For the past two weeks I have developed a method to help me achieve a greater sense of focus. I want to share my method with you today because I believe it could help you as well. I plan to keep this post relatively short as finding your personal focus shouldn’t become a monumental task. In fact my plan for finding focus breaks down to three simple steps:
- creating and maintaining a work focus folder
- creating and maintaining a personal focus folder
- creating a daily recurring task to “focus on your focus folders”
Before you begin your focus-journey, get (or go out and buy) an old-fashioned paper letter sized folder and while you’re at it buy a lined notepad if you don’t have one already. Getting “off the grid” is essential to finding focus as there’s too many distractions in the “virtual world.” Don’t use an app or anything electronic to keep your focus documents in. It may work for a while but trust me they will too easily get lost in all your other “digital clutter.” The point of this exercise is to create focus over the long-term. Computers and applications soon become obsolete and the last thing you’ll want is to “lose your focus.”
Creating and Maintaining a Work Focus Folder
On the top of your work focus folder simply write “Work Focus” and the date. From here you could essentially create a new folder every year to see how your focus has evolved. Get your notepad and start writing. What do you want to focus on when you’re at work? What things do you want to learn? What publications should you read on a daily basis? What web-browser links will you include in your toolbar? Take some time initially to develop your personal career vision.
Creating and Maintaining a Personal Focus Folder
Generally speaking this is the same thing as above only now your focus should shift to your personal life. What do you want to achieve? What relationships are most important to you? What commitments deserve your focus? Do you have a health or fitness plan? Include it here. Do you have a personal reading and learning plan? Do you have a side business? Include your vision here. Use your imagination and learn what matters most in your life outside of work.
Creating a Daily Recurring Task to “Focus on your Focus Folders”
Now here’s where the technology comes into the picture. If you have the Microsoft Outlook email client create a daily recurring task sometime in the mid-morning where you can reflect on your folders. Look at what you wrote down the previous day and make modifications as you see fit. If you don’t have Outlook use your smartphone’s reminders app to go off on a daily basis and take yourself off the grid for 10-20 minutes to make sure you are on the right path. The point here is to find something to remind yourself every day to review your folders.
Personally I’ve been doing this for about two weeks and can say that my focus is getting progressively sharper. I am achieving more plus I now have a solid vision. I hope to hear from you on this topic. Let me know how you achieve greater focus in your life.
Image Credit to Awakening Buddha Within