How To Stay Focused To Achieve Your Goals

Know the ways to remain focused and be successful

- | 178 Aha! comments | Posted in category: Self Improvement

Man thinking how to stay focused and achieve goals

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

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.

Woman staying focused and looking ahead

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 likeHow 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.

Child focusing in studies and loving it

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 ReadCreating 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!

Man not focusing on his work

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



Show Comments

178 Comments - Read and share thoughts

  1. Toby Nwazor

    July 3, 2015 at 1:16 pm

    I am definitely saving this to read it over and over again until the truth finally sinks in, and I start practicing it. Thanks Harleena

  2. Lawrence Berry

    May 28, 2015 at 2:41 am

    These are some great tips on how to stay focused. I think the main factors that allows you stay focused through tempting distractions is finding your purpose for why you want to achieve a goal. When you find your purpose in life, that is bigger than your own self-interests, you find the will-power and determination to reach the next level of your life. You cannot achieve much in life without a certain degree of focus. You must also find clarity in your goals. Great post!

  3. David Adeleke

    May 22, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Staying around people who have similar goals or vision is really important. I’ve experienced both sides of the coin and I know which one I prefer.
    Nice, detailed article Harleena.

  4. Sanjay Sajeev

    May 13, 2015 at 12:50 pm

    Hello,

    I think i should need to go around this blog for a long day. Because there are a lot to learn from here. I have a aim in my life. This post about stay focused really encouraged me on my desire to my goal.
    We have only one life. Yes, i agree the fact that we need to enjoy our life. At the same time, we need to work hard to achieve our life’s goal.

    These focus tips really helped to change my thought on my life. Stay focused……

  5. Rachel Wolany

    May 4, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    What a great motivating post. I have just come back from a weeks holiday fully revitalised. I am on my new habits as we speak. I just reflected my last six months and I feel brilliant. It is so new, I am eager to conquer new learning curves. But I realised today that I have this steady pace that I must maintain. I know it is hard yards time now. For routine, to get my hours up on writing, for consistency, rather than flippancy. I am in favour of a few things to focus on. But I finally found what is comfortable for me. It allows all my professional ideas and steps to progress and my day also fits in what I like to do personally. It appears to be a 14 hour day, however there is so much time to rejuvenise. Three twenty meditation sessions throughout the day. I am also learning chess (pulling my hair out actually) and croqueting. Because I really needed something for this in between time where I am building and while it may appear that nothing is happening, I know full well consistency is happening.

  6. Blessed

    April 22, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Hi Harleena,

    God bless you for such a wonderful post. All your points are great but the one i love most is point no 2 “Find a purpose to stay motivated”. I set goals but find it difficult to achieve them. am really working hard to overcome the habit but with my tight schedule i find it difficult. Once again thank you very much for this awesome post

  7. yogesh

    March 23, 2015 at 10:38 pm

    Hello Harleena mam,
    I know i cant write so much big and meaningful comment like you, but i am trying here finally.
    Really getting focused on work can give you success in life. without focus you cant get your goal. And you are truly inspirational personality, i learnt a lot from you. I started blogging after getting inspired from some people you are one of them.
    Thanks to inspire me a lot.

  8. Abrar Mohi Shafee

    December 14, 2014 at 1:17 am

    Hi there,

    I personally leverage addiction to approach the goal.

    I think, addiction is what can do anything. For an example: if someone has addiction to gaming, no one can stop him. Same as if we can manage to get addicted to our goals, we can be really focused on the main point.

    Many people might say, yeah addiction is really bad because excess of anything is bad. But I think, if we can leverage this addiction staying under the limit, we might do very well.

  9. Michael Gregory II

    November 28, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Hello Harleena,

    Your post caught my attention and when I went through it, I felt a strong positive force coming out of those words. Everything you said does help build a person towards a path of success and self development. By changing your internal mindset to think more positive and taking action to reach your goal, you will become a better person along the way.

  10. Mark

    November 2, 2014 at 2:50 am

    Great article. Some fantastic simple tools that are effective and work work well. Thank you for posting this.

    Mark Manderson- Author of Finding Happy

  11. Maxwell Ivey

    November 1, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Hi Harleena; this post was so much more than i expected. I was hoping for techniques to help with focus and also got information about setting goals, creating a good working space, allocating time, avoiding distractions, etc. a couple things that came to my mind while reading are. One, wouldn’t it be great if our phones had the option of telling people what we are doing like the messages on a chat program or Skype. I mean you log into Skype and if someone is working it will say am working or am writing or am with a client do not disturb. and i think i have told you before that i believe a benefit of being blind is that face book and other social sites aren’t as easy to use so i don’t spend as much time there as i might. i go to post updates or share friend’s post, and i visit when an email alert includes something that i have to respond to. but the majority of my work there is done through email notifications which i can reply to by email and thus stay off of the actual site avoiding temptation. i love the idea of using the timer especially since most smart phones have them now. and its always better if you tell yourself to go back to work than it is for your boss or spouse to do it. nothing is as fun if someone else is making you do it. i also had a thought about visualization. people often think about the effects of being successful rather than the accomplishment itself. most have images of new cars, fancy homes, long vacations, etc. but i choose to think of being heard becoming an expert in my field and most importantly of all helping others. of course you have to make money to continue helping people or to help even more of them; but that is my goal. and as long as the goal is about them and not about me its much easier to meet it and find happiness on those rare occasions when i come up short. thanks for sharing my friend. take care, max

  12. Chery Schmidt

    October 15, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Hello Harleena,

    I noticed this post and had to jump right over to see what kind of advice you had for me here. The main reason is because tonight I joined a 7 week focus group and now I need to figure out what I what to get done in this 7 week series.

    Of course I have a lot that I do on a daily basis, but I have one week, yes we meet again next Tues evening. I need to make a decision and hone in on one thing that I truly want to get done.

    Your post here did give me some great idea’s on what not to do as well as what to do to help me stay on track and stay focused..

    Great share my friend.. Chery :))

  13. lynne

    October 15, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Hi, a very informative article, learning to stay focus is the key word in achieving so many things in life. Successful people have a positive perspective in life, they focus on the actions needed to achieve their goals rather than the distractions that they encounter while pursuing them. Thanks for sharing a great post!

  14. Arpit Ward

    October 8, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Great bunch of information Harleena, it is true that to achieve our goals we need to train our brain with a positive attitude. Checking email, facebook and twitter is the biggest distraction for most of the people. To achieve our daily micro goals we need to have a daily written journal and should read it prior to sleep. And, when we visualize the thing we want with the focused mind and strong desire, we will definitely get it.

  15. Liz McGee

    October 7, 2014 at 7:48 pm

    Great topic Harleena and one that I can certainly relate to.

    Staying focused is a big issue for a lot of people. It certainly was for me, especially with my blog in the beginning.

    Distractions and chasing the next big thing can be the downfall for so many folks. Part of that is due to not giving your blog, project or goals enough time to be successful.

    When it comes to blogging or your business you need to take it from start to profit. So many people chase down different paths before they get to profit.

    That’s distraction at it’s best.

    Some of the things that help avoid that is get off all the mailing lists that don’t contribute to your focus.

    Listen to folks that you trust, admire and would like to imitate.

    And of course follow Harleena’s tips above.

    It’s tough staying focused but SO necessary to achieving your goals and success.

    Blessings,
    Liz

  16. Moumita Ghosh

    October 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Hello Harleena,

    I couldn’t visit your blog for a long time. Today I have managed time to read your blog and read some old posts on your blog. Every article on your blog is really wonderful, especially this article inspired me. Everybody should be focused to achieve their goal. As a part time blogger, I need to keep balance between my blogging works and office works. It’s a toughest job for me. Somtime I destract from the path to achieve my goal. This article will help me lots how to stay focused. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful and motivated article.

    Best regards,

    Moumita Ghosh

  17. Leena Shah

    October 4, 2014 at 1:00 am

    Hi Harleena!
    This Article was very timely because I was just about to start another project and I got the notice by email that this post came up and I allowed myself to be distracted and here I AM! 🙂 As you say it is so important to turn off the distractions and stay focused. Thank you as always for your great information and all the important reminders. Now! Back to work for me Thanks a lot

    Regard
    Leena Shah ,

  18. Karmakar

    October 3, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Hi Harleena,

    I believe Time management is one of the key factor here…

    Most of the time shortage of time affects our concentration…

    Yes.. Goal setting is must for any kind of success..

    Regards…

  19. Amanda

    September 19, 2014 at 1:45 am

    Hello Harleena,

    I am so happy to find a blog post example on “How to stay focused”. I can relate to these strategies as my own coping mechanisms. I believe that staying focused comes easy for some people and extremely hard for others. With distractions and a series of events coming at you from epic proportions is is very easy for somebody to forget about what they are supposed to be doing. This is where I agree with you…if you have the right idea, you truly can achieve anything. It is all in the power or thought and your mentality. When my priorities get mix-matched, I think realistically about what is important and why it is important. I just have to catch myself before I get distracted doing something else. We need to be motivated and given inventive to succeed by reminding ourselves why what we are doing is important.

    I really enjoyed this blog, thank you for allowing it to come to my attention!

    CHEERS to the POWERFUL THOUGHTS and staying focused!

    -Amanda

  20. Jey Ganesh

    September 17, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    A quiet good article. This is very inspirational information for me… 🙂




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How To Stay Focused To Achieve Your Goals