I want you to zero in on the word “focus” in that quote by Socrates (*Edit: I also want you to know that this quote is often misattributed to the historical, Greek Socrates. It is not from him. Instead, it is from a fictional character named Socrates in Olympic Coach Dan Millman’s book, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior.”).
We all know what “focus” means in the many forms it can take.
A camera focusing on an object, a laser beam focusing to be tighter, and giving another person your attention. These are all examples of focus.
Today, however, I want us to really think about focusing our energy on the things we want to achieve in life. How does that happen? How can we better focus on our goals? These are the questions we will discuss.
The thing is that we all lose focus every now and then. And it sucks.
It sucks because it’s tough to get our focus back to where it was. You know how it is…you get an idea and you’re super motivated to make it a reality. Then you start the project and hit a snag. Something goes wrong and derails you for a bit.
So you start trying to fix that problem and get lost in the solving of that problem. You sort of lose sight of the original goal a bit. You start working towards that goal again but something comes up and requires your attention. Now you’re out of focus and off course.
Life happens at an incredible pace for most of us in the developed world. There are several demands on our time all of the time. To make matters worse there are a plethora of distractions as well.
So how do we focus on our goals and make them a reality?
Step one is to not beat yourself up too much if you get off course, distracted, and unfocused. These things happen. Yet it is perseverance which is going to be your greatest asset and the thing that matters most. Get back to it and keep at it!
Step two is proper planning. This can help mitigate the amount of hiccups you encounter and get derailed by. What has been found is that a 1/3 planning to 2/3 work ration works very well. So if you are working on a project for 3 hours, do one hour of planning and 2 hours of work.
Of course you may not know how long the project will realistically take you. In this case you might want to see how much time you have available to work on the project and simply divide that into the appropriate planning/work sections.
Step three is to limit you distractions so that you can harness your full energy. As I write this I am breaking this very rule. There’s a TV on in the background, someone is cooking something which smells delicious, and my mind is thinking about optimization of this web page. And you know what? It’s making this post harder to write than it should be.
That’s OK though. I have a plan for this post and I’m getting back to it whenever I get distracted. That’s persistence.
Writing down your plan can help also. It gives you something to refer to. It’s like a map that you can go back to when you get lost.
So let’s get focused and achieve our goals!