What is focus?
Focus is about being able to concentrate on the steps you need to take towards achievement of your goal, without being distracted. Whether your goals relate to achievement in either the world of business or sport, the ability to focus is integral to performing at your best.
Focus involves having a laser beam orientation and a single minded determination to finish what you have started and not get side-tracked along the way. Therefore, it is important that you are applying your focus to a goal that is worthy of your time and attention, and is one that you have judged should be your priority.
For those of you who have ever performed in front of an audience – whether as a public speaker, or perhaps delivering a dance routine, or perhaps performing a kata in a martial arts grading, or perhaps shooting a free-throw for goal in basketball – you will know what focus is. And you will probably also know what gets in the way of it
Focus is controlling your mind and attention on nothing else but what you are doing and not allowing any other thoughts or activity around you to get in the way of what you have to get done. The ability to focus is the foundation for achieving success in life, in sport, at school or at work.
4 quick tips for developing focus at work
- First, decide that what you are going to do is important and worth the effort. However, before making this assessment, ensure you’ve stepped back and dispassionately considered the “bigger picture”; weighing up what stands to be be gained versus lost, by placing your focus on this goal and committing yourself to it as a priority.
- Plan the actions and steps you need to take towards achievement of your goal, with realistic time-lines attached
- If it is a task or project that will take quite a bit of time, remain mindful of the benefits that you will gain through completing it., so as to help stay motivated
- Remain confident in your ability and do not allow any fear or doubt to distract your focus on the step-by-step progress you are making. Your long term vision of success can provide you with the fuel and stamina you need to persevere. However, success is equally dependent upon your ability and discipline to concentrate your attention on the short term steps of the “here and now”. It is the detail in the present moment that cannot be overlooked if you are to be successful.
“Vision provides the motivation but success is in the detail”
Focus is a bit like building a house. You work with an architect to design your house plan – this becomes the vision of success. Then it is about carefully executing the construction and paying attention to detail throughout the stages of laying the foundations, erecting the frame, plastering the walls and painting the rooms.
In the background of all activity and keeping you motivated during periods of hard work is the vision of living and enjoying your dream home.
You have your house plans that provide direction, but is important that throughout every stage in construction that attention to detail occurs, so that a quality job is completed. It can be dangerous if you are hammering nails to be dreaming of how good the house is going to be – you must have your attention on the detail of the moment.
Being in the moment
It’s like shooting for goal in the dying moments of a big game. You don’t allow your mind to dream of the accolades you’re going to get after the game…. Instead you focus on the here-and-now of the technique needed to make the shot.
Nor do you allow your mind to fearfully start imagining what could happen if you miss the shot …. instead you focus on the immediate actions required as part of good shooting technique .
In developing your ability to focus, you will gain greater self-discipline and mental strength. These capabilities will provide you with a strong and sound platform for achieving success in all aspects of your life.
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