Mindfully Enhancing Focus
The holidays are a time of joy, laughter, and family. Still, it is one of the most stressful and hectic times of the year, filled with the hustle and bustle of shopping, attending or planning parties, entertaining family and friends.
With all these distractions, it can seem nearly impossible to get in the zone and focus.
Focus = Success
The key to creating focus is not to see how you spend your time, but to determine and eliminate attention-consuming distractions. For example, many executives try to live by the “zero email” mindset.
Having a cleaned inbox might seem ideal, but this is a trap requiring you to constantly check, read, and respond to messages. Organizing your inbox is not a waste of time and should be a consistent priority, but not a distraction. Schedule time specifically assigned to inbox organization with consideration for the most important projects that need to be completed first.
“Truly productive people feed their focus and starve their distractions.”
– Thomas Oppang, Thrive Global
You probably have a list that you plan to accomplish and are more than capable of completing. Laziness is not what is standing in your way, it’s distractions. Especially during the holiday season, when it feels like there is more to do than time available, time management is vital for maintaining productivity.
So what happens when your projects are prioritized, distractions are minimized, and you sit down to get to work, but you still can’t seem to get anything accomplished?
At this point, external distractions are not to blame. We are all familiar with a wandering mind. Like any other form of wandering, you are losing sight of the task at hand.
A wandering mind is a cue that it’s time to reorient. Focus is a skill, so practice is required.
- Mindful meditation uses intentional focus and thoughts centered on the present moment. Breathing exercises can also be particularly helpful in reorienting your focus.
- Know your distractions. Keep track of what steals your focus and make a plan of how to reorient yourself when you find yourself distracted.
- Find the areas that consume your attention that you need to eliminate. (extra tasks, minor goals, etc.)
Enhancing your focus takes time and conscious effort. Don’t get discouraged when you still find yourself getting distracted, especially during the holiday season. Be kind to yourself, you deserve it.