Showing posts with label Focus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Focus. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Three Steps for Building a New Habit

When you decide to make a change, you've taken an important step. Now you need to follow through on your commitment.

But there’s a problem.

As you begin this undertaking, you find that your old way of doing things kicks in more often than the new way. That’s because your brain is literally wired – it has physical connections – for the familiar pattern you’ve been using.

It’s like putting on a pair of old, comfortable shoes. Breaking in a new pair takes time and can be somewhat painful for a while.

When you want to change a habit, you have to move through this “Crunch Point” until the new, awkward way starts feeling natural.

Following a three-step process can facilitate the change process.

The first step is FOCUS. You may have several areas you could work on, but success comes from working on just ONE habit at a time and learning how to do it the right way. Trying to address several changes at once simply doesn't work.

After identifying what to work on and how to do it right, you’re ready to take the next step: ACTION. You apply what you learned. And not just once or twice. Dozens or even hundreds of times. It takes a lot of repetition and practice to rewire the brain circuit so the behavior becomes comfortable.

You can accelerate the rewiring process by using the third step, REFLECTION, to learn from your experience. Instead of simply repeating the behavior, you think about what happened. The lessons your take away will refine your skill. Each time you repeat the new behavior, you answer a series of five questions:
  1. What happened?
  2. Why did it happen that way?
  3. What were the consequences?
  4. What would you do differently in the future?
  5. What are your next steps?
Completion of these three steps - Focus, Action and Reflection - is what we refer to as a “rep,” or repetition of the desired behavior. Learning what to do, then practicing the behavior in real life, followed by learning from the experience.

You repeat this cycle of focus, action and reflection many times until the behavior becomes automatic. It takes many reps to reach the ultimate goal…a new, established habit.

As with any skill, the key to ingraining it is practice, practice and more practice – a lot of repetition over time.

To keep you on track, enlist the help of an accountability coach who will make sure you follow through on your commitments and stay on track.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Finding Your Focus

It’s scary when you consider just how easy it is to get distracted and off-task today.

How often to you switch your attention away from what you're doing at the moment to check email, text someone or check your favorite social media sites?

If you find it difficult to focus your attention on a priority project, these suggestions will help you get on track, no matter what you’re trying to accomplish:

1. My friend Dean Jackson, one of the smartest marketing minds on the planet, recorded an outstanding video, “The 50-Minute Focus Finder.” Make it a priority to carve out 50 minutes to watch it, and find out how to get the most from every minute of your day.

2. Be proactive about your use of time. Take control of your day by blocking “prime time” for your most important projects. Prime time is a specific period that is 100% dedicated to a top priority activity. No checking email, no answering phone calls, no conversations. During prime time, you are out of contact. Let everyone on your team know about it so they don’t interrupt you.

3. Leverage the power of the timer. Start using a timer for those blocks of prime time. Try out this free timer. Set it for 50 or 60 minutes and don’t let anything or anyone interrupt you during that time. Start working when the clock starts, and stop working when the timer goes off.

4. Recognize that multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain can’t focus full attention on two things at the same time. The only way to work on two or more things at once is to constantly shift your attention from activity to activity. This isn’t efficient because you lose momentum and context every time you shift. If you’re checking email while talking with someone on the phone, you will not hear everything the person is saying.

To get more done, focus on just one priority or task at a time – long enough to make significant progress.

Start implementing these tips, and you will get a LOT more done each day.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Focus - Concentrate on one thing at a time.

When you have a lot to do, it’s tempting to multi-task. But you’ll actually get more done if you concentrate on one thing at a time. In this video I explain why focusing your attention is more productive than trying to handle multiple priorities simultaneously. You’ll come to appreciate the wisdom from Norman Vincent Peale: "When every physical and mental resource is focused - one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously."

How can you structure your day to eliminate distractions and concentrate on one priority at a time?
“Just say ‘No’ to others and to yourself when you find you are being tempted to deviate from your priorities.” - Chin-Ning Chu, American author

"The effectiveness of work increases according to geometrical progression if there are no interruptions." - André Maurois, French author

"Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets." - Nido Qubein, American professional speaker and author