The culture of our day can be incredibly noisy. At times the thought pollution in my mind becomes so much that it is hard to stay focused and have clarity. As I was considering what I did even today, it occurred to me that so many things clamor for my attention and it can constrain my ability to focus and act at times. I am an entrepreneur in the Commercial Real Estate market and there are so many ways to make a buck that sometimes it is easy to chase ALL the golden eggs and wind up (a) “broker” than broke! So how do you gain focus and clarity to be successful in life?
I am always accused in my office of having ADD; in any given day I face so many disruptions that I can lose my train of thought easily. My focus continues to be a work in progress but I have learned a few things that I believe to be helpful.
1. Find Seclusion
When I have a project that is time sensitive I quarantine myself. I stay home late, I go to a coffee shop where I know I won’t know anyone, I close my office door, I sit on my porch, etc. Getting alone provides an oasis in a desert to quiet my mind and allow the focus and energy that it requires me to accomplish a task.
As a father of three children that are constantly saying, “mommy, daddy, can I?, I want, etc… I have learned a knack that caries over to other arenas in life. The GREAT ignore. This does not mean that others and some tasks aren’t important but that there are some things that can just wait.
3. Time Block
There is nothing like building a structured day that is allocated to certain tasks. I admit I am currently working to improve in this area daily. I tend to be amiable and a people person, so I prefer relationships over tasks. This means my ADD can really kick in to start fun, keep fun going, and play a joke on someone. All of which are OK but do not allow me to make progress on tasks. Time blocking prevents distraction and encourages focus on the time at hand.
The average American encounters 3000 marketing messages a day. We are told things like “you deserve it”, “get all you can”, “a ____ will make you happy”, and on and on the messages go. These mistruths are so inviting and distracting. Disciplining your thought life and prioritizing what is important and real is invaluable to keeping clarity in your thoughts and success in the daily work grind.
I hope you find these few tips thought provoking. Reminders and different angles of relevant topics often help us to rethink. What strategies do you employ for successful clarity?