How To Stay Focused

Arrow hitting a target

Rounding up this month’s theme by sharing a few ideas of how to stay focused.

Over the last month, I’ve also talked about things that can get in the way and what happens when we’re not focused, so check out the previous posts if you need some further tips too.

Remember Your Why

Having the end goal or outcome in mind is vital – if you don’t know what you’re aiming for, then you won’t achieve it. Seems obvious, but it’s easy to get distracted by shiny things on the way, so keep coming back to your ‘why’.

But Be Flexible

If your ‘why’ has changed or the goalposts have moved, be flexible enough to alter your course. Sticking to a plan that is no longer working or relevant will hold you back. If you need to change,  it will give you better momentum in the longer term.

Eliminate Distractions

Being aware of where your time and energy goes can help to get rid of things that will distract you. Whether it’s your own actions, such as scrolling social media or making unhealthy choices. Or external energy zappers, such as people who need your attention, but aren’t supportive in return.  Be aware of where you might need to set some boundaries around your time.  Be firm but fair to make sure that your needs are being met too.

Find Your Tribe

Connect with others who have similar goals. It’s difficult to keep motivated when no one else around you ‘gets it’.  If you can find people who have been where you are, or are on the same journey, it’s so helpful.

Stay In Balance

Keep a healthy balance of all the other things going on in your life too. When you take time away from goal-getting, you allow space for your brain to assimilate the learning you’ve been doing, and it creates space for creativity. The best ideas usually come when you’re at rest…for lots of people it’s in the shower or washing the dishes.


Regular check ins are key. As with ‘remember your why’, being able to recognise if something’s not working, or other areas of your life are being neglected, can help you to make changes quicker.

Just some food for thought if you’re looking to stay focused.

Photo by Ricardo Arce on Unsplash

Focus Is Crucial. But Can We Be Too Focused?

Image out of focus





I’ve been looking at the theme of focus this month, as it’s a crucial part of personal development. But can we be too focused?

If so, what does ‘too focused’ look like.  And why does it matter?

If I asked you to think about someone who is focussed, what images come to mind?

I bet that you are thinking of someone with their head down, getting on with something really important.  Stern faced.  Determined.

Having the right focus is so important, if we want to achieve outcomes.  But it’s possible that being too focussed can have a negative effect too.

What happens if we become too focused?

We become blinkered when we focus too much on one task, or when we become so attached to the outcome.  And we’ve all been there…When you’re working on something that’s really important, it matters.  We want to do well.  We want to be successful.

But how often have you kept pursuing something that isn’t working.  Chasing success that just seems to be getting further away.

Being overly focussed can lead to us becoming rigid and inflexible.  If we are not open to other possibilities, we lose our creativity and our ingenuity.

Some of the best problem solving solutions have come about because of trial and error.  We have to be able to try again if things aren’t working out…but try again in a different way, based on what we’ve learned through failing.

But also, most of the time, we don’t get there alone.  Being hyper-focussed can also mean we block out help and support, or input from others.  If we’re not open to collaboration and sharing, we could be missing a little nugget of advice that might make all the difference.


Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

9 Questions To Ask When You Find It Difficult To Focus

A jigsaw puzzle with a missing piece, representing loss of focus

How long do you spend thinking about a problem?  And how long do you spend thinking about the solution?  There are some questions we can ask ourselves when it’s difficult to focus.

When we have a problem or issue that we need to resolve, it’s so easy to get caught up in a spiral of negative thinking.  We go round and round, stewing on what’s gone wrong, and we become focussed on what we’re not happy about.

Solutions focussed therapy approaches problems by looking at the desired end result, and works backwards.  It can be helpful if you find that the same issues keep coming up, or you have cycles of negative thoughts or habits.

Taking some time to think through our issues, or journaling our thoughts can help to work through what’s going on, and helps us discover possible solutions.

Here are some prompts that you could use:

  • Where are you now on a scale of 0-10?
  • Where would you like to be – what’s possible right now?
  • What would need to happen for this score to improve?
  • Which elements can I control in this situation?
  • What can I change?
  • When or how could I do this?
  • How would things look in one week/one month’s time if I took this action?
  • How committed am I to taking this action?
  • What’s stopping me?

When we have recurring issues or problems, we tend to catastrophise, and we think that everything is failing.

We lose sight of the good things or our successes.  And we can underestimate our strengths and skills because our focus is all about the problem.

By being more aware of where our focus is, we become more open to solutions and ideas.  If we can imagine things being different and more positive, rather than focussing on what’s wrong, we can move forward.

So, if you’re finding it difficult to focus, I hope these questions will help.


Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

How Focussed Are You?

An image of the dictionary definition of focus

This month, I’m going to be looking at the theme of focus.  This is a really interesting and important topic and focus is a key element of positive psychology.   When we are focussed in the right way, we can be at our most productive and fulfilled.   When we are focussed in the wrong way, or we focus on the wrong things, that’s when we can become demotivated and stuck.

The quality of all of our experiences depends on our focus.

If we are constantly thinking about what we lack, or where we feel we’re not good enough, or we fall into a comparison trap, then nothing we ever do or have will be good enough.

And we miss out on the best experiences of all…because our focus has us looking in the wrong direction.   We don’t notice what else is going on around us.

Often, when we think about focus, we probably have an image in our head about someone being very driven and determined and working towards a goal.  And they are very fixed about what they are doing and how they are doing it.

But this isn’t what focus should be about.  Yes, we need to have a clear direction.  Yes, we need to have drive.   But being too fixed and too rigid, and working with blinkers on, means that we can miss out on some of the most important experiences and the learning opportunities that come from trying to achieve something.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be looking more specifically at how we can assess whether we focus in the right way.  I will also share some ideas of how you can switch your focus to something that is more productive and pleasurable.   And I’ll also look at how focus can work against us – and what happens when we become hyper focussed and things start to veer off track.

Photo credit:  Romain Vignes on