‘Focus is not something you find but something you create’ – Jeff Goins.
I have many ideas of things I would like to do in my life – whether in my business, family or leisure time. I’m sure like me something catches your eye and you think “I’d love to have a go at that” and then time moves on and you’re still sat there on your couch doing nothing about it. I recently heard the quote above and it’s been running around in my mind ever since. I’m at a really exciting time in my business at the moment. Bringing on staff, thinking of office premises, creating new programmes and generally the world feels like it’s my oyster. There is a problem with this though. Having too many ideas and plans buzzing around your head means that it’s hard to get them done – overwhelm can take over.
I think the same is true in my parenting. Sometimes I have so many theories and strategies running round my head that I don’t do any – in the heat of the moment I just default to what I know. The same can be said of working in a classroom – there’s so much you have to make sure happens for each child that I’m sure it can feel overwhelming.
What’s the thing we’re lacking in all these scenarios? – FOCUS. Without focus you can get swept away with what’s in front of you or what the new thing is or just the pressure of trying to get too much done in too little time.
I’ve just been into a seminar where the speaker gave some simple questions to help people figure out what they need to do to move something on. It make me think about this subject of focus and how to apply this is any of the situations I mentioned above.
- Where are you now?
- Where do you want to be?
- How do you get there?
- What must you focus on now?
It’s the last question that interests me. When you have a plan and a path in front of you you have to be able to focus to move along that path and make the plan come to life. You have to create a focused approach to what you want to do.
I remember once going into my children’s primary school to talk about one of my children and all the ways they were behind in their work. After a while I had to say to the teacher – “can I just stop you there….you need to help me focus, you’re saying I need to do reading with him everyday, spellings every day, homework, times tables, and give him time to play so that he’s happy”. It seems they wanted me to focus on so many things with all of my three children at the same time – impossible. There’s no way I could do all those things and indeed for my child to focus on all those things too. So I asked the teacher “what should I focus on first?” – a good question to ask with any plan maybe – “what do you need to focus on first?”
So whether you’re overwhelmed in work, home or life in general – ask yourself a few questions today – where am I now? where do I want to go? how can I get there? and most importantly what do I need to focus on first? and when you’ve answered that then create the space to do that. I’m sure you’ll find more progress will be made on all fronts when you take it a step at a time.