Four Fantastic Tools For Focus

What we see depends on what we look at. What we look at depends on what we see. – the Daily PlanIt

Just as we can hear a sound without really listening, so too can we see something without really noticing. And it is the listening and noticing that improves life. This is the reason why focus is the key to so many things. The difficulty is that it can be hard to gain focus and to retain it when life is full of so many interruptions, notifications, and distractions.


Four ways to TEND to focus:

  1. Tame external & internal distractions
  2. Embrace values
  3. Notice the feedback
  4. Dedicate time to concentrate and feel flow

Tame external and internal distractions

To maintain focus, train yourself to forget about distractions. Exterrnal distractions and interruptions can be challenging, so Design Your Ideal Workspace to help with these. Turn off notifications, use headphones, and put out a do not disturb sign. Also be aware of your own favorite internal distractions and practice strategies to overcome procrastination and maintain motivation. Use discipline but also take breaks and get creative. Begin with top priority tasks: choose priorities and concentrate on the one thing that is most important to you.

Embrace values

When you know what is most important to you, you will have not only direction, but also incredible focus. Choosing priorities is easier when you follow your values. Start by mapping your values to find your guiding principles.Then learn how to create a value statement of what you do and why, which becomes a power tool for purpose.

Notice the feedback

If you can not measure it you can not improve it. – Lord Kelvin

Measures matter, so find feedback. We need to know how we are doing. It’s not fun if we don’t know we are getting somewhere. Feature your goals, keep them visual and visible, and review progress. The sweet spot is a place of high value and low effort, but some goals involve sacrifice and sometimes even pain. The Economy of Goals means that goals are more likely to be accomplished if the benefits outweigh the resources required to obtain it. End goals lead to a meaningful journey by providing intrinsic motivation.

Dedicate time to concentrate and feel the flow

Block off time in your schedule to concentrate and get intensely involved in important work.This kind of deep involvement can lead to feeling the flow experience. To inspire flow, look for the right balance of challenge and skill. To prepare, take care of yourself with enough rest and a proper diet to be at your best. Follow a routine and run your day like an athlete to cue work flow. But also be curious and have the courage to explore new areas beyond your comfort zone.

Focus for the 4 Ps of Positive Pscyhology Practices

Focus is a thread that weaves through many of the practices shown to increase happiness. The building blocks of Pause all require the ability to focus attention.  The practice of meditation is a way to train attention, and to breathe deeply can assist in the process. Both require an inner focus, while the ability to notice and be mindful can mean an outer focus. To Power Up, it takes attention to uplift ourselves and others and to be grateful. For Purpose, we must keep our focus on chosen goals, and to be in flow is to be so focused that you lose all track of time. For People, it takes attention to cultivate relationships, to notice emotions, and to communicate well. The challenge can be knowing when to pause and shift.

Resources to manage and maintain focus:

Learn more at A Mindful Moment, Challenge Yourself, Inspire Flow, & the Pinterest board on Focus


  • “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal, watch video (23:38)
  • “Triggers” by Marshall Goldsmith
  • “Focus: the hidden driver of excellence” by Daniel Goleman, watch his Google Talk
  • “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield, watch Overcoming Resistance, try the 27 min. mini course
  • “Deep Work” by Cal Newport, see this article at dansilvestre
  • Making Ideas Happen” by Scott Belsky
  • “The One Thing” by Gary Keller & Jay Papasan
  • “80/20 Principle” by Richard Koch

I seek to create order from the chaos of complex information. Join me at the Daily PlanIt to gain insights, inspiration, and information to increase skills for a better life. I unlock the power of teaching reading with phonics in the pursuit of literacy at In my spare time I explore books and movies, often choosing titles available on both screen and page.

Posted in positive shift, productivity

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