How do the most successful people achieve such amazing things when we all have the same 24 hours in a day?
The answer is simple. Focus.
When you’re 100% focused, you can:
- Accomplish more in less time. Like 80% less time if you’re doing it right,
- Achieve goals that seemed eons away in what seems like the blink of an eye,
- Build momentum that becomes unstoppable.
You don’t have to hustle to be successful. You just need focus.
In a world of distractions, how do you stop wasting your precious time and energy on things that don’t matter? How do you stay motivated and focused even when busy?
Follow these 13 steps for the best ways to stay focused on your goals, stay focused in life, stay focused at work, and achieve your goals in less time.
1. Stay Focused By Keeping The End In Mind
Be clear each and every day what your main goals are.
Be so clear that there’s never a question in your mind about what you should do or what you should be focused on.
One of the main reasons people are unmotivated and unfocused is they don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing. Why? Because they’re not focused on their goal.
When you don’t have the end, the goal, in mind you’ll end up meandering. You’ll waste time watching silly videos on YouTube figuring that somehow this will help you get motivated or inspired to work. Wrong-o buddy.
The only way to get motivated and focused is to remind yourself what you want and why you want it.
Ask yourself – what’s really important to you? What are your goals?
Chances are you’ll say things like:
- Quality time with family
- Experiencing new things
- Connecting with friends
- Spending time with your partner
- Being in nature
- Improving your health
- Cultivating prosperity
- Creating something that contributes to the world in a meaningful way.
Now, look at how you spend the majority of your time.
I guarantee a lot of what you do isn’t focused on your goals.
2. Are My Actions Focused On My Goal?
Effective action is when you take action that directly moves you toward accomplishing your goal.
Organizing your file cabinet is not going to help you sign up more clients. So it’s not a good way to spend time. It’s not an action focused on income generation.
If income generation is your focus, make sure each and every action you’re taking is focused on that goal.
If getting healthier is your focus, then make sure each decision you make, each action you take is helping you move closer to achieving the goal.
It’s seriously as simple as asking yourself “will this help me achieve my goal? Or not?”.
Then each thing you are doing will be contributing to your success
3. Remind Yourself You’re Going To Die
I don’t mean to go all dark on you, but it’s true. Every single one of us is going to die.
We’ve only got so much time. We’ve only got so much energy. So we need to choose, each and every day, what’s important to us and stay focused on that.
By reminding yourself that you’re going to die you realize that there’s not an endless amount of time available to you.
Nothing is more motivating than recognizing that you have an expiration date.
Don’t let it get you down. Use it to fuel your passion to make every second count.
4. Visualize The Results
One of the best ways to achieve your goals is to envision yourself accomplishing them.
The human mind is a funny thing. Until we can see ourselves achieving something, a part of us doesn’t really believe we can do it.
Until you can really feel what it will be like to finally accomplish your goal, a part of you will think it’s going to be a giant pain in the butt. Or that it’s impossible.
So you end up procrastinating, worrying and feeling stuck in anxiety instead of taking action.
By simply visualizing yourself accomplishing your goal, and seeing yourself do it easily, you’ll pave the way for your success. And the whole process will go so much smoother than you ever imagined.
This is what psychologists call “cognitive rehearsal”. And even Olympic Athletes use it.
You’re essentially preparing your brain for the process of achieving your goals by visualizing yourself achieving them.
When your brain can visualize that goal as done and dusted – you suddenly develop confidence and total belief that it’s possible.
5. Use Micro-Goals
Most people feel utterly overwhelmed by their big goals.
Yes, it’s important to dream big and have a huge vision. However, when you only focus on the big things, you get totally stressed out and paralyzed.
The easiest way to stop feeling paralyzed, stop procrastinating, and stop feeling unmotivated is to break everything down into ridiculously small micro-goals that are easily accomplished.
I don’t know about you, but I love checking things off my “to do” list.
Checking things off of a to-do list makes you feel like you’re accomplishing things, it builds confidence, it makes you believe that you can achieve what you have to do, and it creates massive momentum.
Motivation is paradoxical.
The more you get done, the more you want to get done.
So the most successful way to get things done? Do something.
The easiest way to do something? Break your goals down into micro-goals that are so achievable, so easy to tick off your to-do list that you breeze through it in no time.
Breaking Down Your Goals
Here’s an example.
If you have to write a blog article instead of putting “write a blog article” on your to-do list break it down into every step you need to take to write a blog article.
- Research what to write about
- Outline what to talk about
- Develop the outline of what I want to talk about in each point
- Go through and flesh out each point
- Go through and edit the article
- Find a picture that represents the blog post
- Give the blog post an amazing title
- Put the blog post onto your website and template it
- Publish the blog post
- Promote the blog post on social media
Each one of these tasks will only take a fraction of the time the whole task would take. So each one feels achievable.
When your to-do list feels achievable you’re far more likely to begin and far more likely to stay focused. You get to feel like an absolute badass when you mark each item as complete. And you get more and more excited to move onto the next item.
Look at all you accomplished superstar!!
6. Be Accountable
Whether it’s having an accountability group, a mastermind partner, or hiring a coach, one of the most impactful ways to stay focused is to report your progress to someone else.
Accountability is especially important for those people who wonder how to stay focused when you’re self-employed. How to stay focused when you work from home on your own.
When you work for yourself it can be easy to let deadlines slide by and not keep commitments to yourself.
But by being accountable to someone else instead of trying to “will yourself to be more committed” you set yourself up for success.
Often, just knowing that you’ll have to explain to someone why you didn’t get something done is motivation enough to finish the project, even if you don’t want to do it.
7. Start Off On The Right Foot
Start your day off with a morning ritual that makes you feel energetic, confident, and inspired.
Working out is a great way to do this. But not everyone has the time to put in a full work out in the morning. So even taking 5 minutes to meditate and jumping in the shower first thing in the morning can make a big difference.
One of my secrets to staying focused as an entrepreneur is to get ready in the morning.
I know as a busy entrepreneur it can be tempting to jump into your day unshowered and still in your pajamas. But when you take the time to shower and get ready you’ll feel more focused and on fire for your goals and feel motivated throughout the day. Plus, every time you look into the mirror you’ll see a woman you take seriously. And you’ll feel invested in her success.
8. Gather Everything You Need Before You Start
Before you sit down to write that blog post or do your accounting make sure you have everything you need.
Whether it’s your stack of receipts, a pencil and paper, a cup of coffee, or a snack. Set yourself up for success by getting it all gathered around you before you begin.
When you do this you avoid any excuses you have to stand up and wander around the house looking for the thing you need. Gather it all ahead of time.
9. Put Your Blinders On And Limit Distractions
It’s so simple it almost sounds stupid, but one of the easiest ways to stop being distracted is to turn the distractions off.
- the ringer on your phone,
- all of the social media notifications,
- your email notifications,
- everything you can and just focus on what’s important.
Maybe even set your phone to only ring if it’s someone important (like your kids).
Everything else can be checked in on at regular intervals throughout the day, so set times to:
- check email,
- check into Social Media,
- call your mom.
And do those things during those set times rather than fritting time away with 5-10 minutes here and there.
Those little bits of time add up to more than you think they do throughout the day.
Be brutal about turning off everything and you’ll find a wonderful quiet where you can finally pay attention to what matters.
10. Use The Pomodoro Technique
I’m ADHD. Big time! But it wasn’t something that was diagnosed very often back when I was a kid. So I’ve had to learn how to focus using little tricks I’ve learned along the way.
The Pomodoro Technique is one of them.
It basically entails setting a timer and focusing full out for 25 minutes and then taking a 5-minute break.
If you’re like me and easily distractable, then set the timer up somewhere you can see. When tempted to stand up, or open up a tab on your web browser to check social media, remind yourself that you can do that when the timer goes “ding”.
You’ll be shocked at what you can do with just 25 minutes of pure focus.
11. Use The 80/20 Principle
The 80/20 Principle, also called the Pareto Principle, is the idea that 20% of your work is responsible for 80% of your results.
That means that 80% of what you’re doing is not helping you move toward your goals.
Eighty percent of what you’re spending your time, energy, and focus on is not helping you accomplish what’s most important to you.
Pay attention to the 20% that gives you the most bang for your buck, and focus your time, energy, and focus there.
When you do, you end up spending far less time working. Yep, seriously!
12. Don’t Compare Your Progress To Others
One of the things I often say is “keep your eyes on your own paper” when it comes to achieving your goals.
You can’t accomplish anything if you’re always looking around you to measure where everyone else is and what everyone else is doing.
It’s like running a race.
Imagine you’re running a race. You’re giving it your all. You’re running full steam ahead and you know you’re in the lead. What happens if you start to look around at what everyone else is doing?
You lose focus. You lose speed. And you ultimately lose the race.
Focus on your own journey, your own path, your own experience. And stop paying attention to what other people are doing.
13. Don’t Forget To Celebrate
Once a goal is accomplished, what do you do?
Most likely you move immediately onto the next goal. You move onto the next task.
But this is counterproductive!
When you don’t take time to celebrate you actually train your brain to just expect more work ahead when things are completed.
And what’s the fun in that?
Motivation is created easily when you make completing your tasks rewarding.
So be sure to condition your brain to expect a reward every single time you accomplish something.
Do something that feels good.
Something as simple as standing up and doing a happy dance can make each and every goal feel like you’ve accomplished a massive achievement.
So don’t skip this part. It’s what makes it all worthwhile.