Focus, focus, focus!
We keep hearing we should focus! But is it as easy at it sounds? Have you heard the saying “Where attention goes, energy flows!”?
I want to share some of my insights regarding FOCUS and the power of focus.
So, I decided to double down on pursuing my essential oils and wellness business for the next months.
That does not mean that I’ve dropped my other projects – it just means that my main focus will be towards creating content and building relationships with people that are attracted to wellness, well-being, financial freedom.
But, rather than multitasking (working on various projects at once, with many drawbacks!), I’ve cut everything else to a minimum. This was a bit mindset change for me! I’ve removed things in order to create the white space for the new seeds to germinate and grow.
This is a conversation I was always having with my students. Our brain just isn’t made for multitasking – it’s a waste of resources, as every time you change your focus, even for a few seconds, searching for the next YouTube video you’ll be listening to while working on your assignment… your brain will need some time to get back into the flow!
Bottom line: multitasking does not make you more productive! If you’d focus on the tasks separately, and get them done one by one, you could actually finish everything much faster and THEN spend your extra time enjoying yourself browsing through YouTube videos!
Besides the tasks we have on out day to day to do lists – where focus can definitely help us achieve them faster…
I’m also thinking of the bigger picture! Focusing on your objectives, your dreams, your vision! Going all in for a period of time, pursuing that goal or dream.
I clearly remember running my first full marathon…
…the full 26 miles ( 42.195 km)!
I had that goal in mind for yeeeeeeears in a row! Yet, there was always at least one excuse: oh, my knees hurt. I don’t have the right equipment. I don’t have time to train. I’ll do it next year…
Until at some point, back in 2013, I said enough is enough! I made a DECISION. Set for myself a clear goal – to run the marathon in august 2013, in New York, no matter what! For the whole year, I had that goal on the back of my mind. And even if I did not train as much as I should have, and despite a small accident stopping me from running for a few months altogether… I was still very determined! My focus was on running the marathon and seeing myself at the finish line!
And guess what? Not only did I finish my marathon, but I actually finished it with a pretty decent time, given my lack of training! 4:21:22 was an impressive time for me!
And that’s what made me seriously think about the importance of focus when it comes to goals and dreams! If my marathon running goal wouldn’t have been at the center of my focus, I’m pretty sure plenty of excuses would have surfaced. More than that, plenty opportunities to learn and get prepared for the marathon would’ve been wasted, as I might not have even noticed them!
I have eliminated all distractions – from junk food that would make me feel lazy and tired, to people telling me it’s too difficult!
Now, the same approach can be applied to anything – any objective or to-do list, no matter how big or small.
One of the biggest disservice we can do to ourselves and our dreams is allow things to distract us –> be it objects, other people or our own thoughts! This is something we are doing way more often than we’d like to acknowledge. We’re working on something when our phone distracts us – with a notification, or a message, or a call from a friend. Even worse, sometimes it’s not even the objects around us, but our own thoughts – we start daydreaming, forgetting about our task at hand.
So what can we do about it? Let me share you with you some of my tips and strategies.
1. Put your phone away!
My phone is almost always on silent anyway. I have removed most notifications on my phone as well – so when I chose to use it, it’s very intentional and pro active, rather than being reactive!
It’s even better if you put it away altogether while working (unless, of course you are using it for your work!)!
2. Train your mental focus.
While it’s easy to change the external environment and remove distractions… what do we do with our wandering mind? There’s no button that turns our Focus on or off!
But the good news is, we can actually train our thinking mind and gain more control over our thoughts!
This is a simple exercise I’ve learned from Zen Buddhism. It helped me a lot during my university years, when I had to focus on lots of technical terms, chemical formulas and complex mathematical equations.
All you need is a piece of paper with a black dot in the middle. You place it on a wall aaaaand you stare at it! For as long as possible. Of course, I’m not talking about just being passive in front of the dot. The main idea is to try to focus on the dot and only on the dot. Ignore everything else.
Take it as a challenge, to start with. Try to do that for 1 minute, at the beginning. Focus only on the dot and do not let your thoughts randomly wander away!
You’ll see it’s actually very difficult, especially at the beginning, to keep your thoughts under control… not to think about that important upcoming deadline, or what you’ll be wearing tomorrow, or what you’ll be eating for dinner or what you’ll be feeding the kids or or or or or… That 1 minute will seem like an eternity.
Do not give up though. Remember, it’s all about training your power of focus. Start small, be consistent, and gradually increase the length of this exercise! At the beginning I could barely hold my mind calm for a few seconds. In time, though, that grew to 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, then 30 seconds…
And the best part – I could see the improvement in everything else I was doing! Writing articles, learning, reading… it was way easier to keep my mind sharp!
This kind of exercises also help me enter my flow state easier!
3. Use essential oils that promote mental clarity
As you know by now, I’m a big fan of essential oils. And yes, there are essential oils that can improve mental acuity and concentration! I like to use oil like Peppermint or Rosemary, or a blend called Clarity before I sit down to start working on pretty much anything :))))).
And when you combine the 3 things, wonders can happen :D.
So, a summary of the 3 tips to help you FOCUS:
- Remove distractions in our environment – the phone being the biggest culprit!
- The black dot on the wall – repeat this exercise daily, as often as possible!
- Inhale Peppermint, Rosemary, or Clarity oils before starting to work
How about you? What are you doing to help you stay focused?