Focus is the act of concentrating your interest or activity on something. This means saying yes to one option and no to a bunch of other options. In general, people don’t have a problem with focusing on something. The problem is with deciding on something. If we are given many options at one time, we have trouble deciding what option to chose. That’s why many procrastinate. If you want to improve your focus, you need to fight against procrastination. We put off doing things at a later time because we are not able to decide what to do first.
But when someone or something else decides this for you and all that variety of options come down to one, think of a deadline, we stop procrastinating, we decide what to do, we focus on it and we just do it. See how easy that was? A simple deadline is all it takes for us to focus.
Now you might be thinking “What about multitasking?”. Well, what about it? Yes, you can complete two or more tasks at the same time, but even then you are only focusing on one thing at a time. You can’t focus on two things at once. Just try to have a conversation with someone while you are also reading this. You may think you are doing it, but either you have no idea what you’re reading or what the person is talking about.
This way you lose time. You are not focusing and successfully finishing one task than the other one. But you keep going back and forth between them. You also get tired and frustrated as you have no idea what’s going on. You don't know what you are reading. And you are not paying enough attention to the other person.
Try to do one thing at a time. Put all your focus into one thing at a time then move onto the next. So you finished replying to all of the work emails? Great, check it off the list. Did you read 30 minutes? Awesome, check it off the list. Did you practice an instrument? Beautiful, check it off the list! You are focusing and completing things one by one and that’s progress. You are better than you were yesterday, heck, you are now better than you were 5 minutes before. Track and measure the tasks or habits that you complete because it will help you focus on the things that matter most and ignore the things that don’t.
Another important thing that will help you improve your focus is to concentrate on how you will achieve your goal, the process, and not on the goal itself. For example, you want to get your body “beach ready”. And you focus all the energy into this goal, but nothing happens and nothing will ever happen.
You need to shift focus on how will you get there, what you will do daily to get your body in shape. That’s what separates successful people from wannabes. They fall in love with the daily practice, the process, not the goal. So fall in love with the process of eating healthy and exercising consistently and you will get your body in shape in no time.
Set up deadlines for yourself, tackle one thing at a time, concentrate on the process and measure your progress, these strategies will help you sharpen and improve your focus.