For most, focus is not a problem – focussing is something everyone can do (on the tv, beer, sex, freetime,…) but how can you stay focused on your goals, your tasks?

In business, the skill to concentrate and stay focused on objectives or tasks is directly related to productivity and the results we achieve. The same goes for life in general. In other words: If you are good at focussing on your goals, you will get the best results. A high level of concentration is also related to a high stress resistance. And this is how it works:

1. DEFINE A CLEAR GOAL

Have you clearly defined whether your goal should be reached this year, within the next six months, this quarter, this month etc.? Most will answer this question with ‘yes’. These people, however, often do not have only one but several goals. And here lies the essence of all evil. To stay focused means to focus on which goals to work on as well. Best would be to define 1 clear goal and if you really have to, a maximum of 3 goals. More than 3 goals will definately lead to impaired progress. Several goals mean that it is okay with you that you might not reach any of them.

2. HAVE SPECIFIC GOALS

Ideally, your goals should be very specific. How many customers do you want to have at the end of the year? Do you want a minimum turnover per customer? Which market segment should have how many new customers? How will you measure your success?

I can set a goal to become fitter. But what does that mean for me? Less weight? A strapping body? More muscles? Running a marathon?

3. SET VISIBLE GOALS

Whatever you have as a goal: Make sure that the title it has is motivating such as “An ADONIS body”. Visualising improves the chances to achieve our goals. Best would be to look for a picture that is a symbol for your goal or achieving this goal. Even better still: Draw a picture yourself and make sure to use bright colours. Hang this picture in your office or in your work environment, save it as a desktop beackground or on your smartphone and ensure that you will be confronted with your goal again and again.

4. WILL THIS GET ME CLOSER TO ACHIEVING MY GOAL?

Before taking on tasks, appointments or projects, ask yourself this question: “Does this get me closer to achieving my goal? Are the tasks in line with my goals?” If the answer is a clear “yes” then you should start right away! If you are not sure, check if there is something better you could do that will bring you closer to your goals.

5. PRACTICE REGULAR FOCUS TRAINING

The ability to concentrate and focus can be trained. The best results can be achieved with meditation and mindfulness exercises. They train the brain regions that help you to stay focused on your goals. Amongst others, the difference between people who are successful in achieving their goals and those who are less satisfied with them lies in meditation and mindfulness practices.

Techniques to stay focused and how you can integrate them into your daily life are practiced in our FAST leadership training.

We have also compiled a list of focus exercises. Send us an email with the subject “focus exercises” and you will receive the exercises via email.