We live in a noisy world. Sometimes we end up drowning in it.
Whether people say positive or negative things. Noise is noise. We might feel like dragged down from people who criticize us or talk bad about us. But we also often tend to lean on those people who compliment us a lot or envy us. For example, people telling us we’re talented, pretty and smart. The reason so many struggle with negativity is because they overvalue positive reinforcement.
We tend to look at every new thing that pops up. If we keep trying every single opportunity, listen to everyone’s requests, accept all exciting offers, take upon several new projects and just say absolutely YES in life. At some point in your life:
You wake up and feel not fulfilled at all with what you do in your life.
You might feel you haven’t accomplished what’s meaningful to you. This could be related to your job, your family, your friends, or your dream.
Problem Of Drifting Away
Do you know this moment, when you set your goal and you made a final decision? But then, guess what?
You end up seeing another cool thing or someone else introduces you to something. We were told to remain open-minded for new opportunities. We were told to remain always curious and hungry for new things.
But what happens?
We drift away from our actual focus. We end up looking into that other thing.
It’s good to stay curious and open-minded, but we need to know how to control it. We need to keep our main mission in mind.
Despite of being a hard-working and disciplined person, I had many moments in my life where I just suddenly lost my focus and feel like drowning in this world.
In these moments, we might wish to go an island somewhere alone, far away from people and work. We wish to go somewhere to the universe and stay there until we feel embraced full silence. We wish to close our eyes, mouth, ears and shut down all for a while. Probably everyone has these moments in life where we want to hide somewhere. We don’t want to do anything, we might become lazy and we don’t know how to start. We don’t even know why we are being like this. Thus, we are ashamed of our own behavior and put more pressure on ourselves.
If this also happened to you or if you feel lost right now, keep on reading. I will share my personal 3 advices that helped me. I hope it also helps you.
Also keep in mind: No matter in what situation you are, everything is going to be fine and it’s a part of your journey that makes you stronger.
How To Remain Focused
1. Stop Browsing And Make Fewer Decisions
Control the amount of decisions you need to take and realize that you need to do fewer decisions. It will save you a lot of time and energy. Making many decisions can make us extremely tired and leads to brain fatigue. This, because it requires a lot of effort to evaluate them.
Don’t waste your energy resources and your brain power on making too many decisions. Your willpower will go out of window.
- Stop browsing around: Your news feeds on social media, surfing endlessly in the internet, read up every minute updates in news and checking up on your messages. Every-time you scroll on your phone on news feeds, you need to make a decision to pay attention or not to pay attention. That decision costs you already your focal power and resources.
- Just browse and target only the thing you are looking for. Let’s say you want to learn more about how to create a website and you browse about it. Suddenly you see an advertisement for Book publishing that also interests you and you completely shift to something else. It happens quickly. It’s not easy but focus first on the task you intended to do. The risk is higher that you completely wipe out from your main task, if you don’t control your browsing.
- Make your own criteria guideline to make better high-quality decisions for yourself. Making quick decisions on things is a highly important skill to work productively. I created for myself a personal decision guideline as a base to remind myself what I should consider when making important decisions. It’s the process that includes fundamental questions such as: Does it support my long-term goals? Will it make me happy? How long have I been thinking about this? Do decisions based on your criteria, don’t overthink and stick to your decision. It requires courage to stand up for the decision you made. Don’t let the noise make you drown.
- Make important decisions in the morning. In the night we are often too emotional and might be over-rushed into decisions without critical thinking. Sleep over it and do important decisions when you feel most alert.
2. Clear Mission Statement and Major Focus
Define your mission. It’s not productive and rather probably just stressing you out when you have a full plate of endless tasks without a clear mission.
When you feel lost, your job is to get back to very simple things in life. Focus on Simplicity and Essence.
- Write down your clear mission and hang it somewhere you see it every day. It should remind yourself WHY you are doing what you’re doing. It is important to keep us going, especially in the darkest moments in our life where we feel like giving up. It helps to stay focused and to see light through our mission.
- Focus on only 1 or 2 major things when you write down your mission. It becomes easier to become distracted, the more distracted you are. The more things you focus together, the more problem you have later to complete one thing at a time. Keep the risks low for distraction by sticking to one main focus for a certain period of time.
- Write down your main daily goal and stick on it. You need to have a plan where you’re heading to. Set small and realistic goals. Don’t focus on the big mission, but rather focus on what you can do today that brings you closer to your main mission. Work proactively. It’s all about progress. Don’t forget to also celebrate yourself on a daily basis for what you’ve achieved.
- Say NO to everything else that doesn’t support your mission.Everyone wants to add value and be kind to help. But sometimes you need to learn to say no. It happens that you might be committed too fast into something that it’s not what you intended to do. Often you realize it later that it’s rather time-consuming and a complete shift from your actual mission.
- When things get too much or overexciting, take a deep breath first. Lean yourself first back. Again, remind yourself what your intended mission is. Don’t forget why you’re doing it. Don’t quickly get engaged with other new things that are not in accordance with your main mission even it seems at that time very exciting.
3. Embrace Silence And Focus On The Positive
We need to embrace silence. Modern connectivity makes this very difficult — but it’s an important part in our personal development. We should not fear of silence and solitude, and instead turn to addiction for not being bored. This is exactly where our dependance on noise and distractions come into play.
Your focus drives everything. It drives your thoughts, emotions and your mental health. If you focus on negative things, you become negative.
Whenever something bad happens, keep calm, take a few deep breaths and shift the focus to something positive.
“Focus on your strengths, not your weaknesses.
Focus on your character, not your reputation.
Focus on your blessings, not your misfortunes.”
― Roy T. Bennett
- Do daily meditation before you start your day and before you go to sleep. Meditation also helps when you feel angry and overemotional. 5 minutes of proper meditation is already helping to find inner peace and feel more relaxed. It also helps to change places to refresh your mind and have better focus. Change also your workplace sometimes.
- Wake up with positive affirmations. When I wake up in the morning I see at first glance the little collection of my favorite motivating affirmations sticking on my closet. I read through them automatically before I start my day and often get to see it time by the time I pass by. Collect your own affirmations that motivate you.
- Avoid Multitask and Prioritize. The fact that multitasking is not only ineffective but also harmful has been confirmed in many scientific studies. Multitaskers are distracted by unimportant things because they are not able to keep important and unimportant information separate in their minds. Set and clarify your priorities to make implementation intentions. It will help you stay focused and resist all distractions.
- Exercise and Conscious Stress Prevention. The best remedy against stress is active stress prevention — not letting stress arise in the first place. The second best remedy against stress includes stress-reducing measures, such as sports or walks in nature.
- Put your phone away. Dedicate yourself to the most important of your tasks on the list immediately when you start your working day, for at least 90 minutes. Keep your door closed, close your mail program and mute the phone, if possible. The more you focus on a single thing, the more you’ll get done, and the higher the quality of your work will be. When you’re done with this task, take a break to recharge the battery.
- Do a 1 week complete Social Media Detox. This might not be easy firsthand, but I do it once or twice a year and it helps me to feel better. During this time I deactivate all my social media notifications. Don’t tell everyone, because this can cause pressure to come back online. I just let my close friends and family know that I won’t be available for 1 week. You can activate automate responses during your absent time. Just concentrate 1 week on yourself far away from electronic devices and other people. It feels good to be sometimes not available. Use this time to do your hobbies, do more sports and just to enjoy life. Self-care is a priority.
It’s difficult these days to stay focused. We get daily judged, criticism, opinions from others offline or online. We can’t ignore them completely and at the same time we cannot take them all in.
Sometimes we feel drowned in this noise, we confuse ourselves and feel lost despite a goal we had. That’s why we need to become more distinct and clear about what our focus is.
If you focus, you can automatically concentrate better. Distraction and lack of concentration are pre-programmed when dancing at many weddings at the same time. The more goals you pursue at the same time, the greater the likelihood that a distraction has to do with something other than the goal you are working on.
Focus goes out of the window, when we don’t have progress. Get more progress in life. The only time you fail is when you fall down and stay down.
The trickiest thing is when we meet people at the same time, who have similar goals or interests. They might drag us to a certain direction with a good intention, but sometimes it ends up not being the right thing for us. But we just followed because we thought it will benefit us and because we feared to miss a great chance.
Don’t fatigue your brain with million things. It’s good to connect with other like-minded people, motivate each other, collaborate together and look into new offers. But never forget your mission and your focus.
The noise of the world will always remain. But you can take breaks in between, become stronger, change your mindset, and refocus back. The biggest enemy of our focus is ourselves.
To remain focused is not just about productivity, but about experiencing the best quality of life.