Focus issues?

This time of year, many of my coaching sessions are taken up with creating focus on the most important activities or outcomes required for a successful year. It is a typical and valuable assessment of how to actualize those aspirational New Year’s resolutions. Usually, to be successful, the resolution requires changes in behavior. Making these resolutions into reality requires some analysis of what is currently working and what is not working. Poor results can come from constant interruptions from the team. Or, from attention shifting to each new text, email or news alert. Distractions abound. There are also patterns and habits that people form that interfere with rather than promote focus. Sometimes, it is the anxiety or projection that an interruption will happen that keeps the individual from digging into the most important work they could be doing that day. It is so frustrating.

In coaching, I explore how boundaries are set between the individual and the whole world. What is the preparation required for successful focus?

Take a look at yourself:

What time of day do your best work?

How rested are you?

How caffeinated?

Did you exercise or meditate first?

Did you set yourself a goal? Was it about process or result?

Did it sneak up on you, or did you have a detailed task list you were following?

How do you feel if you don’t make a step? How do you feel if you don’t complete the whole task?

I wish I could tell you “The Way” to get more successful focus on a consistent basis. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we didn’t come out of the same cookie box on this issue.

If you keep a journal for yourself this month of when you focused and what the conditions were for success, or what kept you from succeeding, you might begin to see how you can resolve your focus issues. Once you see the conditions for success, the next step is to make the commitment to turning off the distractions and asking for what you need from those around you. Continue to assess each day and see where new habits might create more consistent success. It’s not magic. It is the loveliest thing: self-care.

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