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How to Focus Better & What’s Really Getting In Your Way

Focus isn’t something you do only when you need to get something done.

Focus is an ‘achiever’ thing, not a ‘goal-setter’ thing.

How many goal-setters do you know after all?

Their goal is to get to the gym more often, to make more sales, to get a promotion.

Their idea of focusing on these goals isn’t what focus is about at all.

They mean to say they’ll prioritize these things.

The difference between prioritizing and focusing:

Prioritizing is putting a cute star next to things on your list. It’s about adding MORE.

Focusing is about scorching the earth, it’s about discovering how to live with LESS.

Less input, less stimuli, less options, less BS.

Focus Is About Aiming Big

To aim big… don’t be vague.

Make your focus something grand and specific.

Run a 10k in under an hour. Make the most sales this quarter. Lose X amount of pounds.

If you make these big things your focus, all the time-wasting checklists will fall to the side…

You won’t pat yourself on the back for buying running shoes or making a few phone calls.

Those are vanity metrics you set up yourself for an easy win.

That dopamine uptick from marking off those tasks is nothing compared to feeling real progress – and those quick fixes only hurt your long-term.

That’s because:


When you’re marking off tasks you don’t really know what the hell you’re doing…

How do you know those tasks are even necessary?

Only when you focus on the bigger picture can you understand what is and isn’t part of the journey.

So focus yourself quickly on a milestone, then start

That’s all you need to know.

Focusing on the short-term will have you looking back on useless checklists.

But starting with a specific long-term focus gives you the ability to pivot.

You can see the next goal or obstacle as it’s coming and take it head on.

You’ll learn to understand what’s important as it happens.

Will you still waste energy on pointless things from time to time?

Sure, but you’ll only realize that looking back whether you spent time planning each small part or you just dug into it as it came (wasting less time).

So go ahead and aim for something that scares you a little.

Make it your focus – forget all the other noise – then fire.

You should start right now.

How to Focus Better & What’s Really Getting In Your Way

James Emry

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APA Reference
Emry, J. (2017). How to Focus Better & What’s Really Getting In Your Way. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 21, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/psychology-personality/2017/02/02/792-james-emry/


Last updated: 2 Feb 2017
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Feb 2017
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.