It happens to all of us, swarms of distractions, constant interruptions and texting under the table during meetings, keep us from accomplishing the task at hand and we lose focus. We live in a nonstop mental traffic jam where it’s always rush hour. We only have ourselves to blame since our gridlock is caused by the ingenious inventions that we now can't live without. Only when we learn how to take back the controls that we’ve given away, can we manage our attention better and not surrender to every distraction.
After some research, I discovered a few tips to stay focused and on track to achieve your goals.
1. Keep your energy up! Do this by keeping your brain active. If your energy gets low, you start to fade.
2. Your emotional state drives your ability to focus. Steer clear of the negative because positive emotions will keep you engaged. And engaged individuals are more interested and motivated which will eventually bring you to your "sweet spot."
3. Everything up to this point is great, but means nothing if you don't establish structure. Structure refers to how you spend your time, what boundaries you create, what rules you follow, what hours you keep, what priorities you set up, which tasks you take on and which you farm out, what plans you make, and what flexibility you create. Without structure, focus is impossible. Chaos reigns.
4. Take back control. Don't give away your time and attention to meaningless things you're not even aware that you are devoting time to. Know how and where you spend your time.
These simple elements; energy, emotion, engagement, structure, and control will help you avoid time-wasting activities and instead create a plan that will allow you to perform at your best and regain focus.