This 4 part series was developed to help you Get Focused. The previous three posts are here:
Getting Focused. Staying Your Course.
“Attitude determines action, and action determines accomplishment.” ~Ken Davis. Fully Alive: Lighten Up and Live – A Journey that Will Change Your Life
Getting Focused needs more than just a good foundation, sharpening opportunities and cool tools. We need practical ways to Stay on Course. I’ve learned there are three supports that make Staying Your Course possible.
Be Quiet & Think
Silence is essential to our ability to live on purpose. Why? Because words are spoken in silence that we will never hear, because we’re being too loud doing. I often wonder if our society fears silence. I wonder if we’re afraid of what we might hear if we allow ourselves to stop, be still and listen.
The Odds Are Stacked Against You
You’re probably listening to something right now. If you’re in a restaurant, Disney World or a barbershop, they’re playing music or have a TV on. You can’t even go to a gas station without being bombarded with messages. So you won’t just accidentally stumble into silence. It’s up to you to set aside time and context where silence is possible.
Sometimes the most important thing I can do to get a project focused is to just stop doing and decide. All I do is ask myself, “What’s the very next thing that has to happen to move this project forward?” You see, I have a problem. When things get really busy and I lose my focus, I start reacting. That’s when I have to stop, take a breath and steal a moment of silence to gain perspective and get back on course. It’s then that I move from reacting to acting. It’s then that I regain my focus.
QUESTION: When’s your best time to practice silence?
Find Your Balance
Realize that you are one, undivided person. You may have personal, professional, physical and spiritual aspects of your life but that doesn’t make you four different people. Don’t try to divide or compartmentalize the various aspects of your life, balance them.
- Spend time with your spouse and kids
- Get out for a bike ride or a walk
- Read a good book
- Creatively express yourself
- Be in the moment
Yes, you can drive a car with an unbalanced tire for a while. But if you don’t get it balanced, it will get worse and it will create more problems “down the road.” In the same way we can operate “out-of-balance” for a while, but eventually, we need to return to a healthy balance. If we can’t sustain that balance, there’s a bigger issue that we have to address.
Be proactive and schedule time for those areas like family or exercise that can easily get out of balance. Give yourself grace. Life is not a perfect performance.
QUESTION: What are the areas of your life that need balance?
Create A Routine
We are creatures of habit. So just turn those habits into routines. One of the ways I do that is block out time on my calendar for those routine things I need to do. Those stakes in the ground remind me of the reality – there are certain things that I MUST do if I’m going to be successful. I’ve learned that if I don’t set aside time on my calendar for the important things, it will fill up with other less important things. That’s why I use my 30/30 lists to help me create a routine that will remind me to focus on the right things.
Routine has become my secret weapon that keeps me on the right course.
Those are my three supports that help me stay focused. But life ebbs and flows and sometimes stuff doesn’t work out like I planned. It’s a good reminder that getting focused is not for the faint of heart. As an encouragement remember…
It Won’t Be Easy
It’s hard work. It’s a commitment. It requires resolve.
Results Will Vary
Be prepared. They’ll be good days and bad days. Just get up tomorrow and do it again.
You’ll think of a thousand reasons you should be doing something else. Just stick to the plan and do the very next right thing.
So that’s it. My approach to getting focused. If it’s been of helpful to you – let me know. If you disagree – let me know. If you have some helpful insight – let me know.
Life is too short and too precious to just let it happen to you. Get focused and get on track!
QUESTION: What keeps you focused?
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