previous posts I’ve talked about the power of saying ‘no’. For some people the above exercise of finding a clear focus across a few key areas makes it a whole lot easier to say no to the things that don’t fall into their focus categories. 

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