Friday, January 11, 2013

3 aids to focus attention

Do you have trouble focusing? Are you one of those creative types whose mind flashes ideas with the speed of popcorn popping over a hot fire? You just can't stop to focus on the one thing you need to get done to reach your goals. You have too many other thoughts and ideas floating around. You want to bring your awareness to the one important thing—to your goal or the small step that is part of reaching your goal.

Several of my clients have told me it's one of the things they find helpful about our coaching work: I help them focus so they can take one step at a time to get to whatever goal they have set. It's hard work to focus when your creative side keeps producing wonderful and intriguing ideas. And I always tell my clients to not stifle that wonderful creative spirit. It's a gift. But as with so many of our gifts and talents, it has a flip side. And that side needs some help once in a while if you're going to get where you want to be!

May I suggest 3 things that might help you focus when your head is spinning?

Get physical. Often when you go for a brisk walk, get on the treadmill, jump rope or do something that gets you down into your body, your mind can relax and let go of all those swirling thoughts for a while. That can help clear your head so you can return to the task at hand with more focus.

Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe deeply, pushing out your stomach on the inhale to let in as much air as possible, and deflating it as you exhale, letting out all the air you can. Concentrate on your breathing for 5 or 10 minutes. When you really let yourself concentrate on your breathing, you won't be thinking of other things.

Make a quick-and-dirty list of all the things floating around in your head. Once you've written them down on paper, you don't feel the need to keep noodling them in your head. You can let go.

What else works for you? If you have some tried-and-true tricks for focus, please share them. Lack of focus can strike all of us at one time or another. And for some people, it can be a real issue.

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