Tip Number 1: How about a change of pace?
Focus is also dependent on pace. You may be trying to do things too fast or slow for your brain to actually enjoy what you are doing.
When your pace is too punishingly fast, you are more liable to commit mistakes. In your effort to save yourself time, you are actually causing yourself to suffer greater delays since some of your tasks have to be redone or rectified.
Using an excessively slow or relaxing pace is no good either. Do not overestimate your ability to work because that can ultimately develop into procrastination if you are not careful.
Tip Number 2: Consider a change of setting.
Sometimes, working in the same place day in and day out can get a little boring, and your mind will start to wander – relentlessly. When you have tried your best to keep your mind from wandering to no avail, then a change of setting may be in order.
Look for a different place – just for a day or two – to stay when it is time to work on achieving your goal. A new place may be enough to spark your interest in your goals. It may also help get your creative juices flowing and give you an idea or two on how to better motivate yourself.
Tip Number 3: Be methodical.
The best way to stay focused is to be methodical. Do not choose a random point to start working toward your goal. Whatever it is you are aiming for – even if it is to improve your marriage or lose weight – there is sure to be a methodical or logical system for doing it.
Taking a methodical approach helps improve your focus because it enables you to see where you are going. If you are feeling a little bored concentrating on the task at hand, you can switch your attention to making the necessary adjustments to prepare for the tasks in line.
Tip Number 4: Music is — fifty/fifty.
The truth is, some people find music relaxing and helpful to their work. Others, however, find it too relaxing that they end up sleeping or they find it too entertaining that they end up forgetting all about the task at hand.
You have to determine for yourself if music will serve as an aid to improving your focus or a distraction instead?
Tip Number 5: It is all about what you think and feel.
Well-meaning friends may encourage you to try this and that to improve focus. Certainly, there is nothing wrong with taking their words into account. Remember, however, that every person is built differently. What may work for them may not work for you. That does not mean, however, only one of you is doing the right thing.
In the end, the best way to improve your focus is to do what works for you and not others.
Tip Number 6: Do not be a pushover.
Some people will try to sway your mind and make you feel guilty about the time you are devoting to your goal. Whatever it may be, if your goal is important to you and is not cruel or harmful to yourself or anyone, then you have all the right in the world to devote yourself to it.
Tip Number 7: Do not allow emotional conflicts to get in your way.
One of the worst kinds of distraction is emotional conflict. This kind of problem eats away at your concentration. If there is anything that is bothering you, resolve it right away before getting back to work.
Do not allow it to fester inside you. The longer you delay resolving such conflicts, the harder a time you will have finding a way to re-open the discussion about it.
Tip Number 8: Know your priorities.
If you are torn between doing two things, you have to give yourself another ultimatum. Which is the more important priority – the goal you are working on or the alternative?
Be brutally frank to yourself as you consider your options. If you have to choose which of the two you should lose, which of them are you willing to give up?
Tip Number 9: Consider your energy patterns.
This may sound a little too scientific, but rest assured that it is not. People have different energy patterns for various reasons. Some people, for instance, simply feel more energized to work in the middle of the night because there is absolutely no distraction to worry about, with everyone fast asleep.
Others like to work first thing in the morning because it makes them feel productive. Their energy then wanes when it gets to lunch time but jumps back up when it is in the early evening.
Try to familiarize yourself with your energy pattern. Think back on the days you were asked to complete a particular task. When are you typically more efficient in completing your work? When are you less than diligent working on your tasks?
Tip Number 10: Maximize your time.
Maximize your time in the sense that you should delegate what may be delegated to other capable individuals, thus allowing you to concentrate on the most critical tasks.
Your focus will be ruined if you have a million things to do and yet you are worrying the most about only three of them. If this is the case, you will never get to finish anything.
Do yourself a favor. Find people whom you can trust to do a part of your work and then devote yourself to doing what you feel needs the most of your attention.
Tip Number 11: Chew things down into manageable pieces.
Say you were given one whole cake to eat. Should you swallow it down in one bite? It would be pretty impossible to make an entire cake fit your mouth, but you can definitely eat it all if you cut it into several slices. From there, you can eat a slice of cake one bite after another.
Sometimes, focusing on the bigger picture alone is not helpful. There are times when you have to forget about the bigger picture first and concentrate on one part of the picture at a time.
Tip Number 12: Make allowances for mistakes.
Nobody is perfect. There will be times when nothing you can do is right. It is critical that you prepare beforehand for this and make allowances for mistakes.
If you can complete a task for thirty minutes, try giving yourself forty minutes instead. This way, you will not be terribly backed up if you do end up making a mistake or two. Giving yourself allowances will also prevent your mistakes from breaking your stride. You will keep going – no matter what – like an Energizer bunny!