10 Practical Ways on How to Stay Focused

Here are 10 practical ways to stay focused on what’s important to you.  In my last post I shared two elements that will help you Stay Focused When You Feel Like Giving Up.  The two elements are having a clear vision and a clear direction (or life purpose).  Now that isn’t something you’re going to figure out over night and I’m a practical guy, so here are 10 practical ways to stay focused on what’s important to you.

10 Practical Ways on How to Stay Focused (Audio Version)


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10 Practical Ways on How to Stay Focused (Text Version)

1.  Choose one or two objectives for the year.  I think goal setting is important, but setting too many goals can also be a problem.

I spoke to a woman earlier this week that is a friend of mine in a Master Mind Group.  And I sensed that she seemed a little confused.  As we got talking she told me about the different business she works in.  I asked her, “how many business do you have?” and she replied, “I have three.”

If you ask me, that’s two, too many and here’s why.  You always want to focus on one business at a time and one objective in that business at one time.  Don’t get me wrong you can have other goals that fall out from your main objectives, but you must have one or two main objectives clear in mind.

For example you could have an objective to earn $100,000 by the end of the year.  And that may mean having X number of clients and Y number of sales, which are goals that you set – but ultimately you’re main objective is where you want to place your focus.  Start with one business and get it running almost completely automatic, then move on to the next business one step at at time.  In each business, start with one project at one time until each project is done.  Don’t start the second project until the first one is done and so on.

2.  Create a daily ritual. I’m a coach, but I’m also a blogger and I have a Newsletter which means I write.  And since writing is part of the career I choose, I write every morning regardless if I’m going to publish an article or not.  It’s become a very powerful morning ritual that keeps me focused.  This daily ritual is the same habit that helped me write my ebook when I was working full time as an engineer.  I wrote every morning for 30-60 minutes and finished a 16 page ebook in 8 weeks.

3.  Do the most important first. Ask yourself, “Am I inventing things to do to avoid the important?”  This works with the 80/20 rule.  20% of the actions you take create 80% of your results.  If that’s the case, then are you focused on the 20% of your actions that will get you results?

If not, then why not?  Are you inventing things to avoid the important?  In most cases, you’re avoiding the important actions because there is a fear of rejection or a fear of failure related to these actions.  Maybe you have a concern with what others might think or if you’ll be accepted if you take these actions.

You know you’ve mastered your life when you realize that it isn’t important what others think of you – it’s more important what you think of you.  Take action regardless if your fears creep up.  That little trickster is just fooling you out of taking the actions that will produce the greatest results.

4.  Be Grateful. Anytime doubt, or worry surfaces you want to become very grateful and appreciative for what you have.  When you start to see the good around you, you expect more good.

Wallace Wattles said, “The grateful mind continually expects good things and expectation becomes faith.”

The stronger and more consistent your gratitude, the greater your faith and the more likely you will expect more good to come to you.  And the more you expect that good, the stronger your belief becomes.  Therefore, the starting point of all belief is gratitude.

5.  Give yourself daily quite time. I like the way John Assaraf puts it.  He says, “You want to slow down inside so that everything speeds up on the outside.”

Take a manual transmission car for example.  When you shift from first to second gear, the engine slows down but the car speeds up.  As you shift from second to third, the engine slows down again, but the car speeds up even more.  You want to slow down inside so that you speed up on the outside.

Make it a daily ritual to mediate, breath or visualize every day to become calm of mind.  For tips on quieting the mind, you can also see my video: How to Quiet the Mind.

6.  Trim the fat & eliminate the noise. Environment plays a big role and affects your inner world; it can affect your mind.  It affects your inner game. Get rid of any noise or nuisances that distract you.  If you want to do the heavy lifting you have to trim the fat.  And that means eliminating the distractions in your life that prevent you from staying focused such as: watching the news, listening to media via the radio, surfing the web or checking email excessively.

I spend a maximum of an hour each day surfing the web and most of the time it’s for research or marketing.  I also check my email twice per day.  Once at mid-day and once at night.  Trim the fat and eliminate the background noise in your life.

7.  Take care of yourself. You have to remember that if you’re going to stay focused you must be able to perform.  And you can’t perform unless you take care of yourself first.

Make sure to include a daily or at least weekly ritual to experience the things you really enjoy.  In my case that means playing hockey 2-3 times per week, getting to the gym and reading inspirational books.  Give yourself the time to do the things you really love to do.  Take care of yourself and you’ll be able to take care of others.  You’ll can only give what you got.

8.  Visualize daily. You could make this part of your daily ritual.  Spend a minimum of 5 minutes daily visualizing your ideal life in all areas.  Like I said in my previous article, your life purpose is the course or road you take.  It’s the journey.

Vision is the magnet that pulls you along your destination.  It’s gives you the juice to move towards a bright future instead of pushing against it.  It’s like rolling downhill instead of pushing uphill.  Having a vision moves you with the current instead of against it.

9.  Complete everything you start. Make completions a habit.  Finish everything you start.  In-completions do more damage than visible to the human eye.  When you’re incomplete in one area, it tends to unfold in other areas as well.

In-completions are problematic.  They tend to lead to a lack of integrity, lowered self-confidence and a lack of trust.  And not so much in other people, but in yourself.  And if you can’t trust yourself, how effective do you think you’ll be?  For more on completions you can see, How to Increase Your Productivity.

10.  Develop your will power. When you start your daily ritual it’s going to take will power to stick the routine.  It’s never easy in the beginning, but with persistence you will develop the mental power to stick to your daily habits and become very focused.  To do that you have to develop your will power.

Will power is like a muscle, it gets stronger the more you use it.  To get started, burn this quote into your mind:

“Do something every day for no other reason than you’d rather not do it or don’t feel like doing it.”~ William James

Start by choosing the daily ritual that will have the greatest impact on your life and commit to it for 30 days.  It may as simple as visualizing for five minutes every day.  Once you become stronger in that area, you can then develop your will in other areas.  Enjoy the process and be patient with yourself and remember that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

To see the rest of this series, check out: How to Stay Focused On Your Goals


  • Vincent

    Reply Reply March 5, 2009

    Hi Stephen,

    I myself have a daily morning ritual of exercising to keep myself in shape. It makes exercising easier if everything is just like a routine.

    Personal Development Blogger

  • Steve

    Reply Reply March 5, 2009

    That’s a great ritual to have Vincent; you can’t develop the mind (or soul for that matter) without taking care of the house you live in.

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