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Research Highlight: Focus is a super skill

Of the most successful 10% of people in a sample of 21,000, 94% scored “my mind is clear and focused” with ‘very often’ or ‘nearly always’.

Question: What meaningful activity will I complete today?

Condition: Clear your mind of distraction and clutter

Discipline: Hold intense, steady and sharp attention on task

Caution: Take regular breaks to rejuvenate and keep perspective

Distraction, uncertainty and self-doubt rule. Every day, thousands of interruptions, concerns and risks will present. For those who do not understand, train and continually improve focus, it is a very dangerous time indeed.

Only 4% of the least resilient people score focus with ‘very often’ or ‘nearly always’. Lack of focus leads to suffering.

What you can do right now?

  1. Select a meaningful task each day of the week. Start with making your bed or eating well. Once you have your basic daily routines sorted, then shift to one meaningful work or career goal. For example: today I will complete my new CV. Rest at least one day of the weekend – no important task.
  2. Clear your mind. Focus is impossible when lost in floodwaters of distraction. One by one, clear it away. Select your focus window during which your phone, e-mail, music, food and drink options are not available. Be comfortable but alert. Relax your awareness into the moment. Allow all frustration, anger, anxiety, fear, disappointment and sadness to drop away. Detach your mind from thoughts that arise and gently return to the present moment.
  3. Build intense focus. Select the focus required for the immediate task in front of you. Direct your attention fully at this task. Zoom in so that you can see the detail in fine granularity. Keep the beam of attention firmly on the current execution of your skills. Learn to recognise when focus fades, take a break and refocus.

Building powerful focus will take time and practice. Select achievable goals and define your time periods carefully. Pay attention to what works.

In the background:

  • Secure your sleep
  • Stay physically fit
  • Relax, breathe or meditate
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