There’s nothing in the world that is more important than you.
So why do you spend so much of your time focused on other people? Or on things that will never get you what you want?
The things you love are designed to distract you. It’s easy to be distracted. Websites with links to other articles, apps with ads for you to check out more apps, social media that is designed to keep you engaged longer.
Have you ever read an entire page and not remembered you’d just read when you finished? It’s happened to all of us, and it does so because our attention wasn’t focused. We allowed our minds to wander while our eyes scanned and no comprehension happened.
We live in a tech age, and things compete for our attention all day long. We have a hard time sitting in class, in church, or even hanging out with friends without looking at our phones. Just because that has become a social norm, doesn’t mean it’s positive, productive, or necessary.
Look at your call log, number of text messages, posts, selfies, likes, retweets, and everything you watched, and learned about celebrities just last week. Compare that to what you learned about yourself, what you learned about the profession or industry you want to get into, what did you do that helped get you closer to your dream? If your time was spent focusing on you, and what you want out of your life, you would be a week closer to having it.
The good news is, attention is a muscle. So the way to become more focused is to practice, to exercise the attention muscle.
People wonder how I’m able to be so focused and disciplined and the short answer is practice. I am prone to distractions, just like everyone else. Heck, in the middle of typing that last paragraph my grandmother called and I chose to answer it and that 1 minute distraction caused me to lose focus. So, I get it. But, here’s the reality. You can convince yourself that you have a short attention span, undiagnosed ADD, an in ability to focus, or that you are good at multitasking. Or, you can begin to practice focusing.
If you have a clear goal, eliminate anything that takes you away from that goal. Put your phone on airplane mode, turn off your playlist, and get to work. Spend the majority of your time focused on you and when that time, attention, and work pays off in a few years, you can sit back and spend the rest of your life however you’d like. I have a goal and I keep that in mind at all times because I know that a short amount of focused time will help me to not only reach my goals but will impact so many others because of the type of goals they are.
No matter what age you are, no matter your goals, there is something you can begin to do this very day that will make your future endeavors easier, and help you reach them faster.
1. Set an alarm and twice a day let yourself browse social media for just 30 minutes. (One hour total.)
2. Watch one hour of television (fear not, every show is available online and able to be watched later).
3. Initiate and answer only 10 texts per day. Choose them wisely, don’t waste your time on “ok” or “lol”.
4. Spend 2 minutes in complete silence listening only to your breath. When you start thinking about other things, bring your mind back to your breath.
It won’t be easy, but, it’ll help you realize how much time you spend doing things that have nothing to do with your life and it will help you to remain focused on your goals.
Have a great, focused week, and enjoy your weekend knowing how productive your week was.