Mar 17, 2012

The power of focus

When I get determined, when I really put my mind to something and I sit down and actually do it then I can do amazing things. The thing is, I know how often I sit down to do something with all the best of intentions and then I get distracted.

So how do we learn to focus... to take the time to do what we need to do to be successful?

The best way to learn how to focus is to make our behaviours a habit. Do the things that you want to do until they become as natural as breathing. This will hone your focus. So if I want to write another novel. I need to write every day, even if I only start for 10 minutes a day. Aside from all of the distractions, I know that I need to write EVERY day. I need this to become a habit.
 
I can compare this to smoking (and giving it up) Aside from the fact that cigarettes contain chemicals which are addictive, the single biggest contributor to failure to quit smoking is that it becomes a habit. So even once my body was free of the addictive chemicals it was the ingrained habit which still threatened to pull me back in.

So if you want to hone your focus on something then you need to make that behaviour a habit. If you want to get fitter and healthier then you need to make exercise a daily habit. The best thing about doing something every day is that it also improves the ability to do that activity.

Write every day and you have to improve the more you write, walk every day and you'll be able to walk further for longer the more you keep doing it.

Research says that it ranges anywhere from 21 - 28 days to create a new habit. There's no hard and fast rules on how long it takes.

How to create a habit in 15 days - Dragos Roua

Focus Free Manifesto - free e-book by Leo Babauta from Zen Habits Blog

18 Tricks to make new habits - Lifehack Blog

You'll be surprised how making something a habit can strengthen your focus and make the impossible entirely possible. As Leo Babauta says " This stuff works. And it’s tremendously liberating to discover that you can find focus, you can simplify, and you can change your life"

Hope something here helps you to fine-tune your focus and achieve your hearts desire.

Cheers, Fi

“The sun’s energy warms the world. But when you focus it through a mag­ni­fy­ing glass, it can start a fire. Focus is pow­er­ful.” ~ Alan Pariser

4 comments:

  1. When you compare writing to giving up smoking that really makes sense to me. If I've given up smoking, I can do ANYTHING. You can, too!

    Have you heard of oneword.com? I love it to use as writing prompts or just to get me writing in one minute per day. They give you a single word and you write as much as you can in 60 seconds. It's a lot of fun!

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    1. Karen - I'll have to check out the oneword.com site - thanks for the tip

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  2. I set a schedule for myself that includes fun time. For example, I may work on lesson planning for a half hour, clean the house for a half hour, then play on the computer for a half hour. That way I know the time is coming to enjoy activities I want to do so I can stay more focused on the things I don't necessarily want to be doing.

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