Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.
10 ways to stay focused
How to eliminate distractions and achieve your goals
Where focus goes, energy flows. This has been true throughout human history, but we now live in a unique time. Smartphones, social media, selfies and hashtags – the distractions we experience today are ever-present and seemingly endless.
If you feel like it’s becoming harder and harder to stay focused, you’re not alone. Every successful business person and entrepreneur has struggled with how to stay focused when their attention is being pulled in a hundred directions.
Maybe you start the morning on the right foot, but by the end of the day you’re tired and unable to stay focused. Or maybe you’re easily distracted from your tasks by social media and other temptations. Some days, you’re constantly interrupted by meetings and phone calls.
It’s time to learn how to stay focused on goals no matter what – and achieve more than you ever thought possible.
1. Start the day strong
Kickstart your focus first thing in the morning by eating a healthy breakfast with plenty of greens, good fats and lean protein. Create a strong morning ritual like priming or meditation to get laser-focused on your goals for the day. The morning is also the best time for exercise. Getting your blood pumping will give you more energy and help you stay focused throughout the day.
2. Focus on your outcomes
As Tony says, “If you have a big enough why, you will figure out the how.” Learning how to stay focused on goals is all about relating the task at hand back to your ultimate purpose in life. How does this task help you reach the outcome you desire? Visualize yourself completing the task and reaching your goals. Then take a few deep breaths and do it.
3. Make a mantra
Incantations are a powerful way to reset your mind and stay focused. Tony has used them since he was young and continues to use them before his public speaking engagements. A mantra for how to stay focused might be something like, “I will put all my focus on this task because it is going to help me live the life I deserve!” Say it out loud and with enthusiasm. You’ll change your physiology and find focus.
4. Remove distractions
Getting distracted by texts or feeling tempted to check social media for the tenth time today? Mute your phone and place it face down on your desk, then close your Facebook browser tab. There are even apps and extensions you can install that can block Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and any other websites you choose. If it’s coworkers interrupting, put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign or close your door. They can wait.
5. Eliminate vices
Do you reach for a cup of coffee every time you feel yourself slowing down? Or smoke when you are stressed out? Or maybe you like to have a late-night glass of wine and it affects your sleep quality. All of these things work against your ability to stay focused – yes, including having more than one cup of coffee a day. Eliminate bad habits and you’ll discover how to stay focused in a healthy way.
6. Don’t multitask
There’s no such thing as multitasking – you’re just doing multiple things poorly. That’s because every time we switch tasks, a little of our attention remains behind. It’s a phenomenon called “attention residue,” and it’s why studies have found that multitaskers have worse attention spans and memory capacity than non-multitaskers. To truly achieve, stay focused on one task at a time.
7. Create a productive space
You won’t be able to clear your mind and focus if your space is cluttered and noisy. Certain sounds, like cars honking or people arguing, can cause the release of cortisol, the stress hormone. Wear headphones or find a quiet place to work. Organize your workspace and decorate it in a way that’s inspiring. Always work from this place when you really need to stay focused. Your brain will get “in the zone” faster.
8. Have a plan
It’s not enough to make a to-do list and hope you get around to it. You need to set achievable, SMART goals everyday that will help get you where you want to be. Tony’s Rapid Planning Method (RPM) is much more than a checklist. It breaks down your goals by month, week and day, relating everything back to your ultimate outcome so you’re sure to stay focused.
9. Take scheduled breaks
Wondering how to stay focused? Take a break. It seems contradictory, but scheduled breaks actually improve focus by giving the brain a chance to recharge. Make sure it’s a real break: Step away from your desk. Go for a walk. Read a book. If you’re using your “break” to check emails or chat about a project, you won’t get the full benefits that come from relaxing your mind.
10. Find a coach
Learning how to stay focused on goals is a process of retraining your brain. It takes time and you will experience setbacks. It’s important to have someone in your corner to help you through the challenges and be your cheerleader when you succeed. Results Coaching can also give you perspective and remind you of your purpose, so you can stay focused on what matters.