February 22, 2022

1 Amazing Method To Improve Focus

Blurred focus of a big city on light bulbs to show how you can improve focus in a camera as well as your life.

I've noticed a recurring trend when I try to improve focus that seems obvious, but I keep making the same mistake again and again so is it really obvious? Everyone can come to a conclusion in the end about any given topic, but I like to put some thought into the reasoning behind my decision. Thoughtful decisions tend to provide a far better outcome, so let's analyze the issue at hand first and break down the solution into palatable chunks that help us improve our focus.

Improve Focus on Your Goals List

Those of us that have been on the self-improvement kick for a while all have a long list of different things we would like to improve about our lives & ourselves. These lists can be overwhelming, but the picture of yourself you see at the end is a wonderful prospect. If you have ADHD, like myself, you probably have a list for everything...wishlists, chores list, project list, grocery list, habits list, etc...

A very important first step in our process today is to list out ALL of the various improvements you would like to make in your life. We're not talking about groceries, chores, or projects though...we're talking about your overall goals. Some examples might include, but definitely are not limited to:

  • Regulating your sleep schedule.
  • Developing better hygeine habits.
  • Working out Regularly.
  • Improving a skill.
  • Quitting a bad habit.
  • Improving your relationships.
  • Creating better eating habits.

Prioritizing to Improve Focus

Once you have all of your various improvement goals listed out you can begin to prioritize those efforts to decide which one you should tackle first. If we consider the list we developed above we might be able to narrow things down to something more manageable. I recommend that you prioritize the one issue that seems to affect all the other goals you have and include a quick reason for why you're prioritizing things in that way. For example, I would arrange the above list in the following format:

  1. Regulating your sleep schedule - Staying up too late causes me to wake up later, feel groggy, & generally feel unmotivated to perform the rest of my goals regularly.
  2. Creating better eating habits - Improving my eating habits will make me feel better, lose weight, & provide me with better healthy energy for working out and getting through my day.
  3. Working out regularly - Working out will ensure that my body feels good, I do not become too sedentary in my desk job, & that I tone my body to the weight I am losing.
  4. Improving your relationships - Improving my relationships with others will improve the health of my home overall & my work environment into a more positive & enjoyable experience.
  5. Developing better hygeine habits - I can improve the health of my beard by properly maintaining it with the right products & I can do better at brushing my teeth by brushing a 2nd time every day.
  6. Quitting a bad habit - If I smoked, for example, I could quit that bad habit for my overall health and this might rank higher...but my biggest bad habit is snacking. I should avoid this to support goal #2.
  7. Improving a skill - A skill can be something work related or just a hobby that I want to brush up on. Life is much more enjoyable when you're diving into topics & projects that you thoroughly enjoy.

Improve Focus & Mastery

You now have your goals listed by priority and now we come to the most obvious, but also the hardest part of our journey. Take a look at your first priority and really think about it...if you mastered this goal would it help you master the next goal? Will that next goal continue to support your efforts in accomplishing the subsequent goal? If yes, then congratulations you have a mighty effective list ready to implement for mastery.

Of course, you're not going to ignore your other goals, but let's really improve focus by honing in on that first goal that you prioritized number one. Break it down into crayon & describe how you're going to accomplish this goal to the exact specifications. For our example we'll break things down like so:

  1. Regulating your sleep schedule - In order to wake up at 7:00am everyday I need 7-8 hours of sleep. Therefore, I need to go to bed between 11:00pm & 12:00am everyday.
    • In order to maintain this schedule during the week I should not stay up past 1:00am on Fridays or Saturdays either.
    • I have set a recurring alarm for 7:30am & 11:00pm on work days & nights. I will wind down what I am doing starting at 11:00pm & begin my nightly routine (Pick Up, Shower, Brush Teeth, etc...) before laying down to sleep.
    • I will set a recurring alarm for non-work evenings at 12:00am to indicate my nightly routine start time. I will have an alarm to wake at 8:00am on non-work days.
    • After waking up at 7:30am regularly for 1 week I will move the time back to 7:00am and do this for 2 more weeks to solidify my sleep schedule.
    • I may need to consider melotonin, reading a book, & turning off electronic devices to assist me.

You now have a clear look at everything you need to do in order to accomplish your goal. Don't even worry about listing out the rest of your different goal details, because we're about to put all this into something that works for you. Your job right now is to follow your plan for at least 2-weeks to develop a habit. I like to include a buffer week to ease myself into the goal, but 2-weeks is the recommended timespan to develop or break a habit.

Developing A System to Improve Focus

We hope our little breakdown has helped you get your goals & priorities in order. Now, if this method has worked for you or if you would like to fully implement it into a system then that's our next step. I am a fan of many productivity tools...so much so that I am currently developing my own based upon an RPG system & the 10,000 hours school of thought. You should improve focus with whatever you believe helps you the most to track & complete your goals. Some examples could include:

  • Project Management Systems (i.e. ClickUp, Monday.com, Asana, Productivity, OmniFocus)
  • Task List Systems (i.e. Google Keep, Google Tasks)
  • Notepads & Journals (i.e. Journaling/Notetaking Apps or Physical Paper Notebooks)
  • Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly Planners

There are quite a few options for how you can organize your information just do what's best for you. Take all of your goals and load them into this platform that you've chosen as an overall guide to look back on. Now create your first prioritized goal as a task/project/page/topic/etc & really write out your plan for that goal. Use this task/project/page/topic/etc to track your progress on this goal over the next 2-3 weeks.

The most important key part of this system is to actually accomplish the first goal for 2-3 weeks first! Once you've done that you will create a new task/project/page/topic/etc for your 2nd prioritized goal and begin to track that goal for the next 2-3 weeks. The trick is to also continue tracking your progress for your 1st prioritized goal simultaneously. As you build upon your goals, master them, & add your next goals you will begin to see that you've developed your improvements over time in a much more sustainable fashion.

Good luck to you in your journey and I hope I've managed to show my process well enough that you too can benefit. If you're curious I currently use Finch as my everyday check-in & goal list, but I do also have my own application in development that I hope to reveal here someday in the future.

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