When I was in elementary school, my headteacher wrote on my report card that I have a problem with staying focused on her class.
She put a label on me which was hard to get rid of.
What she didn’t know was, I was just bored with her class.
On the contrary, what she wrote, I actually had a highly developed focus which I used only when I was involved in some of my personal missions. In other words, when I was having fun.
You were a kid, you should know what am I talking about.
Basketball is one of my biggest passions in life.
I can go out on the court and stay for hours without getting tired or distracted. Rain or sunshine, alone or with guys, it has no difference to me as long as I am out there shooting the ball.
I used to set goals for my game all the time.
The first goal was to hit the rim. 🙂
I have stayed focused on that goal so intensely that now I can score up to 20 free throws in a row.
The next mission was to dunk the ball. I have accomplished that one as well.
The game of basketball helped me to understand what am I able to do when I set my mind on something until it becomes a burning obsession.
Later on in life, I have realized that we can reach any goal we want if we are able to develop a strong focus on the mission in front of us. In other words, if we can turn it into an obsession.
There is only one problem. It can be tough to stay focused in a world full of chaos. There are distractions wherever you turn your head.
You, me, and every other “grown-up” person in this world still have the same abilities which we had when we were the kids. We just have to find fun in it again. To keep the focus on something which doesn’t represent the fun can be a bit of a tough mission.
However, it is not the impossible mission!
I always like to ask my inner kid for a piece of advice. Then, I mix the input with the life experience to find an easy path.
These 15 tips are the result. Use them wisely.
1.) Create fun in your mission and visualize it a lot
The first and the most important tip is to have fun with whatever your goal is.
The math is simple.
The more fun you find in your mission, the easier will be to stay focused until you accomplish your goals.
I rediscovered one technique which I was using almost non-stop when I was a younger man.
When I was having fun, or when I wanted to create joy in my activity, I was visualizing a lot. In other words, I was using my imagination to develop goals and dreams in my mind, and then I chased them in real life.
I always had a big picture which I was chasing.
During my basketball career, I was pursuing a mission to become like Michael Jordan.
However, I didn’t become the GOAT (greatest player of all time), but at least that dream helped me to enjoy the game way more than my buddies. Moreover, I played waaaay better basketball than the rest of the guys.
That is also what you should do with your goals. You should create some kind of fantasy accomplishment, something way higher than you are right now. In other words, shoot for the stars.
And please, don’t think like a grown-up now. I know, it is childish to shoot for the stars.
However, I learned that when we have a high fantasy behind our goal, we wire our brain to have fun, to be creative, to be limitless, and most important of all, to stay focused.
Late on, the results of your mission will be much better then they would if you just did it because you…had to.
Big dreams make the small ones appear more natural.
2.) Write down and measure your goals
Another thing that I have learned in my short life so far is to write down your goals and measure them from all possible angles so you can know where to start.
For example, I knew I want to play like the great NBA star. Even then when I was a kid, I have unconsciously applied this technique.
I had a big mission, but what I didn’t have was, the ball, rim, board, shoes, knowledge about how to play the game, and the height 🙂
However, at least I knew on what should I focus on.
When you write down your goal on a piece of paper, you did a significant first step in turning your fantasy into a reality.
Words on the paper are much more measurable than thought in your mind.
This way you can stay focused on your goal a lot more than you would if it remains just a thought in mind which comes and goes at will. Ideas are like that.
Therefore, write them on a sheet of paper where you can look at them, measure, and focus on them.
3.) Have an action plan and follow it
Something great happens when you write down your goals and measure them. You begin to think about your mission from more different angles, compared to when it is just an intangible thought.
As a result of that thinking process, you can develop a plan.
Maybe you already know this, but not a single great mission was accomplished without a plan.
Some people tend to misvalue the importance of having a plan. They say, just go out and do it.
When you go out and do it, without a plan, you will come back bruised and with the idea of failure in your mind.
Worst of all, you will lose the focus.
A plan, no matter how impractical or dull it is at the beginning, is a great focus keeper.
My advice, based on my experience, is to combine the first three tips to stay focused. Then just go and don’t stop until you get wanted results.
Visualization, goal statement, and action plan are three smart things you can do before, and during your journey to success.
During your mission, you will develop more plans and ideas which will come to you on top of what you have written.
Your focus will be stronger with every step you make only because once you decided to catch those thoughts and focus them on the paper.
4.) Remove all distractions from your environment
When I catch my focus, I can write for hours without a break.
But if phone rings or someone starts to make noise around the house, slam doors, flushing the toilet or doing anything loud, I am done.
Your, mine, everyone’s focus depends on peace and quiet.
When I am on the mission, I try to stay focused 24/7.
Some people might say that I become cold-blooded, or ruthless because of my behavior. However, that is because I am not letting anything else in my mind until I finish what I have on my mind.
It helps me to get results faster, much faster.
There is a short story about Richard Brunson which paints a perfect picture of the value of removing the distraction.
Mr. Brunson was focused on a project of his so he went on his private island and isolated himself completely.
In the meantime some ABC company had a, I guess, 50th anniversary and they wanted him to come and give a speech.
Usually, Mr. Brundson would say “Sure. No problem.” However, this time they got cold-blooded “No” for an answer from his secretary.
They called again and offered some money. But the secretary said “NO” again.
For a few more times they tried the same tactic, probably thinking that persistence will pay off.
After they made another call, the usually polite secretary went mad.
She started to yell at them and said:
“Mr. Brunson will not come to your anniversary, because Mr. Brunson is focused on a vital project. For next month no one can reach him, not you, not me, not his family. When he finishes, he will be more than happy to give a speech.”
Maybe this is not a point by point actual storyline. However, it paints a perfect picture of why it is important to remove distractions while on the mission.
5.) Wake up early and start immediately
We are not Richard Brunson. We don’t have a private island where we can hide when we want to get away from life.
However, we can learn from him how to achieve at least a fraction of his success.
For many of us “mortals,” it can be tough to find peace and quiet during the day to focus on our mission. Some of you have kids, some have tons of friends, some have a job to take care.
All those things can be a massive distraction of focus.
But luckily, there is one time of the day which is perfect for building up your mission focus!
Morning is perfect for many reasons.
One of them is because we are in a so-called Alpha state of mind when the brain is most relaxed and most receptive to learn new information.
A focus is a skill. A skill which has to be practiced as soon as you wake up. Then, it will follow you for the rest of the day.
Moreover, when you manage to wake up every day for an hour before everyone else, you will have peace, you will have quiet, you will have time for yourself, you can improve on so many levels.
I don’t know, but there is something in the old one “The early bird catches the worm.”
If you get out of the bed every day, at let’s say, 6 am instead of usual 7 am, you will have at least 300 hours per year more to focus on your mission. It is not a number to waste, definitely.
6.) Create a mission focused routine and habits
Now, this one is one of my favorites.
Because when I started this blog, I had troubles to focus on my writing, but now I don’t have anymore.
I meantime I got into a knowledge about routines and habits and their meaning in success.
So naturally, I have created morning rituals.
Every day I perform these rituals to prepare myself ready for writing. Then, when I sit down and start to write, it seems to go by itself.
I was, like many others and possibly you as well, making a few fatal errors at the beginning of my day.
The first one, the universal one, was hitting the freaking snooze button.
Don’t do that ever again!
The snooze button is a decision which sends a message to your mind that it is ok to stay longer in bed even though you will be late.
Then, 30-40 minute after the error, you are freaking out. Building up stress levels so high because now, you are in a crisis, and stress is our body’s reaction to a crisis situation.
Imagine the quantity of stress over a period of one year of snoozing. Just one year…
That is what we call, a reactive state. A reactive state is a killer of focus.
On the other hand, a proactive morning ritual which helps to concentrate on your goals from the moment of the first consciousness will skyrocket your success.
What does proactive mean?
It means that you are creating or controlling a situation instead of reacting on it after it had happened.
Proactive response to an alarm clock would be uncovering, getting up, making your bed, going for a glass of water, brushing your teeth, stretching your body, focusing on goals by reading them out loud, working on your mission.
A short example from the paragraph above is a part of my morning ritual. The snooze button has no control anymore…
7.) Avoid procrastination and lazy self
Procrastination is another universal enemy which we all have to beat during our lifetime to succeed in our mission.
If it is on your mind right now, it has to be done right now!
There is no other time, no later, no tomorrow.
Here you can find a great ally in a tip #1 in fighting procrastination and staying focused.
Write it down!
You always have two options.
One is to focus on the goal and start working on it immediately.
The other one is the focus on how you are going to do it later, as soon as you stop being lazy.
In my experience, there is no third option.
People who are proactive, who do things from the second the idea pops in their mind don’t have problems with procrastination.
I use to procrastinate some things related to my goal.
Then, I get frustrated (reactive) because I was not achieving any significant success. When I think about, it was like I was trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle without all pieces in one place.
I don’t think I have to explain this one too much.
Procrastination equals lack of focus. On the other hand, concentration equals progress, and ultimately, success.
8.) Learn the art of self-motivation
In those moments when you feel like being lazy, and procrastination knocks on your door, self-motivation is a powerful skill to have.
When I think about it, one of the secrets to success in life hides in our ability to self-motivate.
Let me tell you how I found great motivation in role modeling.
In other words, whatever I want to achieve, first I will find someone who did it very successfully.
Then, I would study that men or woman’s success.
It helps me to get a big picture of my mission, and it shows me what can I expect if I succeed as well.
If you remember the story from the beginning of the post about basketball king, Michael Jordan, and me, you will see how role modeling can be one of the best ways to stay focused on your mission.
We all feel down sometimes, we all need a blow of wind in our sails to stay on track.
You can master the skill of self-motivation and become your own wind.
9.) Find a partner or a goal buddy
If you, however, struggle with self-motivation, then you can find a great solution to stay focused on your mission in partner or accountability buddy.
The partnership is the ultimate solution for success.
I know that because I have studied the topic of success for some time now.
In every book and in every example those who have succeeded the most, at one point or another, have formed a partnership with another like-minded individual.
Even Jordan had Scottie Pippen!
The partner in your mission can be your wife or husband, girlfriend or boyfriend, mother or father, friend, cousin.
The critical point is, that person has to be someone who understands you and who knows when you are losing track with your goals. Someone who can tell you “Listen! You can do it.”
10.) Eliminate fear, doubt, and worry
The successful mission requires a positive attitude. There is no doubt about it.
However, one small fear, worry, or even doubt can cause us to shift our focus on something which has no connection with the end result we desire.
When I write my posts, I have to be focused on you entirely, if I want to translate my message or help you in some way.
The only way I can do so is if I stay relaxed and confident about my work.
One tension caused by a negative thought shifts my focus away from writing high quality, helpful article and produces, well, the opposite of that.
Related: Five Ways To Overcome The Fear
11.) Focus on deep breathing; exercise, meditate
The preceding tip and this one could be blended into a single one.
However, for the sake of the article, I had to separate them.
Anyway, instead of focusing your thoughts on some nagging worry or useless doubt, you can apply the technique of deep breathing to stay on track with your mission.
A deep breath helps to clear your mind so you can shift your thoughts back on what is important to you.
I am a sports type of the person, which means I like to be active.
But I have realized that when I am not so active, I tend to lose my focus. Tension builds up in my body and keeps my mind on discomfort, instead of on my goals.
A brisk walk, stretching session, jogging or hardcore exercise session releases all the tensions from my body, and therefore, from my mind as well.
Meditation is also one of the best ways to calm your mind and put your focus back on where it belongs.
During meditation, the primary goal is to stay focused on breathing.
There are a few tricks you can use.
You can count your breaths to help you with this. Or, you can visualize the air coming into your lungs and going out while exhaling.
Just 10-15 minutes every day can make a huge difference in your ability to focus. Imagine what you can do over a period of year or two.
12.) Rest and regenerate your energy
In a book that I am reading, I read that our brain is like a battery. We have a certain amount of energy to spend each day.
If you, for instance, keep pushing your brain to stay focused for an extended period of time it will yield you great results on the one hand, but you will drain your energy in one go and possibly damage your focus on the other side.
Maybe this won’t happen from the first time.
However, if you keep treating your brain like this, it will eventually lose focus.
To keep your brain in shape and refreshed while working on a focus-demanding project, it is recommended to take short breaks frequently.
When I write, I like to take a 5-10 minute break every 30-40 minutes.
I will make a few squats or stretch my body to get the blood flow again. A glass of water helps me to refresh. An apple or banana is a great choice as well.
This way I can stay focused for quite a while, and I don’t feel exhausted when I finish the work.
If you can I recommend you the same method for your job because the results are fantastic.
Also, adequate sleep is on more than essential to stay focused on your mission.
13.) Exercise your brain and feed it with knowledge
As you noticed I read a lot. I turned it into a habit because of many reasons.
One is to study and apply the knowledge. The other one is to exercise my brain.
You see, when I feel like I have troubles with staying focused I take a book in my hands, and I read at least 10 pages.
The result of this short exercise is enhanced focus and concentration.
I also made it as a part of my morning ritual.
In today’s world of technology, you can find some great apps to keep your brain sharp.
My favorite one is “Peak.”
It is a brilliant app in which I fell in love with. Among all, you can work on your mental agility, memory, focus, problem-solving ability, and more.
You will need all kinds of tools and help on your mission, so make sure you use it to stay on track.
14.) Feed your brain with nutrients other than knowledge
Broccoli, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, blueberries, black currant, are just some of the most essential foods which help to preserve brain functions and health.
I meet so many people today who are knowledgeable about fitness.
Everyone knows how it is important to eat high proteins food when building or maintaining the muscle mass. And the list of the supplements for muscle health is getting longer and longer by each day.
However, we have to know how to feed both brains and brawns.
Next to the list of brain power foods are brain power supplements.
My top two recommendations are fish oil and Gingko biloba extract. Both help to maintain and improve brain functions such as focus and memory.
Also, a cup of coffee or a cup of green tea are two natural drinks which help to boost focus and concentration immediately.
15.) Join a free goal setting program
Now, my last recommendation can be a huge help to stay focused on your mission.
We live in an internet era, an era of technology.
Sadly, many people are using both to destroy their mental abilities unconsciously. They dumb themselves even more by staring into screens without any use.
I am of the opinion that we do not have to become servants to our phones and laptops. Moreover, they should serve us.
So, I found a few great ways to do so!
One is already mentioned brain exercise app, Peak.
The other one in which I found a precious value is Six Minutes to Success by Proctor-Gallagher Institute.
With a mentioned program you can “kill” more than two birds with one stone.
The program is designed to help you set goals and stay focused until you achieve them. The designers of the program are people who are leaders in the study of the human mind and its potential.
While ago I got interested in the work of Bob Proctor and Sany Gallagher.
Now, I can say I am a devoted student of the material they present.
Not just because of the fact they helped me to put my life in a different direction, but also because they have the knowledge which should be spread around and given to everyone.
For more details about FREE TRIAL of the Six Minutes to Success, click on the image below.
Your ability to stay focused on your mission has to be practiced all the time. Like everything, it will fade away if not maintained and used.
I took a lot of thought writing these 15 tips for you so don’t take them just like that. Rather, make them yours.
I believe that it is so true that on what we focus all day today awaits us in our tomorrow. Many great philosophers from the past agree with this thesis, and so do I. 🙂
Maybe I am not a great philosopher, but I know how focus works.
Hopefully, you now know as well.
If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below, and I will be more than happy to help you out.
All the best,