5 Steps to Finding Focus - Staying Focus in the Chaos
Chaos seems to be the new norm and there's no end in sight. With every shortcut that technology gives us it seems to open a door to another task on our to do list and before we know it we're doing a bunch of menial tasks from dawn 'til dusk. But how can someone who wants to live a purposeful life, follow their dreams, run a business, or even just be a decent wife and mom, stay focused on the important in the midst of a hurricane of chaos?
We have to get focused and in all honesty it ain't easy. It's a noisy world and we have hundreds of things vying for our attention every second of the day. The only way to quiet the noise is to not let it in in the first place.
Over the last few years I've become the queen of saying no. I used to be a yes girl. And my instinct still is to say yes. I'm a people pleaser by nature and I really do enjoy giving to and serving others. But the more things I say yes to, the more things I have to say no too in my own life.
The more I've practiced the art of saying no, the more I've been able to focus on the things that matter. And the more I focus on the things that matter, the easier it gets to say no to the things that don't. It's a snowball effect and it's the best kind! Because if you're not careful, it can snowball in the other direction, leaving you empty and stressed. Saying no has got to be one of the most liberating things you can do in this day and age. It puts you in the drivers seat and teaches others to respect your boundaries as well.
How did I start and grow a business from zero to multiple six figures? By saying no. A lot!
A few things you need to do to start saying no to the things that don't matter so that you can focus on what's important:
1. You have to know your why or your purpose. If you don't, you'll be saying yes to things that seem good and important but don't actually align with your purpose.
2. You have to have a vision of where you're going. If you have a vision of the direction you're headed and have created a path to get there, you'll be able to recognize things that are trying to keep you from it.
3. Practice. The next time someone asks you to do something, take a few minutes to think about it. We're so quick to give answers that sometimes we regret even just 5 minutes later. If someone asks you something by text, it's easy to not give an immediate response. But when you're face to face with someone, you'll be tempted to answer right away. Look them in the eye and say something like, "Oh that sounds amazing. Let me think about it and check my schedule to see if I can make it work."
4. Respect your own limitations. If you're constantly feeling "burnt out" then maybe you need to take a birds-eye look at your life. When are you more tired? When do you start to feel that pressure of the chaos building and weighing you down? Know your limits and don't be afraid to tell someone that you don't have the capacity to take on the task they're asking you for.
5. Rest. Rest is one of the most important habits you can get into. It rejuvenates your body and your soul. It reminds you of who you are (which brings you back to the first tip, purpose), it inspires your creativity, and most importantly, it helps you to realign your focus.
The next time you find yourself buried in chaos, pause. Take a moment to realign your focus and ask yourself if the chaos is all necessary. While some of it may be, like doing laundry and feeding the kids, some of it can likely be let go of.
What are some things you do to get and stay focused?
This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series.
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