Ways to Create More Focus

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." - Socrates

Focus can’t be created; it must be made room for.

Like an overcrowded living room floor, sometimes there just isn’t room for any more furniture.

As children of God, I believe we’re all called to live a higher purpose.  By ‘higher’ I don’t mean “better than Steve next door”, I mean “above our base existence of eating and sleeping.”

But we can’t live out our higher calling if we aren’t focused.

Here are some tips on creating more room for focus:

First, make a list of all the things you wish you had more time for: exercise, prayer, meditation, drawing, writing, music, and anything else you “never have time for.”

Set that list aside for now, and make room for the things on the list by following these six simple steps:

Clear your calendar of unnecessary social, shopping, sporting events.

Create a quiet place where you can continue the process of examining your lifestyle.  This part is temporary; you can add things back in if you decide you need them or they add value to your life.

Cancel your media subscriptions.

TV is the biggest time-waster here.  We already spend 8.5 hours a day on our butts at a desk- do we really need to fill the rest of our lives with more sitting around?

Turn off smartphone app notifications.

Research shows that human beings take 18 minutes to recover from distraction, and also that we’re distracted on average, once every 3 minutes.

Take a minute and let that sink in.

Have a garage sale.

Really.

A friend of mine hangs all his clothes hangers in the same direction at the beginning of the year.  As he wears an item and it gets laundered and put back in his closet, he reverses the hanger to show it has been worn.  Anything still hanging on the hanger in the original direction at the end of the year goes away; either to their annual garage sale or to Hillcrest Transitional Housing, a local non-profit organization that helps move people from homelessness to self-sufficiency in 90 days.  They have a 95% success rate.  It’s really a pretty awesome organization; you should check them out.

Unsubscribe from blogs.

I used to read over a hundred different email services, blogs, etc.  I performed email triage one day, cutting it down to about fifteen, then a few months later I surgically removed all but three so I could really focus.

Social media sites are also offenders, and some online schools are, too (Udacity, SJSU).

Disconnect from Google Analytics.

Disconnect from junk mail and advertising online.

Opt out of online advertising for minimal distraction while surfing the web.

Do this here (most online advertisers), here (Yahoo), and here (Google).

Disconnect from junk mail  by opting out here.

What then?

You took the steps to allow room for focus in your life; great!  Now what, you ask?

Remember that list you made?  Those are the things that matter most to you, at this point in life.

Time to start doing those things. :)

Thanks for reading, and if you found this post helpful, please comment or share below.