“Our thoughts create our reality — where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.” ~ Peter McWilliams
Finding focus may be the biggest challenge individuals face in our time. Information streams non-stop from our radios, televisions, computer, social media sites, and our mobile phones. With this almost never-ending noise, it’s no surprise that many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed at times, wondering how we will ever keep up with everything. The truth is, we can’t.
Pablo Picasso said it best, “Without great solitude no serious work is possible.” We all need time away from the noise, time to reflect and time to create. In Leo Babauta’s new book, focus he says, “Our ability to focus will allow us to create in ways that perhaps we haven’t in years. It’ll allow us to slow down and find peace of mind. It’ll allow us to simplify and focus on less — on the essential things, the things that matter most.”
In focus, Leo, author of one of my favorite blogs, Zen Habits, goes on to give ways to simplify your life and schedule, and find a greater focus. A few of these include:
- Disconnect: Find time each day, and possibly for an entire day or week, to just disconnect from technology.
- Separate your day into times for creating and times for consuming and and communicating, “and never the twain shall meet.”
- Develop focus rituals such as morning quiet time or starting off the day by putting together a simple to-do list.
- Clear distractions: remove unnecessary distractions from your work environment, and from your life. We got rid of cable television almost a year ago and have no regrets, we can still watch movies occasionally without a television being on all the time.
- Only use email during pre-set times, constantly checking your email and responding to others is a time and energy drain. Establish set times for this task and communicate it to others so they know when you will respond.
- Simplify, simplify, simplify – Just like Thoreau used to say, simplifying your life will make it easier, more enjoyable, and allow room for you to focus on the important things.
- Do work that excites you – When you wake up in the morning, think about the things you need to do and allow yourself time to work on those projects that excite you.
What things do you do to help you focus? What are the challenges you face?