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Why Staying Focused Is Key to Success


LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS — stock.adobe.com

Opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Rolling Stone editors or publishers.

It is easy to focus on the little things, like enjoying your favorite song. On the other hand, giving your full attention while reading a dry textbook or keeping focused during an important meeting can be very challenging. The truth is that focus has its ups and downs.

Some people have the natural ability to keep focused on tasks and goals, but many people have difficulty keeping focused on a goal and become easily distracted. Something as simple as a butterfly fluttering by can crush the focus of some people. I’ve seen firsthand how techniques for focus derived from the practice of hypnosis can increase a person’s ability to pick out relevant details to reach a goal. Everyone can benefit from tapping into greater focus when needed. Borrowing focus techniques from hypnosis can help you stay the course and keep focused on the end goal.

When you are genuinely focused on something, you process it in great detail as if the task at hand is under a proverbial magnifying glass. For example, if you focus on an apple for 20 seconds and observe all its details — the color of its skin, how it feels to touch the apple, etc. — you are now viewing an apple in a whole new way. Your mind hones in on the apple and becomes clear of distractions. You realize that during that session of focusing on the apple, you were speaking to yourself about the apple and what you saw. Questions and answers were formulated with ease.

When focusing on a particular task for some time, you lose sight of everything else around you. You become “in the zone,” dealing only with the task at hand. In this state, your mind can think two or three steps ahead, meaning you can see a clear path to the final goal. Outside distractions are easily resisted or entirely blocked. Your mind is free to see everything about the goal from many different perspectives.

I’ve seen firsthand how techniques for focus derived from the practice of hypnosis can increase a person’s ability to pick out relevant details to reach a goal. While focus is something the mind does naturally, our minds can also become distracted naturally. For example, your focus when reading a textbook is usually very high if you are interested in your course of study. If you are in a distracting environment, however, or the textbook is not on a subject that interested you, your focus might drop considerably. Don’t underestimate the power of having a quiet place to focus on a task.

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Do not confuse focus with stress. In a work environment, it is often suggested to take a break when working on a task. Taking breaks can be a proactive way to combat stress. Stress hinders the mind from being able to stay focused. The stress from performing a task to reach a goal comes from not being focused on the task and the goal. Stress comes from distractions that get your mind off the path to the goal. Distractions are the sworn enemy of focus.

With the use of focus techniques, it’s possible to train your mind to increase focus, keep you on the path to the goal and keep stress at bay. Over time, such techniques become part of your unconscious mind.

There are many books by well-known business leaders detailing how and why they have succeeded. In my experience, most of these books report in one way or another the following: delegate tasks, choose the right people, embrace your time off and set goals. This is just a list of how to stay focused. Delegating tasks keeps you from thinking about little things that others can work out. Choosing the right people allows more important tasks to be handled by competent co-workers. Embracing your time off allows you to relax and rejuvenate mentally and physically. Setting goals creates the desire to keep focused on the final goal.

To fulfill that desire, business leaders can train themselves to stay focused. For example, believing that you have the correct team in place is a hypnosis technique that keeps the “drama distractions” of the team at bay. These small distractions are not part of reaching the goal. Your mind knows this is the correct team you created, therefore you do not have to be worried about potential drama-related issues.

There are simple to complex hypnosis techniques that anyone can use. A simple hypnosis technique to keep you focused on a big meeting could be as easy as pausing 30 seconds before it starts, taking three deep breaths and telling yourself that this meeting is very important and you must be active and give mindful input. Simple techniques that put the emphasis on focus like this can be simple to implement. A complex hypnosis technique would be one to overcome burnout. A complex hypnosis technique can take months to successfully be implemented.

Staying focused is how to succeed in business and life. The old saying “Keep your eye on the prize” says it all. Having a goal to reach is paramount to staying focused. There is no better feeling than knowing you have reached a set goal.


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