Don’t lie to yourself, ’cause you have no idea how to stay focused. That’s not a knock on you, we all have a problem with it. From checking our phones, to people watching, to being pulled into a conversation, to listening to music, we’ve all got distractions around us that prevent us from getting the shit done we want to.
But it’s time to toss out the bullshit excuses and start learning how to stay focused, blocking out the things that are holding you back from reaching your full potential. Whether it’s simply being more productive during the work day, finding time to actually get a workout in, filling your free time with a hobby or something else, when you master the art of focusing, you’ll find this life thing isn’t as hard as you might be making it.
To help you get there, take a look at some of the ways in which to help you stay focused. Sure, these won’t just happen overnight, but by implementing them into your daily routine, you’ll slowly turn yourself into a certified badass who can conquer every single thing you want to.
Knowing How To Stay Focused Starts With Planning Out Your Day
If I had a damn nickel for every time someone said success starts with planning your day, I’d be a fucking millionaire, because it’s the one thing that seems to be consistent across the board for CEOs and billionaires. It makes sense, too, because, when you outline everything you have to do in a day, you can track your progress and not feel confused with what needs to get done.
To help you stay focused and on track, make sure to list the harder things first, then move down to the easier stuff. Nobody wants to do be stuck doing monotonous tasks late in the day.
Turn Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the shit you’ve got going on, but the key to knowing how to stay focused is about compartmentalizing things. That means always having a plan of action for what you need to accomplish each day, breaking things down into mini tasks.
Rather than look at something at a 30,000 foot level, go ahead and chip away at big projects so not to feel overwhelmed. Similar to cooking, it’s like adding different ingredients instead of just tossing everything together all at once and hoping things turn out OK. This way you’ll stay motivated and not anxious with completing something big.
Eliminate The Distractions You Can Control
Sorry, millennials, but this means putting down the damn phone by getting it out of your sight. I know it’s not what you’re used to, but when you’re learning how to stay focused, you’ve got to take control of the things you can.
For instance, it’s impossible to prevent an email from your boss saying something is “all hands on deck,” but it is possible to give yourself enough time during the day to prepare for that situation by not wasting minutes and hours texting your friends about weekend plans. To get shit done, your phone is not your friend.
Stay Organized AF
When you know where everything is and what has to be accomplished, you’re going to be a helluva lot more productive. Similar to planning out your day with tasks, staying organized is all about keeping everything in order.
For example, for every single piece of content I write, I keep a personalized edit schedule for myself, outlining a headline, focus keyword, word count, date published and any additional notes I might need. This way I can track progress throughout the day, and, if there are any questions about my tasks, I can refer back to the spreadsheet I’ve got.
Additionally, being organized means avoiding clutter around your workspace and only having the things you need around you while you’re tackling a task. Whether that’s for work, while you’re working out or simply driving and trying to focus on the road, eliminate anything that might hold you back.
Remind Yourself Of The Bigger Goals
The big picture might not be in view every single day, but you’d be wise to take a second to remind yourself that it’s not too far away. Sure, the tasks you do everyday may seem boring and mundane, but there’s a purpose behind them all, so don’t lose your focus.
Whether it’s losing some weight by exercising each day, putting together a plan to start a business or envisioning some other goal for yourself, it’s a damn process to get there, and understanding how to stay focused is the only way you’ll learn, progress and accomplish the things you want to. So go ahead and do whatever it takes to keep your eye on the prize.
Go Ahead And Reward Yourself After Accomplishing Something
It feels good accomplishing a goal, so don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back every once in awhile. Just like you used to get stars in kindergarten when you did something good, you can follow something similar — although you might want to find a better system since, you know, you’re an adult now.
Whatever it is you’re focusing on and trying to accomplish, giving yourself some time to do something you want to do is important, and will be a nice little bonus for a job well done.