At any point in time during the course of your life you only have the option at focusing on one thing. For most people, this thing is often something they can’t control, such as what other people think of them or the “terrible state of the world” (whatever that even means). When it comes down to brass tack, you need to determine what your highest priority item is and then execute around that.
Procrastination arises when you have difficulty determining what exactly you want to focus on, and many times this is because there are way too many irrelevant things on your plate. Whenever you come across a difficult choice, make a list of all of the pros and cons. Very quickly you will realize that your decision comes down to one thing. The other factors won’t even come into the equation. When you test this out for yourself and realize it to be true, you will have unlocked something extremely powerful: the ability to quickly zero in on the most important factor from the very beginning.
First you need to figure out what exactly you want. For someone who is on this site, I am going to assume that you want your fair piece of the pie and some version of “the good life.” Make a long list of all of the things that you want and need to do. Then step back for a second and ask yourself an important question: why?
Try to understand why it is that you want all of those things. Most of the time you will realize that your reasoning was skewed and your decisions are based on gaining the validation and acceptance of others, which is never going to lend itself to long-term fulfillment. Learning to identify why exactly you want the things on your list will very quickly lead you down another path. You will find that you don’t need to do most of the things on the list, especially the inconsequential items that cluttered your mind and caused anxiety and stress.
If you want to be a photographer, getting out your camera and taking a beautiful shot should be the very first thing you do when you wake up. Everything else must fall to the wayside when it comes to doing what is important to you.
Many times in digital marketing while working with clients, I have seen them spend so much time on things that aren’t going to matter and aren’t going to actually make them money. One of the most cliché, but true occurrences, is focusing on site design when you don’t even have any traffic coming into the site. Fixing your font or coming up with a cool logo isn’t going to mean jack if you have 5 unique visitors a day. If these people stepped back for just half a second they would quickly realize that they were prioritizing all of the wrong things and failing to do what mattered.
Understanding this leads you to a liberating discovery. No longer do you need to fret over a long to-do list that seems to get longer and longer. Instead, you need to focus on what is going to be the most fruitful for your long-term goals. You cannot afford to put off what truly matters for even a single hour. If your goal is to become a journalist, you have to write great content every single day, all day. If you fail to do this, you aren’t progressing towards your goal and you aren’t getting better.
One practical take-away is to focus on the most important tasks in the morning. It is tempting to start answering emails and calling people back. Don’t do it. Instead do what is going to make you a better, more productive person. By the time you finish catering to others and quelling your nervous obsession with fulfilling the requirements of some never-ending to-do list, you will have ran out of both focus and energy.
The easiest way to live a life of focus is to be congruent. What does that mean? It means living a life that you designed. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. It sounds simple and it has been said a thousand times. However, it is true. When you wake up in the morning and dread going to some dead-beat job for the day, just remember that is your conscious decision. No one held a gun to your head and forced you to buy that new car with ridiculous interest, therefore locking you into a job that drains your soul on a daily basis. No one told you that you had to be involved in a romantic relationship with a woman that does nothing but bring you down or invade your positive consciousness. That’s all you buddy.
The mental freedom and power that you will command by stepping forward and being your own man will transform your life in more ways that you can imagine. You will be able to breath fully again, deep into the core of your body, releasing positive energy back into the world.
Whatever you do, make sure it is only one thing. Quit messing around and playing games by spending time doing things that just don’t matter. You owe it to yourself to start focusing on building out the one thing that is going to bring you success and happiness now and for years to come. Bottom line, make sure that you are working towards your prioritized goal every single day. Don’t let the sun set without putting forth an honest day’s effort.
Start focusing on one thing and enjoy not only the mental clarity and agility afforded, but the fulfillment you will receive as well, knowing that you decided to become the boss of your own destiny and build a life of your design.