The discipline to focus sometimes evades us. Correction. It often evades us. In fact, most of the tenacious, driven, high energy inside entrepreneurs we work with struggle with the discipline to focus. Those that have it figured out are often the most successful and not coincidentally, the most content with themselves, their work/life balance and their lives overall.
So, why is it such a struggle?
Discipline implies that we decide a priority and then dedicate time, regularly, to that priority. Focus implies that we concentrate on a given topic or task and give it our full attention.
We know that having the discipline to focus leads to better results because we give our best, full attention and thinking to things rather than scattered, divided attention. Here are some tips we’re trying to put into practice to help us get better at the discipline of focus:
- Schedule it. Adding tasks to our calendars seems to help us ensure that a specific task gets completed. Things that should be on our calendars with disciplined regularity often get trumped by meetings and shifting priorities. Here are some of the things we’re going to add to our calendars:
- Reading & study
- Brainstorming & dreaming
- Strategy & planning
- Exercise & personal “down time” to spend with family and friends
- Find a mentor. Yes, this is another thing to make time for, but we’ve been influenced and motivated by others who are much better at the discipline of focus than we are. Observing and learning from them is key.
- Pair up. Find someone else that will work on finding the discipline of focus with you. Hold each other accountable for success and encourage each other when you are struggling.
- Ease into it. Try adding one or two things to your regular schedule for 2 weeks, then add another element. Give yourself some grace and remember that it takes a few weeks to really establish your new habit. After the first week, take a few minutes to reflect on what your new discipline has allowed you to accomplish — seeing the rewards will motivate you to keep going.
What other tips and techniques do you have to establish the discipline of focus?
Photo licensed under Creative Commons 2.0 via Flickr user: Яick Harris