Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Applying Techniques for Staying Focused

Applying Techniques for Staying Focused

Each of us has our busy lives and in this world of constant distractions, how can we stay focused on our goals?
For me, there are always several things constantly competing for my time – The Daily Routine of being a Single mom, exploring new ways of marketing, links to follow up, my daily work, personal commitments etc. In my experience whenever I try to work on many things at the same time, none of them actually gets done.

I’ve incorporated the following techniques for staying focused into my work patterns and daily Routine. Once applied, I am confident that they will work for you too:

1. Having well defined goals. I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Having goals which are well defined along good guidelines is the key. Writing your goals down is a very important step. Whenever I get distracted, I read my goals and I’m reminded of what I am working on and why. This is a task that should be defined and read Daily.

2. Breaking things into bite sized chunks. Having broad high level goals are essential but having an actionable plan is critical. A plan can identify how you can get from where you are to where you want go. Breaking goals into smaller actionable chunks (Daily tasks) is the key – it gives motivation to start and allows for you to get things done in one sitting. Set a Goal date. Without setting a date you are merely wishing. Work on Daily Goals which will break down the goal into smaller chunks therefore allowing you to reach your Broad High Level goal more efficiently.

3. Prioritizing constantly. To allow for which task I should be working on, I prioritize constantly. Some tasks are more important than others. Some tasks are more urgent than others. Work on urgent tasks followed by tasks which have the greatest impact– urgent tasks allow you to get things done on time and important tasks will allow you to maximize the benefits. Sit down the night before and write out your plan of action for the next day.

4. Tracking progress vigorously. Each of us wants to improve our lives. However, it is easy to start with good intentions but more difficult to sustain commitment. I’ve found that by tracking/benchmarking my progress daily, I have more visualization on what I’ve done and can better gauge how much effort is left.

5. Planning ahead without fail. Concentrating on the remaining effort can help reinforce commitment. Some might think they’ll get discouraged, however, this is not the case because by writing tasks that are bite sized and easy to finish it helps to look at your goals and task lists periodically, so you can assess how much time it’ll take to do something and determine the best time to sit down and work on it.

6. Rewarding yourself . By all means focus on what’s outstanding, but also take stock of what you’ve done. Don’t under sell yourself. Always reflect on what you’ve done, whether it is reading a post you did awhile ago or looking at the bullet points you’ve made alongside your task lists. Whenever you accomplish a goal, always reward yourself. It does help with maintaining motivation.

7. Having positive patterns in my routine. I’ve found having good habits and positive patterns to be critically important. At the moment, I can consistently get more done. As these patterns continue to establish into a routine, I’m finding that I can better judge the periods of the day in which I really need to focus and work. Consistency is the key. This will eventually work itself into a Routine. As mundane as that may sound, It is key to maintain focus and consistency.

8. Removing distractions as best I can. The best way not to give in to temptation is not to have the option to. What works for me is making the distractions difficult or inconvenient to access. Because it takes too much effort to indulge in the distraction, I find it is less likely for me to give in.

9. Blocking out some time. Waking up early and consistently. I’ve found that having quiet time, set aside specifically for accomplishing a given task, to be very productive. I also tend to be more focused in the morning after a restful night. Although, I know myself well, I find to be more productive in the evening. Know what works best for you so you can be more productive during the times of day that work with the alignment of your schedule.

10. Keeping the results clear in mind. Instead of concentrating too much on the task at hand, sometimes I put attention on the feelings I ultimately wish to experience. By focusing on the results, it is easier to maintain motivation especially when you are working on things that you are not by nature motivated by. The End justifies the means. Focus on The End result.

11. Enlisting my family and friends for help. I communicate with my family and friends about my goals all the time. Not only have they been helpful with gentle reminders whenever they see my behavior is not consistent with my goals, but they also give me constant incentives to work at my goals and succeed. Be sure that the people you enlist are People that encourage you on a regular basis and are not dream stealers on any level.

Here are some examples of how I have applied these techniques:

•Having a goal to Read at least 6 books a year
•Working on articles for my facebook fan page and blog
•Prioritizing tasks
•Tracking the number of presentations I do every day
•Planning topics for future Training calls
•Taking time out to do searches on Google for personal development
•Waking up at 8am and working on tasks that may cause distractions later.
•Asking my son to wake me up if I fail to get up on my own.
•Unplugging the Xbox and putting up a sign on my door to remove distractions.
•Reading or sitting quietly to relax my mind after completing a emotional task
•Visualize the growth in my business. Focus on the End result.

These 11 techniques can be applied to any aspect of your personal and business life. If you find you have trouble staying focused for whatever reason, apply some or all of these techniques. These have worked for me and I know by applying these techniques, they will work for you too.

I have found the following resources to be helpful to me as well.

How to have a more focused day – Steve Pavlina

Radio interview with David Allen (Getting Things Done)

Getting and staying focused

How to stay focused and achieve your goals

7 simple ways to stay focused

How to get work done in a home based business

Staying focused in your home office

Stay Focused! Be Blessed!

Michelle Stefferson
National Sales Director
Leaders of Tomorrow 2008
Millennium club Member
Top Producer 2010
Ace Council


  1. Awesome Tips Michelle!! Thanks for sharing:)


  2. I totally agree.... Those are awsome tips!! thanks Michelle

  3. Thank you Michelle, For all you do, you are truly a light in the darkness. John McFarland