Are you able to switch between different areas of focus? Do you find yourself losing sight of your goals? Focusing can be an important factor in life, especially when it comes to productivity.
I have learned much from a friend of mine, Dan, about attention and focus. He has said that attention works like a muscle. If you exercise it, it grows. There seems no doubt that our ability to focus greatly enhances our results, but it is difficult to quantify and measure. I like to be aware of my current focus. One model that helps with this is to consider three areas of focus: inner, outer, and other.
1. Inner focus – This is the focus on our self. We are seeing the world in terms of impact to our life. We are using intuition and our embedded values, and making decisions for our self.
2. Outer focus – Our world is made up of layers upon layers of complex systems. This is the construct from which everything operates, and includes systems such as corporate, biological, financial, legal, and educational. When our focus is here, we are trying to work within the constraints of the construct. This includes strategizing.
3. Other focus – This is the focus on other people and our relationships. We are utilizing our connections to other people. We use this focus to enhance our relationships, and see the world from someone else’s view.
At any given instant, our focus can only be in one of these three areas. One measure of success is how intentional we can be in focus. Being able to exclude other thoughts and remain on task. But another measure of success is how flexible we are in switching between these three areas, and understanding the impact of one upon the other. It is an interesting concept, and it makes me ask, “Where is my focus at the moment? Where should it be?”
If your goal isn’t learning how to focus correctly, it should definitely be at the top of the list. We all have goals we’re trying to meet. Sometimes it can feel pretty overwhelming when we keep adding to that list. It can seem like we’re not ever checking anything off! Making your new goals stick is a problem many people face. Jack Klemeyer talked about how important it is to work on that and some tips that could keep you on track. The most important lesson? You have to hold yourself accountable to these changes.
A goal is not much if you don’t share it with others or create accountability. Without accountability, it’s easy to make the goal simply disappear when things turn sour. Then you are simply a great goal-setter, but have nothing to show for the goal-getting department.
Accountability can take many different forms. If you’re not ready to share it with the world, then simply write it down in a journal. Each day, spend five or ten minutes to reflect upon the steps you took that day that are taking you closer to your goal, and what choices you may have made that have you headed in the wrong direction. This will allow you to decide what changes you must make to keep moving closer to your goal.
In the end, it is up to you whether you successfully implement new routines or ideas and change. Making sure that you are able to focus on the necessary tasks at hand and being able to actually shift that focus if you’re not is an important skill to work on. Take time during the day to really buckle down and keep yourself on track!