Occasionally everyone loses focus on their priorities, and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s beneficial to lose the balance in life in order to achieve greatness in one direction. But after working hard in one area (work, sport, children, leisure…), there comes a time when it is necessary to refocus on what is truly important.
I’ve got to refocus too, so that’s why I’ve compiled a list of 15 ways to refocus on what is truly important. I hope you can take few tips and use them to improve your life.
For best results, choose a few and focus on them. Don’t try to do them all at once, because you’ll burn out, and instead of refocusing, you’ll end procrastinating.
The best way to refocus on your priorities is to slow down. I wrote a post about 9 different ways to slow down, so you can check that post for more tips. Here, I’ll just say one thing only: walk slower through life and appreciate every moment. When you do that, you’ll begin to see clarity, and your focus will improve.
If you work in an office, or from home, make the decision to change your location (if possible). Go to a colleague’s house and work together. Work from a coffee shop or go to the library. Get out in nature and work in the sun. Change location.
We all know the old adage: you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. We can sometimes fall into a routine of hanging out with the same people all the time – people we’re most comfortable with. This can lead to stagnation in ideas and personal development.
Try hanging out with new people with different worldviews and ideas once in a while. This will open you up to new ideas and you’ll have new experiences. Who knows, maybe your whole life can change.
Many of us never leave our hometown, but this can be one of the best decisions we can ever make. Leave a place where you currently reside and go somewhere new for a while. Don’t overthink too much. Choose a new place, pack belongings you truly need and go there. Leave all your crap behind – you don’t need it anyway.
Take a day off and change how your home is arranged. Or maybe just one room, if you have a big home. Put the sofa on the other side of the room. Remove that old carpet. Throw the TV out the window. Read about Feng Shui or consult an expert, and make sure your space obeys all the rules. When you’re done, the new living quarters will help you refocus.
Get rid of all clutter – everything you don’t want, need or use on regular basis. All those souvenirs and useless appliances. For everything you choose to keep, find a home and put it in that place. Clothes belong only to the closet, shoes to a shoe rack, keys and pocket change to a ceramic bowl at the entrance, favorite memorabilia to a living room, etc.
If you can’t find a home for everything, get rid of those things.
If you’re eating donuts every morning, try eating oats or fresh fruit. If you usually have a big dinner, try to have a light one, or even skip it from time to time. There are a million ways to radically change your diet.
Opt for healthy foods in order to have more energy throughout the day. When you eat better, you’ll overcome obstacles with much less effort. We are what we eat – when we transform our diet, we transform ourselves.
Having a plan for everything is not bad, but sometimes, when you feel stuck, throw out the plan. Too many people spend 80% of their time planning, and most of the time they never even get to the actual execution of those plans.
I’d like to tell you a secret: execution is everything. Plans alone won’t do anything. Yes, sometimes can help guide us, and I personally still use plans, but in most cases, we do important things without having a clear plan. Cut out the preparations and start making things happen.
Worrying won’t do any good for you. It won’t help you to guess what the outcome of the action will be, therefore make a decision about what you think the outcome will be, and then stick to it. Maybe it will work out, maybe it won’t. At least you didn’t spend days or hours bothering your stomach anticipating your own failure.
Pick one bad habit and kill it today. Stop doing and reinforcing whatever you hate about yourself. When we have the courage to take our bad habits to the guillotine, we can free up space and time to focus on what we really want to accomplish.
Some bad habits that hijack your focus can be: smoking, drinking, social media all day, constantly checking email, negativity, pessimism, worry, TV, etc.
Disconnect from the internet completely. Unplug your Ethernet cable, turn off the wireless router, and just sit in peace. At first, you’ll probably go crazy without being able to constantly click something, or check your email, status updates, new tweets, or even search for useful information for your project/work.
And that’s okay, I guarantee you won’t die or miss something. Before 1990, no one had internet at home, let alone in their pockets, and they survived. Just sit in peace until you’re able to focus on your priorities.
Take a few days off, or better yet go for a long weekend retreat. Don’t think about work, obligations, priorities, anything. Just do something fun. When you get back to work, you’ll have a fresh mind and be able to refocus.
If you can’t afford a day or weekend off, take a walk. A good long walk can do wonders for focus. In his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Mason Currey reveals that most artists, scientists, and important people take daily walks to improve focus. The repetitive motion of our feet has a way of centering the left and right hemispheres of our brain.
Go out and start walking with no destination in mind. When you get tired, rest, and then return back home.
I like going to the beach. Unfortunately, I live far from it, so I don’t get a chance to go often. But when I do, my worries melt away. I think it can do wonders for you too. If you don’t have a beach near you, go to a park or forest (but beaches are more awesome 😊). Bring some healthy snacks and plenty of water, and relax in the sun.
P.S.: don’t forget the sunscreen, and definitely forget the phone!
Research shows that we don’t get as much sleep as we need. Take a few days and catch up on your sleep – sleep 9 hours instead of the typical 5 or 6. Soon you’ll notice that your priorities come into focus when you’re rested enough.
We work too much, and the worst part is, we can usually manage to fit our work into as long as we give ourselves to complete the work (see Parkinson’s Law). If you normally work 60 hours per week, reduce your schedule to 40. If you work 40, reduce it to 20, etc. When we limit ourselves, we tend to produce the best and most creative work possible. Eliminate all irrelevant tasks and focus on what truly matters.
Here you are. 15 + 1 bonus tips to refocus on the important. I’ll finish now because this article is already too long.
If you have any other method, share it with our readers and me in the comments below.
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