4 Simple Ways to Refocus, Avoid Distraction, And Achieve Goals

Simple ways to regularly refocus, achieve goals, and avoid distractions. Goal setting is an essential exercise in accomplishing what matters, but there is more to staying focused than we care to admit.

By Navid  |   28 Nov, 2019  |   0  |  Published in Business, Productivity,

As we close out 2019, most of us are reflecting on what we were able to accomplish this year. Although this was an enjoyable and productive year for me, there are still goals that I wish I was able to complete.  Sure, life can be unpredictable, and therefore, it is difficult to accomplish every goal.  In my case, I lost some of my focus, too.  Perhaps if I had refocused myself in July, I might have been able to reach some of these goals.  The truth is, I didn’t.

I am ok with not achieving all my goals this year, but I am not ok with repeating this mistake next year.  So, I spent the last few days soul-searching for four simple ways to refocus myself on some of my goals.  Specifically, I was looking for ways to keep myself in check throughout the year as opposed to just the beginning and the (tallying) end. I plan on revisiting these points monthly now in order to assess progress regularly.

Here are four simple suggestions to refocus, avoid distractions, and achieve goals:

Begin with a Specific goal, Set a Timeframe and an action plan

“Blogging more” is not a goal.  Writing two blog posts per week for the next 30 days by researching relevant topics is a goal.  To have goals I can wrap my head around, I need to know precisely what it is that I am trying to accomplish.  The more specific, the better.  For example, there is a big difference between setting a goal to write more blogs and setting a goal to write two blog posts per week.  If I know I need to write two blog posts between Monday and Friday, then I can dedicate Monday to research, Tuesdays to writing, and Wednesdays to publishing piece one and researching piece two.  Likewise, Thursday goes to writing piece two, and finally, Friday is set aside to publish article two.  Not only do I know what I need to do every day of the week, but I also know pretty early on that I may not be able to reach my goal by the end of the week.  This early detection allows me to deploy corrective action if necessary (i.e. double-up tasks for the next day.)

Additionally, I need to have a plan of action already in my mind.  For example, if I want to write two blog pieces a week, then I need to be good at researching relevant topics that fit my marketing blog well.  This could mean looking at current events, or merely taking something I know from experience and turning into something useful for others to read.

 

Give Each Goal a Priority Score of 1-3

There is nothing wrong with failing to reach goals so long as those goals weren’t important.  In a perfect world, sure, we want to accomplish every goal that we set.  But this isn’t likely or realistic.  Things change; other things come up.  In fact, going into each goal-setting exercise with a full realization that there is a real possibility that these goals may never be accomplished is critical.  It is at this stage that one can identify the goals that require extra attention in order for them not to be ignored.

A scale of 1-3 works well for me.  Priority-1 goals require daily or weekly attention.  If things aren’t working, then I may have to refocus attention, resources, or plans.  Priority-2 goals are still important but ok if delayed.  This is particularly true if a priority-2 goal gets pushed back to execute a priority-1 goal.  Likewise, priority-3 goals carry the least significance.

 

Eliminate Distractions, Multitasking, And Laziness

We all have 24 hours in a day.  This means that if I want to watch TV instead of writing my blog post on Tuesday, then most likely, I’ve missed the opportunity to write that evening.  It is a simple trade. Watching TV is a distraction I can do without, and therefore, if and when possible, I am going to skip it.

I often find multitasking ineffective when it comes to high-priority goals.  The chances are that these goals are essential and require undivided attention.  I couldn’t watch TV and write a blog post, and therefore, I am going to either chose to watch TV or write.  I am going to make this decision by being very clear about what this means: if I don’t write tonight, then I won’t have a post tomorrow.  This means my traffic is going to drop, and I may lose my blog’s momentum.  By being specific about the consequences, I can then make this decision consciously and without guilt.

Finally, let’s be honest.  Laziness is a significant factor in all of this.  I may simply not want to write because I don’t feel like doing anything.  I am not advocating that we should all be machines and never take a break or relax.  What works for me is making myself aware of the consequences before choosing to skip a task or sticking to it.

Reward Your Success

I do not have a problem with rewarding myself when I reach my goals.  It motivates me a great deal.  As long as the reward isn’t disproportionate to the goal, I find that it keeps me on track when I need to the most!  Keep in mind that rewarding success requires discipline.  For example, if I set a goal of writing two blog posts a week for the next 30 days, then I might buy a new pair of headphones as my reward.  Now, I will not purchase those headphones if I have not reached my goal – regardless of whether the headphones happen to go on sale, or I might need them sooner than anticipated.  This can be difficult because, well, self-policing is never easy.  But, I know it works well for me.

 

What do you think?  Share what you might do to refocus when you have not reached your goals.



NeatCue Newsletter

Great marketing & design articles to help make your efforts a success - delivered right to your mailbox