Most of us have things that we’d love to do, whether it be a long list of jobs around the house, to a to do list at work, to creative ideas about where we can go with our lives or business! However, it can often be tricky to know where to start or if you do start, how to not flit from one task to the other. In other words how do we keep our focus long enough to ensure that we see a task through right until the end. I have to admit that I struggled with this for a long time, I was always a very busy person, who whilst I did get a lot achieved, many projects would get started but not completed, or sometimes I wouldn’t know which one to start first so I would waste a lot of time feeling either stressed or unfulfilled, thinking that I could achieve more. So with this in mind here are my top three tips to staying focused and finishing!
The first step is to make a decision, choose what to do first, in many ways it doesn’t matter which one you do first unless there is a time deadline. Often we get so caught up with ‘is this the right thing to do first’ that we become disabled by the process of making a decision! In many ways, making the decision is the easy part – if it turns out that for some reason you haven’t made the right choice, the key is then doing something about it, not beating yourself up for making the decision in the first place!
Once you’ve made the decision, stick to it, now this may seem easier said than done, but when we lose focus, what we’re really saying is that, when we start to focus on one thing, our thinking drifts and starts to tell us that something else is more important and that we should be doing that instead. We then believe that thinking and then start doing that something else. This is affectionately known as faffing in my house i.e not really doing anything but just going from thing to thing without really getting anything done! The trick is to not believe the thinking that is telling you something else is more important – you’ve made the decision to work on this ‘thing’ whatever that maybe, so you’re faffing thinking knows very little about how important the other ‘thing’s’ are, remember you are in charge, you choose what to do.
Another pesky thought that can often sneak in is the doubt thought, once we start on one task, we’ve begun to focus and we may even be getting somewhere, but then the doubts set in! These can range from ‘am I good enough to do this’, ‘to will it be any good’ to ‘I don’t have time to finish!’ All sorts of scary doubt thinking can creep in. This is the danger zone when you are likely to give up! It’s always important to remember that scary thinking is just that, thinking. How many times has our scary thinking been wrong? That we’ve thought we weren’t going to be able to do something, only to find that we could? If this happens, it’s time to recognise it for what it is and let it go!
When we then finally allow all the distracting thinking go, whether it be the faffy type or the scary type, we can then finally allow our minds to settle and be quiet; it’s then when we often not only do our best work, but we do it more efficiently and we complete it which makes us happier too!
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