It’s time to get something done!
Stop cleaning up.
Stop filing unimportant papers.
Let’s get down to some serious, focused work.
How Do You Focus?
Do you focus for small bits of time throughout the day?
Or are you one of those people who can zoom in on a project and emerge hours later dazed, wondering where the day went?
Regardless of which camp you fall in, getting down to work requires you to change the magnification power of your mind.
Remember those microscopes you used in biology class that had three different lenses, each with a different magnification? You’d look at a slide and twist the mechanism, and WOW! You’d start seeing things you hadn’t seen before.
Tightening Your Focus
Your mind is like an old microscope. And getting down to serious, concentrated work requires a different, tighter focus.
For example, when I write, I can’t just scan quickly, the way I read emails. I’ve got to change my focus so I see and wrestle with each word and sentence and phrase. And that takes a higher level of magnification.
For some people, shifting from one lens to another looks easy. But for extroverts like me, shifting the mental lens to a higher magnification is hard.
The benefit of increasing your focus is worth the struggle.
When your mind is fully focused, time flies by. Small details take on bigger meaning. And ideas seem almost magically to fall into place.
3 Simple Strategies to Help Focus Your Mind
I’ve found that the only sure way for me to force my brain into gear is to create external deadlines. Here are three simple strategies to push yourself into a focused state.
- Give your boss or client or publisher a specific completion date at the beginning of a project.
- Set up regular meetings with someone to review your progress and then don’t cancel the meetings — no matter what.
- Work with people who will push you (and give them permission to do so).
Even with these structures in place, you’ll probably find that your brain will resist more and more as a deadline gets closer. But the greater the resistance you feel, the closer you are to breaking through to a deeply focused state.
Learn How You Focus, Then Repeat
The next time you’re struggling to focus your attention and get your work done, pay close attention to the things you do to get yourself to focus. What tricks do you use to get your brain to change lenses? Do you create a hard deadline? Do you seek out an accountability buddy? Do you summon the courage to simply get started, giving you the momentum to continue?
Once you recognize the ways you push yourself to focus, you can use them again and again, just as easily as changing the lens of a microscope.
Share one or two of your own focus tips. I’m always eager to try out new strategies that might make it easier! 🙂