If you’re anything like most people out there, you must have had your fair share of bad days when you seem to work really hard, but without any significant progress toward achieving your long-term, or even short-term goals. That’s a common problem almost everybody faces from time-to-time. In the majority of those cases, it happens because they stay focused on the wrong things.
It’s the metaphorical equivalent of a dog chasing her own tail. A lot of energy is wasted, but no gain!
So, we thought it would be a great idea to stay focused the right corners on the internet where experts are sharing success tips, and then compile some of them in an awesome compact-list that’ll help our readers learn how to stay focused on the important things:
1# Start with identifying the reward(s)
The reason you need to set your priorities right because in essence, everything you do is in part because of the rewards you experience when you successfully complete them. So, have a quiet moment and introspect the real reasons behind all the things you spend your time on.
If you do this honestly without any sort bias, you will eventually discover that some of the things that you have been spending your precious time on are far less rewarding and strategically less important than some of the things you usually tend to avoid (or spend very little time on).
Remember, this first step may seem pretty obvious to some of you, but few of us have ever done this immensely important introspection to set our priorities right. So, go ahead – stay focused. If required, make a pros and cons list on paper for each task.
2# Divide the bigger tasks into smaller and easier parts
When you are done making the aforementioned list, you will see that most of your long-term and strategic goals are, in fact, far rewarding than all those non-essential tasks that you may have spent hours doing in the recent past. However, the catch here is that all of these more rewarding tasks may require you to slog harder because, let’s be honest – they’re never really easy. If they were easy, the world would be full of successful people.
But instead of feeling discouraged by the enormity of the challenges associated with your strategic goals, make them easier by splitting them into smaller and easily do-able parts. And for your own sake, don’t sit on it now – start working already!!
3# Carefully evaluate what you’re doing
It’s always a good idea to swap your to-do list for a ‘done’ list at least once a week to check where your time and energy actually goes.
Make it a point to review this list at the end of each workday or week, and evaluate your progress dispassionately, without any bias or lame excuses. Are you spending too much time less important or totally unimportant activities that eventually drain much of your time and energy without any meaningful ROI?
It is important to honestly perform this self-evaluation because no one can/will do it on your behalf. So, if you’re really stay focused about achieving your goals, there’s no viable alternative to self-evaluation.
4# Make the road ahead clear and compelling
One of the most common reasons that force many of us to shy away from strategic activities is the pleasure we derive from quick wins. This is why you often find yourself lost in the world of YouTube and social media in the middle a tough and tedious assignment that could potentially give a much-needed boost to your career.
This is a serious problem that all chronic procrastinator like me has to deal with every day. Think it this way – the lazy part of our brain is always on the lookout for quick and easy rewards – but none of these quick rewards make any real contribution to the larger and strategic rewards you’re chasing. And if you don’t put up a conscious effort to let our rational brain take charge, the lazy-you will eventually triumph and take control of your life’s direction.