Can you achieve your goals without staying focused? I don’t think so. Many people wonder how to stay focused and achieve success.
I think being focused is the ability to say that “I’m doing this work and nothing else, and no one can stop me from doing it”.
Well, learning how to focus is in-fact a matter of making it a daily habit, isn’t it? You cannot stop a person with a focused mind to do what he or she plans.
I’ve heard many people say that they start off well with good intentions, but become unfocused after a while. Don’t worry. You’re not the only one to feel this way.
Sometimes I also start a project, work a little on it, and then lose focus or get distracted, but not for long – as I take a little break and I’m back to work again, more focused than before.
Has this happened with you too? How do you remain alert and concentrate on your work? Let me know in the comments.
“Stay focused, go after your dreams and keep moving toward your goals.” ~ LL Cool J
An Overview of Contents
How Successful People Remain Focused
You’ll mostly hear people say that they are not motivated and need to have enough passion to achieve goals. They feel only successful people have this kind of willpower and unstoppable passion, something that they lack.
But you know, even successful people get bored like you and me. They also sometimes lack motivation and need daily inspiration. They have also learnt how to rise up every time they fall.
The huge difference is that those who want to achieve goals don’t let their emotions influence their actions.
That’s right. Not only your disturbing emotions but also uncontrollable, useless, or unrelated thoughts might cause you to drift from what you’re doing and bring you out of focus.
But the successful lots find ways to work up through the boredom. They do all it takes to achieve their goals. It’s their capability to do the task when it’s not easy, and that is what separates them from others.
So, if you too want to be successful, then you need to follow the ways of the successful people to zero in on your target and stay focused.
Distractions are a major problem that does not allow people to stay focused. You cannot achieve goals if you are distracted. But who decides you have to stop where. No one, but you yourself!
Places like Facebook and other social media networks, or whether it is video games, TV, and text messages – they are all supposed to be used in moderation. You need to limit your time using them.
However, most people drown themselves into such distractions and make them their core activities, such that it leaves them no time to do other tasks in hand.
Being in focus is an uphill task for them.
Are you in a similar situation? Do you think you need to know how to stay focused and achieve your goals too? Then, this post is for you.
What You Need to Stay Focused
There are certain requirements for staying focused, and if you consider them, then attaining goals will not be a problem for you.
• Set Priorities
There might be many areas in your life that need attention. It becomes tough to decide which ones need immediate attention or where you need to focus first. That is because you want them ALL done now!
When you want to focus on a single task, it becomes tough to keep the other pending tasks aside. You begin feeling overwhelmed and feel you need to do all those task and be present all over.
That’s when you think that a quick Facebook or Twitter break will do you good, and you head there to check on your messages or notifications. And those ‘few minutes’ break turns to perhaps 1-2 hours!
Remember that whatever you do today will reflect on your life ahead. If you spend 1 hour on Facebook, for example, then you are setting that standard for yourself.
But what if instead you write 1000 words during that 1 hour you waste, imagine the amount you’d accomplish in a year’s time!
Writing nearly 365,000 words, that’s nearly writing a new blog post daily, or writing 4-5 full books in a year, if you had not wasted that 1 hour.
• Believe in yourself and your task in hand
You need to think positive to stay focused and achieve goals. If a task appeals to you, such that you are willing to take risk accomplishing it and don’t fear failure, it’s worthy of your undivided attention.
You need to move forward and make progress by believing in your abilities, in areas that matter to you. Once you accomplish one task, turn your focus on the next one and move ahead.
You might like – How To Boost Self Esteem in 8 Simple Ways
• Fight distractions
Distraction of home, work, family, friends, events and other things stop people from staying focused and achieving their goals.
It takes time and effort to remain focused to achieve goals that sometimes you give up.
You need to plan your task strategically. To stay on focus, decide on the best time to do your work. Chalk out the distractions that would arise and how you would react, and then deal with them.
Focus means to think strategically, and you need to remain committed and dedicated to be after one thing till the end at the cost of other possibilities.
Some people let distractions rule over them, but remember, you are distracted because you let yourself be distracted.
For example, if your friend calls or messages, your friend doesn’t know you are working on something.
Just let it be- end your tasks and then call back! If you explain, people understand that it’s your work time and you need to stay focused while working.
Start by keeping aside just one hour daily to focus on a main area of your choice. Train your mind to stay focused. You need to ‘make’ time for things that matter to you, isn’t it?
Take the example of Thomas Edison. He failed so many times before finally succeeding in inventing the lamp. But imagine if he hadn’t stayed focused on his goals – would he have achieved success?
He kept trying after each failure and remained focused till he achieved his goal.
• Accept that you may not achieve success
You’re only human and when you focus on any task, you pour all your energy into it. Your brain tells you it is an important task because you focus on a single idea, task, or thought.
However, sometimes you cannot achieve your goals despite being focused. Remember, focus does not guaranty success but only improves and increase your chances to be successful.
Also know that it is alright to accept this fact – face your failure and learn from it.
Don’t fear failure because that is your stepping stone to success. Remember, it’s ok to fail at times, and that doesn’t mean you stop trying. Being alert, aware, and determined helps you attain your goals.
“The true measure of success is how many times you can bounce back from failure.” ~ Stephen Richards
People don’t focus on their goals because they are afraid. They hesitate, procrastinate, and think negative, and try ways to escape from doing things.
They don’t want to try things out, or move out of their comfort zones.
Achieving Your Goals is a Process
People think that achieving goals is the end result. For them success is an event that can be achieved.
For example, “If I write a book, I’d achieve success”, or “If I get featured in a magazine, I’d gain credibility.”
You forget that to write a book, you need to fall in love with the process of writing and keep writing daily!
But if you see people who consistently achieve their goals, you realize it’s not the event or end result that matter. Instead, it’s the journey, their commitment to the process – it’s a daily practice for them.
“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson
So, don’t worry about the end result – fall in love with the journey, the boredom, the repeated process, the practice, the process and enjoy each moment. 🙂
15 Ways to Stay Focused and Achieve Your Goals
Always keep your goals always in your mind. Yes, distractions are a part of life and you’ll find them everywhere. However, how you deal with those distractions lies in your hands.
“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.” ~ Bruce Lee
1- Organize Your Workplace
Whatever you are working at, you need to have a clean and well organized working area because that helps you remain focused and you can work with full concentration.
It doesn’t take long, just a few minutes to keep things in the right place before you start work. Things you don’t need or use, keep away.
It’s said a cluttered work area creates a clutter in the mind too, so keep things organized.
2- Find Your Purpose to Stay Motivated
When you have a purpose to end your task, your work will motivate you and thus help you concentrate.
Some people lose focus as they cannot see what they might achieve and prefer doing other things.
After finding your purpose, write it down – define it as that will be your driving force to achieve your goal.
For example, if you are blogging, remind yourself why it is important for you and what you want to achieve from it.
3- Define Your Goals
Define your goals by chalking out the number of hours you are going to work and make list of your priorities.
When you write them down, they become more real and can be reviewed and used to encourage you. This helps to take care of distractions as and when they come up and how you can deal with them.
Must Read – Creating A Life Plan Can Change Your Life
Don’t overburden yourself by focusing on more than a few goals at a time as it will demotivate you and reduce your chance of achieving your goals.
Divide your time and keep accomplishing them one by one.
Narrow down your focus by completing the goals based on the priority. By defining your goals you stay focused to complete them by the end of the day.
4- Learn to Manage Your Time
Once you define your goals and make your list, write down how much time it will take you to complete each task. You are your best judge, so be realistic and complete each task within the set time limit.
Don’t become overwhelmed with time consuming tasks. Instead, break them into small bits and complete each one, one at a time.
“My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” ~ Bill Gates
You would like this post on time management – 6 Easy Tips for Time Management You Need to Know
This way you will be focused on your task rather than spending it chit-chatting with friends or wondering where time went by!
5- Use Visualization
When you want to remain focused you need to have a strong visual image of what you want to achieve – your target, so that you can reach your goal by focusing on the end result.
The more you visualize what you want to obtain, the more you can focus on achieving it. Achievers have the ability to visualize their goals as already accomplished.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” ~ Mark Twain
Imagine how your family and friends would react once you achieve your goals – that is the power of visualization.
6- Take Breaks In-between
As you work, your alertness reduces and you tend to get easily distracted. So, it’s good to work in shifts of 30 or 60 or 90 minute blocks, depending on what suits you. Set a timer and take frequent breaks.
You could take a short walk, listen to music, chat with friends, or cook and do the household chores.
Some people like to reward themselves by visiting Facebook, but for a limited time during such breaks. But don’t get stuck there! Come right back once the timer goes off 🙂
7- Turn OFF Everything
When people ask me how to stay focused, I always tell them one thing – just turn off all your tabs, emails, phones, and everything around you.
When you sit to work – just concentrate on your work and nothing else. When you say yes to achieve your goals, you must NO to other things, isn’t it?
“Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” ~ Alexander Graham Bell
If you are working in an office, you can set up a time when you can take your calls, check emails, or make a system so that urgent messages can reach you. Other than that, just switch-off!
8- Learn To Say NO
This is a tough one for me! But to stay focused, you need to say, “No” to a lot of people and things.
When it’s work time, just say, “I’m sorry I cannot do that for you as I’m working on a deadline.”
I know how hard it is to say these lines. I sometimes postpone a response by saying, “Let me think it over and get back to you”. This avoids an outright NO or rejecting an offer.
“Focusing is about saying No.” ~ Steve Jobs
Remember, once you refuse politely, people understand and begin respecting your way or working. Of course, help out and do their work once you complete your task.
9- Make Time for Distractions
Distractions aren’t bad, but you need to schedule them so they work for you. Use them to reward yourself after you achieve your goal or end your task.
Distractions like playing a game, calling friends, visiting Faceook or your other social networks are all good, provided you stick to your schedule and time yourself.
You need to learn to not get distracted by trying to practice mediation and focusing on single-tasking. For example, if you are reading the newspaper, just do that, don’t check your email or status update.
There are many apps to fight distraction you can use, without letting them become distractions!
10- Create New Habits
To focus and reach your goals do something that is repeated daily, even if it’s just for 10 minutes each day. Make it a daily habit and analyze your progress by recording it daily.
They say that it takes 21 days to create a new habit.
So, if you want to move from an old habit that you know is not letting you focus, to one that will help you, stick with the habit for 3 weeks to see a change.
When you do something consistently for so long, it becomes a part of your personality and you eventually keep doing it without really thinking of it.
11- Improve Your Focus
Some people get distracted easily. For such people, just take any task and give yourself half an hour to work on that task without taking any break.
Then slowly increase your time and focus by a few more minutes to see how long you can increase your stamina. Reading and writing continuously help in such cases.
I’ve learnt this over time and can sit for hours at a stretch, but I remind myself to keep getting up and walking a little after every hour. How about you?
12- Don’t Multi-task
You might think that multi-tasking helps you complete many tasks all at once. But that’s wrong as it just slows you down and confuses your brain.
You need to reset your brain each time you shift between two tasks. However, a lot depends on what all tasks you multi-task with.
Like cooking and listening to music is fine, but cooking and chatting on Facebook will not work. It might leave you with a burnt meal. 🙂
13- Be With People Who Have Similar Goals
Sometimes you are surrounded by people who prevent you from achieving your goals. They prevent you from staying focused. It can be tough to breakaway because these people maybe your family or friends.
They may not share the same goals or be interested in your goals. You need to extend your circle and move from those who hold you back if you want to achieve goals in life.
Having goal buddies or friends who share the same goals as you, helps you remind about your goal and motivate you when you feel a little down.
14- Use Positive Affirmations
Stay away from negative self-talks. Instead, use positive affirmations and remind yourself about the goals you want to achieve.
Positive affirmations help you believe in yourself and stay focused. Writing down your goals in present tense helps in personal affirmations.
For example, instead of saying “I want to earn more money”, say “I earn $5,000 a month” would be better.
After writing, read your goals in a loud and firm voice as it would make you proud of what it will feel like to reach it, and ignite the passion to accomplish your goal.
Some people create and use mantras that are small phrases that you can repeat daily – they encourage and remind you to concentrate on your goals.
15- Take Care of Yourself
You cannot remain focused if you do not care about yourself and your health.
Taking adequate rest, sleeping for at least 7-8 hours a day, eating a balanced diet and staying healthy are things you need to do to stay focused.
Mediate and concentrate on your breathing. Deep breathe, stay calm, and serene. When you inhale and exhale and concentrate on your breath, you are able to focus better when you sit to work.
Give yourself a break if you work continuously to avoid burnout (good reminder for me!) because that affects your productivity a great deal.
Don’t forget to celebrate each achievement by acknowledging and rewarding yourself for the progress you’ve made towards your goal.
You’d like this short video on more ways to stay focused 🙂
Four Keys to Staying Focused at Work ~ YouTube Video
Speaking of myself and my blog, when I look back, I don’t think I could have achieved all that I have – had I not been focused on my work.
I am not just saying this to praise myself here, but just to make you realize that if I can achieve my goals, you can achieve your goals too. All you need to do is stay centered, committed, and determined.
“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” ~ Denis Waitley
So, are you ready to start? I hope now you will not lose your focus, nor procrastinate or get caught up by distractions. Instead, remain focused and achieve goals one after the other.
Cheers to your success! 🙂
Over to you –
Do you know how to stay focused to achieve your goals? What are the ways to you use to remain focused and attain goals? Share it in the comments.
Photo Credit: Freedigitalphotos
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