James Cameron the famous director and filmmaker who made the two highest grossing films in history (Titanic and Avatar) once said: “you’ve got to be super focused like a laser to get anything worthwhile done; when I did Avatar I was focused for four years.” sharp focus is enormously advantageous in our time, as it gets more and more rare because of the social media fever that took over our everyday lives. It is also the main element in producing high quality work, as it concentrates all our energy in a single task instead of spreading it around different ones without getting anything done properly.
The simplest way to understand the power of focus is by seeing it as concentrated sunlight: when sunlight is dispersed, it is almost powerless, however when focused in the form of a laser beam it can literary cut through steal.
There are two main types of focus: long term focus, which means focusing on an objective you want to achieve in the long run: 10 or 20 years from now. And then there is short term focus, which is concentrating on one task for a relatively long period of time. Having them both is a necessity if you want to achieve great things in life.
How can I develop a strong ability to focus?
As you probably know focus isn’t a habit, it’s a skill. And skills are similar to muscles; they get strengthened by practice. There are various practices you can adopt to start building this marvelous skill, so I’ve picked for you the very best ones that help you start improving your focus right away.
1. Practice meditation
Many studies have shown that meditation is one of the best practices out there that you can use to develop a strong consistent focus. The best part is that you can start getting results from this practice by meditating for just a few minutes every morning. I recommend starting off your meditation journey with Zen12, as they offer you the best of meditation in just 12 minutes.
You can use guided meditations or simply meditate to some relaxing sounds or music that you enjoy. For me, I like meditating to the sound of the rain or the ocean as it gives me this deep feeling of beautiful and peaceful relaxation.
2. Eliminate all external distractions
To do that, you first need to figure out what are the things that distract you all the time. So the next time you want to do a mentally demanding activity, put a pen and a paper next to you and write down the things that prevent you from fully concentrating on your task as they come up. Then just make sure to remove all of them from your environment, or to put them out of your reach before starting the activity you want to focus on.
When it comes to your long term focus, distractions might be things like wanting to achieve so many different goals at the same time. One of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to your future aspirations is trying to excel at too many things at once, because it's better to be remarkable at one thing than to be okay at everything. Just remember what bill gates said: "if you want to be a great software company, you have to be only a software company."
3. Benefit from technology
Today there are multiple great apps and devices that help you focus on a single task. Forest app is a great example, as it cures your phone addiction, and helps you to focus on what’s really important. You can also you use a Kitchen Safe, which is a small box with a timer; you put in it your phone or any other device that distracts you. You set the timer on how long you would like to stay focused, and once you press a button, it’s locked and cannot be opened until the time is up.
If you prefer not to use technology, do it old school style and just get someone (a friend or a family member) to hold you accountable to staying away from the things that distract you from the important activities you want to do.
I learned this particular exercise from Bob Proctor. It is a very simple exercise, however your commitment is needed in order for it to give great results. Here’s how it goes:
How do you keep yourself focused? share your thoughts with me on the comment section below 😉