If you’ve been having trouble finding your focus lately, you’re not alone. Maybe you’ve seen all the free training happening in our industry but keep telling yourself you’ll get to it tomorrow. Or maybe you feel like you need to focus on getting in better shape right now, but just can’t get motivated to do it.
For this post, we’ll be taking a look at the top 5 motivating factors to keep you focused on the future.
To have focus is to have a vision.
To have a vision, you need to know exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve. Is it any wonder that you’re having trouble focusing when the vision of the future is unknown?
Times are tough right now. We’re all being asked to stay at home, work from home, study at home, exercise at home, eat at home. It might feel like it’s just too much.
At some point, you’re bound to ask – What’s the point? Why bother being in shape? Why bother learning something new? Why bother showering today or getting dressed?
There is a point….the point is that there IS a future. It’s in your hands to make it a future you want.
Focus on the feeling
We’re almost always driven by materiel items. We set goals with a shiny new object as the reward. We go through pictures of things we want and it helps us stay motivated towards reaching a goal.
As confusing as things are right now, it’s a challenge to visualize a perfect future when you can’t quite imagine how to create it. Looking ahead might be causing you stress or at a loss or it could just have you feeling lethargic in general.
We should try to keep our focus away from the material aspects of things, but consider the feeling you’d get from that ‘thing.’
How would that perfect job FEEL? How would you feel being the highest-grossing Lighting Designer? How would it feel living in your dream home?
Lean into that feeling and let it stick with you during the day. You might be surprised that it’s actually the feeling we are truly seeking, and not the material thing. That feeling could be freedom, fun, zero-stress, or anything else, so use this technique to get you there faster.
Focus on your wins
At the end of the day when you’re thinking back to what you’ve accomplished, you might realize you haven’t achieved much. That’s probably not the case, but it’s a normal perception – especially now that we’re all confined to our homes.
Odds are you weren’t able to be as productive as normal due to the kids getting under your feet, being distracted with Netflix or social media, or having to cook meals that you normally wouldn’t.
No matter the amount of distractions, it’s easy to finish your day thinking more about what you didn’t do instead of what you did. To get motivated, try to reverse that thinking. No matter how small, there’s surely a win or two in there, so find that and stick with it.
Your goal should be to list three wins by the end of each day and see how accomplished you feel and how much they help you stay focused as the days go by. They don’t have to be big wins. A 20-minute workout session, getting 7 hours of sleep or catching up with an old friend. Dig deep, and after a few days, you’ll see the success really start picking up.
Focus on routine
You may have had routines in the past, but circumstances have changed and so should your routines. You’ve probably stopped setting an alarm in the morning, maybe given up on exercising, and who even has the energy to get dressed anymore? Have you shaved or brushed your hair in the last few weeks? Every single one of those behaviors affects your ability to focus and get motivated.
With everything in chaos, now is the time to bring order to your surroundings. First, work on getting up at the same time every day – yes, even on the weekends. Make sure you go to bed early enough to get at least 7 hours of sleep. Don’t snack all day, but instead, try getting back on your regular eating schedule.
What time were you going to the gym? plan a workout at home during that time. Speak to your friends or dig through your social media at the same time you would have before, or try scheduling a virtual happy hour and speak with a large group of friends at one time. It’s so easy to lose your routine and spend hours doing unproductive behaviors instead of being productive and creating that great feeling of accomplishment.
You can try getting your family involved if that helps. Come up with a family timetable and get everyone to commit to following it and holding each other accountable. It’s probably a good idea to let your close friends know you’re doing it, so they also respect your availability.
Focus on helping
It would be understandable if the current times have you feeling powerless, annoyed, overwhelmed, or full of fear. Now more than ever, we should be focusing on the value we bring to the world. Don’t compare yourself to your friends on social media, and while it might be challenging to see the heroes working on the front line right now while you remain home, but you shouldn’t let that make you question your own purpose.
Everyone has value and something to bring to the table. You might struggle to feel that way right now, but it’s true.
If you want to find that passion, you can ask yourself what you can do to help. It’s hard not to feel good about yourself if you are helping others, so what can you do to help? Maybe you’re helping by looking after the people in your household, or you could go buy groceries for a neighbor in need. You could help your community by volunteering for a group. You can be the friend who reaches out to your other friends to check in on them. And don’t forget about the hugely-responsible role you’re playing by just staying home and how this is helping so many others.
No matter the specifics, turning your focus on how you can help and how you can serve your community will help you feel better.
Focus on gratitude
No one would blame you for feeling like there isn’t much to be grateful for right now. Most of us are facing some form of loss, whether it’s your health, finances, being able to go do what you want to do when you want to do it, relationships, or your professional life. Even with all of that, you can still find things to be grateful for.
Did you finally get to start that new project? Are you enjoying the togetherness with your family? Maybe this has given you a chance to reflect on your life and the ways you’d like to improve it in the future. These are just a couple of ideas to get you thinking about the things you’re grateful for. I’ve learned how to cut my own hair, and it’s been one of the most rewarding moments of my life.
If you’re new to gratitude, you’re coming in at the perfect time. It’s an extremely energetic feeling. It allows you to really focus your attention on the good things you have or good things happening to you. You’ll be surprised how your new energy and focus on gratitude attracts more of what you’re looking for.
The easiest way to start is by making a gratitude journal. You’re welcome to call it something else if it makes you feel better, but it’s a place to list everything you’re grateful for each day and it should get easier as you focus your attention on it.
Being focused on your worry and frustration will eat you alive and serves zero positive purposes. Instead, try using some or all of these tips and see how it affects your energy level, boosts your productivity, helps you feel better, and helps those around you feel better.
We’d love to hear any other tips you have in the comments!