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Keep Focused in a Cluttered World

Keep focused Keep Focused in a Cluttered World

You are intent on finishing the task at hand, and suddenly “something” comes up. You don’t realize the chunk of time distractions can steal from your day — you just change direction and give it attention. Keep focused!
In a world full of political strife, constant social media pop-ups, continuous alerts from emails landing in your inbox and worries about matters you cannot control, the ability to keep focused is a dynamic tool for keeping a positive mental attitude and a sense of purpose.

Over half of us get distracted after 15 minutes and — boom — you have no idea where you started or why you can’t get your mind and heart into your goal. You can’t stay focused at work anymore and are becoming less productive. Valuable time and effort go right down the tubes, and so does your momentum and energy.

One way to keep focused is breaking big projects into more manageable bites of time. Richard Branson shares that people should “take the stairs,” literally, to stay in shape with physical activity and also as a metaphor for big goals and life dreams. It’s a “gradual climb,” with “inevitable failures and setbacks along the way.” Very few people can take the elevator to instant success.

It’s almost impossible to shut out the world while you’re busy. It is your choice or decision to stay focused. Explore the right techniques for you, know your priorities, and stick to them. When you achieve this – You are in the zone!  Five minutes, ten minutes. Sometimes you may stick with a project for hours. When you look up, time has flown, and you have been incredibly productive.

Five Tips to Focus more Effectively:
1. Have a “to-do list” with the most important or longest tasks at the top.
2. Clear your mind from emotionally charged worry. Sift through the clutter. Learn to separate what you can make better and what might be out of your control.
3. Work offline: Try using paper and pen — perfect for brainstorming! Put your phone on silent and check email only occasionally (try once every hour). Set a timer to keep up with time and allow yourself to check mail.
4. Create Plan with Prioritized Goals and Tasks (daily, weekly, and long-term).
5. Organize your life, your office, and your desk. Studies have shown having a clean life-space declutters the mind.

Looking for tools to manage your day more proactively? Check out these resources.

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Self-Motivation? What is it? Embrace it.

The dictionary states:
Self-motivation (noun): Initiative to undertake or continue a task or activity without another’s prodding or supervision.

What’s another word for initiative?  Ambition, Get-Up-and-Go, Enthusiasm, Resourcefulness, and Moxie!

Have you tried to make a change before and didn’t quite succeed? Every time you try again — you will get closer to your goal. Have you ever heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”? It is a statement. No blame, no criticism – just a fact. Sometimes, big projects take more time than we think it will. There will be challenges. How can you stay self-motivated over time? Here are a few thoughts to help you find the best path.

Applying that same concept of “building” to yourself means no self-blame and no self-criticism when you begin a project and only make it 75% of the way. Each day presents the opportunity to start again with a fresh action or to use a more innovative way to hit your goals.

When faced with difficult or challenging decisions to make “things” better, most people freeze, become apathetic or just quit. The key to forging ahead is focusing on your key dreams, goals, and sense of what the future holds for you! Use “Baby Steps” to build your world.

When you don’t get what you want the first time; appeal to your inner self to try again.

Want to purchase a new home? Save for retirement? Plan an expensive vacation? What is your next step? Take time to think empowering, expansive thoughts, and make a list. Write it down. Use this personal checklist to knock out the smaller steps that lead to finishing what you started. Fake it until you become it and last: Make a deal with yourself and after you achieve 5 or 10 steps, reward yourself for sticking to it!

You can build that city of dreams into a reality – brick by brick with self-motivation.

My advice: Start Today!

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3x3 Nepal Mt Everest basecampIt’s important to consider the pace you set to achieve your financial goals. If you set an unrealistic pace, you’re more likely to become overwhelmed or discouraged.

When I first arrived at Lukla, Nepal and prepared to make my ascent to Mount Everest Base Camp, the goal was ten days and over nine thousand vertical feet away.

I would have been kidding myself to think it could be done all at once!

Initially, the plan was to climb about one thousand feet in altitude, acclimate, and continue to the top incrementally. The first couple of days were pretty extreme. The thought of hiking ten hours per day over a challenging, seemingly endless path was overwhelming. My group began to convince itself that it was too difficult and considered turning back.

I wasn’t having it. I set my watch so that we would only focus on hiking for one hour with a water break at thirty minutes. We would not even talk about an eight-hour hike or what the rest of the day looked like. We wouldn’t talk about what “ifs” (for example: What if it gets dark? What if something terrible happens to us?). Everyone agreed to hike for only one hour and focus only on that one-hour!

Once we had gotten a few one-hour hikes under our belts with water breaks on the half hour, the group members stopped needing to take a break every thirty minutes. They felt they could easily continue, and they wanted to keep hiking for longer chunks of time. I remember one day specifically when the peak seemed miles and miles away. Because of our false perception, it appeared unreachable. So I set my watch for an hour, and we started hiking. Within forty-five minutes, we had arrived. The destination was actually closer than we realized.

In the same way, financial security may seem like it is unattainable, but you may simply be in need of a little perspective. The cure for being financially overwhelmed is persistence and knowledge. A robust savings account is achieved one step at a time. Put away ten dollars per paycheck knowing that, over time, that will add up to a large sum. In that way, you can create a new habit.You are often closer to success than you think you are!

If you have an area of finances that overwhelms you, surround yourself with books on the subject or go online to reputable sites. If you are more inclined to a discussion, try to find people who can provide strength in your area of weakness.

Financial stability may not happen overnight. By setting goals and starting the journey, you may find that you are only a short distance away from relief. Just put one foot in front of the other and get moving!

Turn your overwhelming feelings around:
• Persist.
• Know where you are and where you want to be.
• Learn the financial terrain.