Our lives are busy. We’re juggling families, households, jobs, and various social obligations, while constantly being distracted by media in one form or another. When it comes to our personal life, we have two options. We can let our surroundings take over and “go with the flow”, or we can work on mental focus for our personal life and do the things we really want to do.
Yes, it takes time and energy to come up with personal goals and then figure out how to go about reaching them. Some days it’s much easier to come up, plop down on the couch and start binging our favorite Netflix series. While there is certainly a time and place for this, I’m sure you don’t want to wake up one day and realize that you’ve missed out on life for the past few years.
Working on mental focus outside of work and business, helps you prioritize and make time for the people and things that are important to you. It helps you figure out a way to make it to your child’s soccer game or play performance, enjoy your favorite hobbies, spend quality time with your spouse and close friends, while still having enough time to relax and watch a movie and get a good night’s sleep.
The key is to pinpoint time wasters and focus on what’s important to you. It may help to keep a time journal for a week or two. Grab a notebook and start jotting down what you do throughout the day. It’s up to you if you want to track what you do at work as well. Make sure you track everything you do during your free time from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. If you’re spending your morning drinking coffee and browsing the internet or watching a morning TV show, and that doesn’t bring you the joy and fulfillment you want in your life, think about how you can spend that time better. Maybe mediation would help you feel less stressed throughout your day. Maybe spending that time working out would give you more time with your loved ones in the early evenings. Or maybe this might be a good time to get around to reading those books on your bucket reading list.
Keep a journal for a few days or even weeks and review were you’re spending your time. The simple act of having to write it down makes you more aware of what you’re doing. This alone will help you focus on each task. Next, make a list of things you want to change in your personal life, or even just a list of things you want to do more of. Maybe you want to take an hour each evening to play with the kids. Maybe you want to spend more time each year traveling. It doesn’t matter what your goals are. The important part is that you set them and then work on a plan to make sure you can reach them. After that it’s simply a matter of focusing on those tasks one at a time and managing your time wisely. You’ll be pleasantly surprised not only by how much more you can get done in a given day, but also how much time is left to just relax and enjoy life.
Find Out What You Need To Focus On
Before you can focus on a task at work or in your personal life, you have to know what you should be focusing on. After all, working hard on something that doesn’t give you the results you want or need, isn’t very helpful. The key is to make smart decisions, prioritize, and have a good idea of what you need to focus on today.
Start With The Big Picture
Before you can start to focus, you need to have a good grasp of the big pictures. Without this all-important first step, it’s too easy to fall into a trap of doing busywork, or continuing to do the same tasks each day without seeing the results you want to get.
I’m sure you’ve experienced this in your own life. You go through the motions because that’s how you’ve always done it. It’s easier to stick to your habits than it is to sit down and figure out what the big picture is. It doesn’t matter if this is for a work project, or a personal goal. Start by deciding exactly what it is you want to accomplish.
Make A Plan And Come Up With A Strategy
Once you have that big picture or big goal in mind, it’s time to make a plan for getting from where you’re at now to where you want to be. In your personal life, that might mean figuring out how you can go from living in an apartment to owning your own home. At work, it could mean going from the position you have now to getting that management promotion, or seeing a larger project through from start to finish.
It may be helpful to map it out on a piece of paper or with your favorite mind mapping software. Seeing all the pieces in one place and how they interconnect can be very helpful in the next step.
Turn That Plan Into Action Items
Last but not least it’s time to turn that strategy into action items. These are simple tasks you can get done one at a time. For example: with home ownership, this may mean paying off your credit cards, saving for a down payment, and all the little things you can do to come up with that extra money (like cooking at home more, or canceling your cable). For work and business related projects, this means breaking it down into small projects, tasks, or daily to-do lists you can work from.
Once you have those individual steps it will become much easier to focus on them one at a time and get stuff done.