1. Connect like an artist. Artists turn to their canvas with their tools. Paint, brushes and canvas. Connect with your tools so you immerse yourself with just those. Connect with the very tools that will allow you to stay on track.
2. Collect your thoughts and ideas in one place so when the time comes you can pull the threads of your thoughts together to build something great. Whether a new business idea, team or otherwise. Capture all that is going on in your mind. Thoughts and ideas whizz across our minds. Take the opportunity to capture them in one place.
3. Care from your heart. When we care from the heart we genuinely seek out the things that we value will give us the momentum and progress.
4. Give yourself the light so your brain can have the fuel for thinking. Dark places close the mind and limits our thinking. On the other hand when we are in light places we have a wider approach to what we do. The best light is in the middle of the day. So pop outside to fuel your thinking and look after your brain.
5. Planning allows you to know what is needed next or in the future. Decisions and actions can be focused and directed where it is most needed.
6. Silence yourself with a background noise so it can create the consistent space you and your brain is familiar with.
7. Pause to allow your thoughts and actions to catch up with your thinking (or vice versa). For hundreds of years, we have associated tasks with work and work with doing tasks. Yet one of the most effective tasks for peak performance is focusing on … well pausing and doing nothing.
8. Reset each time you begin. Whether each new task, project, sprint or grabbing a glass of water there are many opportunities to reset. Conscious resets allow you to see the benefits of the moment and the new so you can focus on what is needed and will gain the most momentum.
9. Context is king for focus. Whether light, air and or the mess around you. Calm, open and airy spaces will allow your mind to focus.
10. Movement and activity are key. Although we may equate sitting and typing and doing as focus, we gain the best focus when we sandwich rich focused moments with movement and activity.
11. Rest and sleep are symbols of great preparation. They are different and both support the basis of what makes us work at out best. Rest are the moments when we are awake and allow our brains to breath and rest rather than race at top speed. Sleep allows the brain to not only rest but sub consciously digest the workings of the day and previous days. Getting outside in daylight before midday helps our bodies to create the hormone that supports us sleep at our best.
12. Playing a musical instruments utilises more parts of the brain than anything else. Just like when we use all the capacity of our lungs when we keep fit. It gives us the chance to do what we need to without exhausting just one part of the brain. Have a go at playing an instrument.
13. Care for your brain. By eating and drinking the best fluids and food for our brain we give ourselves the best chance of maintaining focus. Its not just the what but when we eat that matters too. Establish the best rhythm for you. Check in and reset when needed.
14. Manage expectations to yourself and with others. When we know what the data driven expectations are this guides us towards honest needs rather expectations that perceptions in the mind. This allows us to focus on the impactful and welcomed tasks that drive the desired behaviours and outputs. Communicate with others so you know that you are aligned with what others are expecting.
15. Consistency for focus. Whether you find timing, location and tools or more that work best for you. Select them and define the order or use. We then don’t have to think too much and so we can focus on the job in hand. Remember to step back now and again to check in to see if they are serving us well.
16. Be present in the moment so you are not regretting the past and worrying about the future. The present allows you to well be present with the needs of the moment and focus.
17. Focus comes through the raw grit of turning up each day. Each new session for doing allows you to get better from the last. Grit is like the kindling for the focus fire that will allow you to work at your peak performance.
18. Build in small chunks. There can be a temptation to get all ready and prepared to start and finish something only to discover that it will be impossible to finish in a day / or short period of time. In so doing the project or task can seem too overwhelming and you maybe inclined to give up on first attempt. Take your task and break it down to its smallest possible components and get started with just one thing in any sitting.
19. Be kind to yourself. Time and energy can be wasted on beating ourselves up. Remind yourself that you are being your best in that moment and give yourself and your team some kindness.
20. Know what you care for. What is the change you are seeking to make? and what do you deeply care about.? When we consciously know, it makes choices and pathways easier to take. If we are working on something that doesn’t impact the very things we are passionate about life tends to be more stressful and as a result less focused.
21. Let your strengths guide you and lead you to allow you to focus on your best for your best outcomes.
22. Notice your patterns. The patterns of behaviour that work and those that you know that dont. Test and adjust along the way.
23. Be the tortoise and not the hare so you can be governed by your small incremental changes each day.
24. Active rest. Alex Pang talks about the need to play that goes deeper than just a laugh. Children can show us how with their games of role play, brick building and building camps in the woods / garden. Active rest is at the core for preparation for focus.
25. Be and have the frictionless mind, body and tools that allow you to flow with ease from one thought to the next.
26. The role of the cold. Ever swam in the sea in the UK or had a cold shower? It gives you an awareness (after the initial survival reaction) that you may have never felt before. The need to hold your own in the water knowing that you can. Knowing that focus will reap its reward when you have been in there for 3 minutes of more. Its a feel of euphoria that sets you ready for your time of focus.
27. Nurture with care, learning opportunities and kindness to others. Humanise what you do by recognising that you are a complex human that needs to be fed and nurtured. Fed with the best food for the time of day that will allow you to be in peak flow. Nurtured with care, learning opportunities and kindness to others.
28. Hope is the greatest asset for focus. Hope is the opportunity that we can ride each time we go to focus.
29. Reimagine the opportunities with creativity and zest to allow you to feel you have least resistance to get you the results you are seeking.
30. Pace yourself like you walk. Our thoughts can race so fast it’s hard to keep up. They can also absorb the moment. Allow yourself to offload them on a list so you can pace your actions in a methodological way.
31. Input not the finish line. We all like a quick fix or another task off the list but we can get wrapped up in the finishing rather than the input. Focus on the input.
32. Clarify meaning to yourself and your team. Meaning is the foundation of what we do and what we plan to do. So often left in the unconscious mind of ourselves and the team. Knowing this will guide your choices with no hidden skeletons.
33. Be realistic with your task list. Knowing that it is achievable will give you the best space and starting point
Image by Jeff Phillips on Unsplash