One of the great attributes of mentally tough people is that they are able to make things happen and get things done without being overly distracted or diverted. They have a laser focus on their goal and more often than not complete what they set out to achieve.
This may be the profile of you, or the person you want to be, and its central to one of the four pillars in the Mental Toughness 4C framework – the Commitment scale together with its two sub scales, Goal Orientation and Achievement Orientation, which measure how we respond to working towards specific goals and targets.
Here are four pathways to become more focused on achieving your goal:
1. Establish a clear goal
This clear goal usually comes from a strong vision and purpose, ideally your own but it could also be adopted from someone else. If achieving this goal is desirable then you will have the intrinsic motivation to make it happen.
With this in mind before beginning any task ask yourself if what you are about to do will help you achieve your goal. If it will you can more easily adopt the mindset and focus on to complete on the task.
2. Achieving your goal takes both a short and long term focus
To achieve a big outcome you generally need a long-term goal, which requires consistent and persistent application, determination and drive. However to get there you need to be making progress every day through achieving small goals and if you do the same thing well every day the cumulative impact is huge. You measure the activity rather than the progress because often its difficult to detect progress but have faith that positive activity will lead to positive results.
3. Just do it
Whilst you want goals in place, you don’t want to overthink or over plan the task. There comes a time when you have to just get started and once you do you’ll generate the momentum and energy to carry on. It is also about knowing what distractions, diversions or requests to be open to and which to ignore or say no to. Say no first – if its urgent you’ll soon here about it.
4. Achieve deep focus and then take a break
Structure your day into blocks to focus on specific goals. There are many time management techniques that can help you and I certainly have found the Podomoro technique really useful in helping me stay focused.
Using this approach I work hard and stay focused for 25 minutes and then take a five minute break. Because I know that a break is not too far away, I’m not as tempted to become distracted by emails, messages or even phone calls which helps with my productivity. I stay fresher and I’m more productive over the course of the day.
Being focused and achieving your goals helps build your resilience because you have momentum, which helps you bounce back from setbacks or push through interference.