5 WAYS TO FIND YOUR FOCUS
Since last week's focus-themed evening with The WW Club at 45 Grand, the topic has stayed at the forefront of my mind: Speaking with Kerry Diamond and Claudia Wu at Cherry Bombe and Krissy Jones at Sky Ting Yoga (listen to the entire conversation here) was a fascinating way to learn more about how other women find focus in their everyday lives. Here are a few ideas of my own.
FOCUS ON LESS
We all overload ourselves. I am guilty of this. We get sucked into the 'cult of busyness', lose sight of what we're working toward, and generally say yes to far more than we actually should. It's so easy to jump at every work opportunity and social arrangement without actually questioning whether doing so serves our long-term goals. But the older I get, the better I am at saying 'no' - no to jobs that don't pay well or excite me, no to meetings that have no purpose or plan, and no to nights out I don't want to have. It's great to stay open to every possibility, but don't feel obliged to decline an offer of any kind if you feel it might distract you from the stuff you already know you want to focus on (be it your passion project, or your health).
Sorry to bring this up again! But even just ten minutes of meditation in the morning can change the entire direction of your day. I really struggle with making the traditional, sitting-in-one place meditation part of my routine, which is why I'm allotting more and more into yoga in my life. I find that it has all the head-clearing benefits of sitting on the mat, with the added calm that comes from physical movement. Find your own form of meditation, whether it's painting, dancing, or walking in your local park. Practice regularly!
IDENTIFY YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TASK
For me, a lack of focus often stems from a feeling of being overwhelmed. Being overwhelmed often results from trying to do too much at once. I like the Zen Habits system of choosing one to three MITs (Most Important Tasks) each morning and zeroing in to get them done. One of these tasks should be aligned with your longer-term goals; the other two can just be things that you really need to complete. Of course, you'll often end up having (or wanting) to cross way more than three things off your list, but narrowing down your priorities is a good place to start.
Multi-tasking is a myth; this much we now know and agree upon. Doing one thing at a time is a much more effective way to approach your to-do list. If you're struggling with focusing on one task a time, try giving yourself a deadline using the timer on your phone (or utilising an even geekier method like the Pomodoro Technique.)
LET GO OF 'THE MASTER PLAN'
As Kerry's less-than-conventional career story illustrates, you don't need to pursue one single goal in order to achieve career success. In fact, an obsession with staying focused on a single pursuit can blind you to opportunities that might spring up along the way. Keep your focus on the present as much as possible, and use your intuition and general contentedness to guide the way towards greater things.