“Each new level requires greater focus. When you go to the next level people celebrate you as if you’ve already won but the truth is that a new more intensive race has just begun. The next level in life is always a new beginning.” -Myleik Teele
We are in an age where we are preoccupied with numbers. We want to have more people following us on Instagram than how many people we are actually following back, and I admit to falling victim to this. However, I love following successful women or men who inspire and motivate me, and I could care less if they follow me back. With social media, we get to see how these people live their life’s, the boss choices they make, and what they choose to post.
Needless to say, I stopped scrolling when I saw Myleik Teele, a successful female entrepreneur, said for the new year she wanted to get more focused.
How could she get more focused?!
The truth she revealed is how integral focus is for a successful entrepreneur, and no matter how successful you are they is always room to get more focused.
I want to dive deeper into the importance of focus for the budding entrepreneur or ambitious young student because it’s one of the most important things you can hone into.
I first “acquired” a keen sense of focus by studying the discipline of dance. You simply cannot achieve a professional career in the dance world, if you are not focused. I have to focus on the details of the choreography I am given, how my body responds to this movement, how I want to engage my audience, and that is just in the studio; not to mention, the focus it takes to maintain my body and my health outside of it.
I grew up focusing on my art, but I believe it takes that intense focus in whatever field you decide to go into. Successful people, bosses, CEOS, and hustlers are all very focused people.
How To Focus? Why Is It Important?
Let’s start with the dictionary definition of focus-
“the concentration of attention or energy on something”
Focus hones in on our ability to concentrate. It is not easy to concentrate in the 21st century because we have SO many distractions. It is difficult to block out the world and concentrate on a given task when your phone is constantly buzzing. (Download my resources at the end of this post to help you focus)
Disclaimer: It is much easier to focus our energy on our passions and something that brings us joy. I want us all to embark on a life and career path that follows what we love to do. You really can monetize anything you are passionate about with hard work and confidence. If you don’t see the bigger picture why you are doing something, then it is going to be so hard to focus your time and energy on that particular thing. Based off of my 10 Habits To Embrace This Year, if you are living a life of purpose and you have direction, then the focusing will be easier.
When you understand the bigger picture of why you are working so hard (I will get into this more later), then focus helps you be persistent until you get the job done.
I’ll admit some days we are just not as motivated as others, and that is completely natural. Everyday your drive will not be 100%, but work still has to be done. You want to get to the point where you are so conditioned on being focused that even when you are not feeling it, you can still make it happen.
That is what is important and that is what is going to keep your business running or keep you in a job.
Your ability to get the work done everyday. Being able to work through hard days, sicks days, and emotional days is going to set you apart from everyone else. My point is not to work yourself to death, but I want you to be able to be so conditioned that you can show up everyday and do the work because you’re that focused.
Was it clear that my point in those last couple of sentences was to do the work? ha
How Do You Achieve Focus?
By now I hope I wedged it into your head why focus will help you keep a job or run your business. So, how do you get to this level of focus? I pulled my list of “hows” from a podcast I was introduced to by Kayla Buell of Gen Y Girl called Being Boss. You all know I love podcasts, and I am always so excited to share any new gems on my blog.
5 Main Ways To Achieve Focus:
1. Make Lists
Creating lists are great ways to help you concentrate on a certain task because they keep you organized. It is harder to concentrate when you have not written out what steps you need to take because they can all get jumbled in your brain. If you feel overwhelmed or stressed because you have so much to get done, make sure you are creating lists and organizing your time around those lists. The more specific you make your lists the better. It might seem a little rigid at first, but setting time blocks to get the tasks on your lists done will help you focus on one thing for one set time.
I am still struggling with this. I create overflowing to do lists, and then I try to do them all at once. I start with one task and then I started another one, and then I go back to the first one. I’ve realized I waste more time doing that than if I would have just blocked time out and focused on one thing at time.
2. Establish Habits and Routines
This was an important point on the podcast, and it goes hand in hand with organizing your time. We only have 24 hours in a day, and I say that with a grain of salt because sometimes it doesn’t seem like I have enough time! I question how I have the same hours in the day as Beyoncé or Warren Buffet.
Most successful people or CEOs have a set routine that they follow everyday, and it usually includes working out every morning. According to Business Insider, successful people know working out is key to mentally and physically pushing themselves. Nonetheless, it is part of their routine. Once you establish a habit or routine this thing becomes second nature to you and requires less focus and attention. This allows you use your energy to focus on other tasks that are outside of your routine. People burnout because they over-exhaust themselves. They take on way too much, and focus their energy on every single task.
3. Create Boundaries
On Being Boss, they said to use boundaries to stay on focus. Thus, if you try to do it all, then you won’t have the energy to focus on it all. Set up work boundaries.
What are your work hours?
Do you work on the weekends?
How much is your work worth?
Should you take on a million and one jobs?
I think creating boundaries helps you maintain your sanity. I also like how they recommended to have one word, or I’ll add phrase, for the year. The word can be happiness or joy (as they said in the podcast). So, ask yourself, will taking on this job bring you happiness? If it doesn’t then use that boundary to say no.
It is not always easy when you are starting out to say no to things. You want to take on every possible opportunity, and I get it because I am in that place right now. However, just because you are in the beginning stages does not mean you should ignore your values. If a job does not meet your values or falls within your brand/ niche, it is okay to respectfully decline it. If you are doing the work, more job opportunities will come.
4. Acknowledge Your Priorities
We always want to meet the needs of everyone else, but what are your needs? Place priority on focusing on your own needs because when your needs are met everyone else’s needs will fall in right after. Successful people exercise everyday because their health is a priority. This usually means they have to wake up earlier, but keeping a strong mind and body is crucial to running their successful business.
I’ve heard this a couple of times, but focus on being more proactive than reactive. So, make sure you set your schedule and don’t let other people set it for you.
5. Know Your Why
This one really had me thinking. What is my why?
Why do I want to be successful? Why do I want to be wealthy? I think this one is the most important because when you understand why you are working so hard, it make retaining focus so much easier.
At every stage of our lives, the “why” will shift.
-Affect and inspire as many people as possible
-Get financial security, so I don’t have to worry if I can afford something
-Get out of debt
-Travel the world
-Dance because I love to do it(not worry about the pay check) and work on my own terms as money comes in through a business I create
What are your “whys”?
What Tools Can You Use To Help You Focus?
The Top 2 Tools/ Apps Used To Help You Focus (Stop Losing Time & Maximize It)
Being able to focus is such an important tool to cultivate. It helps a college student get a 15 page paper done on time while juggling an internship and full time job and a business women create a 20 minute slideshow presentation while taking care of her family and side graphic design business.
There will always be a million and one things to distract us from the task at hand, but if you want to be set apart from everyone else then achieving a greater focus will help you get there.
You read a few of my whys, what are your whys? Comment Below!