The Power of Focus

Image courtesy of Quotes’N’Smiles.  

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the importance of focus. I constantly hear people say ‘I’m just so busy.  I don’t have time to do everything I need to.  I’m so stressed……and the list goes on!’

I do believe that more is expected of us than ever in the workplace, at home and in our social lives.  Yet, if we were to sit down and account for how we spend every minute of our day over the period of a few days, I think we would quickly find the ‘holes!’  How much time do we REALLY spend on social media?  Just a few minutes here or there?  How much time do we really spend watching Netflix?  By the way this is not a judgement.  Life wouldn’t be worth living without some downtime and relaxation, and how we all choose to spend that time is obviously our right.

What I have found though, is it isn’t so much the time I am wasting that concerns me, as much as where I am putting my focus.  Focus is an important issue.  Ever try doing a task while thinking about ten other things you think you ‘should’ be doing?  I’m betting that one task either gets done shabbily or not at all.   I believe focusing on one task to the exclusion of all others, leads to increased productivity, less stress and more flow.

Whether your work includes many diverse projects (isn’t that most of us?)  or you have the luxury of being able to focus on one sole task, being aware of where you are putting your focus in the moment, is essential.

I recently read an interesting article in The Gloss magazine by CEO Helena Morrisey.  She writes about a piece of advice she found very useful.   She quotes the Indian Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda who said:

“Take up one idea.  Make that one idea your life, think of it, dream of it, live on that idea.  Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea and just leave every other idea alone.  This is the way to success.”

I love that quote and I thank Helena Morrisey for writing such an inspiring article.  Some people may say, ‘yeah, but I don’t have that luxury, I have several projects to work on simultaneously.’

That may be the case, but what is the one overriding idea or principal of your career/life’s work that you would like to achieve?  Focus on that and watch your life transform for the better.