You strive to focus on your goals at the office, at the gym, and in your family life, but you feel distracted. A lack of focus might not seem like a big deal at first. A little distraction in a boring work meeting might seem harmless, for example. However, the costs of being unfocused are actually quite severe. A lack of focus can cost you the life of your dreams! Achieve a focused lifestyle by simultaneously intensifying your focus and mitigating your distractions. While losing focus happens to all of us, it is possible to achieve a focused lifestyle by simultaneously increasing your focus and mitigating your distractions.
The actual costs of living an unfocused life
When Arootah founder and CEO Rich Bello addresses some of the world’s largest and most recognizable companies on resetting their teams’ mindsets with time management and focus, he narrows in on the critical costs of living an unfocused life. If you live an unfocused life, the demands of others will eventually dictate your actions.
You’re no longer paying attention at the office, so other team members start achieving the upper hand. They are pushing through their projects and agendas, and you’re getting caught in the current. Suddenly you are working on projects that you don’t enjoy nor align with your career goals.
You start to lack focus at the gym or wherever you prefer to work out, and your workouts have been getting shorter and shorter to the point that your family has started to comment on it. You’re not being present in the moment or focused on your fitness goals, so when you feel lazy, you just quit. You’re avoiding your potential for success.
Or maybe you think you’re focused on activities such as taking the boat out every weekend or scheduling happy hours with friends. While those activities are fun, if your attention has wavered from your bigger goals, such as better managing your finances or cutting back on your alcohol intake, you could inadvertently be creating your own pain.
So how do you remain focused and avoid paying these unnecessary costs? Here are some suggestions…
The focus equation
You have to make a conscious effort to remain focused. If you don’t make that daily, conscious effort, your unconscious psyche will take over, letting you wander into a lack of focus where others’ agendas are ruling your life. You lose the discipline to reprioritize your instinctual needs to seek out short-term pleasure and avoid immediate pain regardless of whether those choices are in your best interests.
READ AND WATCH: The Mind’s Motivating Forces: Pain and Pleasure
At Arootah, we recommend clients use the Focus Equation. It’s a pretty simple equation.
Intensify your focus + Mitigate your distractions = A focused lifestyle
See how easy that is? But living out the Focus Equation in your daily life is easier said than done. Doing what is in your best interests requires diligent habit training to create lasting focus.
For starters, here are 4 ways you can intensify your focus:
1. Meditation: Meditation helps you slow down and focus on your thoughts in a present manner and has been shown to increase brain efficiency over time as related to attention-reliant tasks.
2. Be driven by passion: Increase your focus by identifying your goals, based on your passions, and then be intentional about pursuing those passions with each choice you make. Become motivated by your passion.
3. Manage your willpower: You can better use your time and natural allotment of willpower by performing high-focus tasks when you have high energy and fewer distractions, and then performing low-focus tasks when you have low energy and greater distractions.
4. Prioritize well-being: Like willpower, focus wanes but it also renews. Be sure to take time for self-care with adequate sleep, rest, and have stress-relieving fun.
Increasing and intensifying your focus is only half of the equation. Here are 4 ways you can mitigate and decrease your distractions:
1. Say “no”: The easiest and most effective way to remove distractions is by simply saying “no.” If a commitment or temptation will not get you to your end goal or help you to pursue your passion, just say “no.” It’s as simple as that.
2. Put your priorities over those of others: Your time and attention are important. Set healthy boundaries and make sure you are your top priority.
3. Simplify daily tasks: Simplify your daily tasks and chores (consider delegating unnecessary busy work, for example). Keep your life organized to increase focus.
4. Plan ahead: If you know you must get into a flow state to complete all of your work, plan your schedule to accommodate your need to focus. Block out time for work so you can work efficiently.
5.Eliminate clutter: Take a cue from Marie Kondo and design your space to be distraction-free. Eliminate clutter or objects that bring up bad memories. Keep your computer tabs to a minimum and remove files you never need to see again. Having an organized space reduces distractions which enables you to live a focused life.
The bottom line
While losing focus happens to all of us, it is possible to achieve a focused lifestyle by simultaneously increasing your focus and mitigating your distractions. Although the Focus Equation appears to be easy, it is challenging to put it into practice in your daily life. Achieving focus requires the self-discipline to take action on the steps above to improve your focus skills.
Enjoy the extra support to implement the Focus Equation into your life by working with one of Arootah’s personal coaches. Discover the unique behaviors keeping you from achieving your highest potential, staying accountable, and, ultimately, reaching your goals. Learn more about our life coaching options here.
Tell us, do you think it is easier to increase your focus or mitigate your distractions? Let us know in the comments below!
Kozasa, Elisa H., et al. “Meditation Training Increases Brain Efficiency in an Attention Task.” NeuroImage, vol. 59, no. 1, 2012, pp. 745–749., doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.06.088.