Five ways to stay focused

So there was big controversy this week when Facebook revealed that it was manipulating news feeds in a social experiment to see how that would affect people’s moods. Outrage aside about how the study was conducted or communicated, the findings are, well, pretty obvious actually.

What we see affects us. The messages we read, hear, or are otherwise exposed to, influence our mood and our perspective.

A friend of mine, who works in PR, decided several years ago to stop listening to the news on her way in to work, because it depressed her so much. Even though part of her job was to keep up with what was going on in the world, she decided the cost of doing that first thing in the morning was too high on her attitude and performance.

Do you choose your focus for the day? Or do you let it choose you?

If email or social media is your first port of call in the morning, what messages are you taking in?

The world is full of messages. It’s amazing how easy it is to be buffeted from one thing to another when you’re not clear on your own agenda, and spend the day reacting to whoever or whatever’s shouting the loudest.

One thing I often encourage people to do is to have half an hour in the morning to check in with themselves first, before they check in with the rest of the world.

Once you’ve identified your focus, how do you stay on track? Here are a few ideas:

1. Social media – yes really! Use it to set your intention or declare your focus and let the rest of the world hold you accountable. 

“One chapter down, one more to go. See you in an hour Twitter…” was something I tweeted a lot when writing my book.

Or instead of “ugh… early start, busy week, tired again” try “Early start. Full on week. #bringiton”.

2. Momentum – if you’re a Chrome user, check out this Momentum extension where you can be inspired and reminded of your main focus for the day, every time you open a new browser tab.

3. Screensaver/Wallpaper – if you don’t have chrome, how about using your screensaver or wallpaper to remind you of something inspirational? Here’s a selection I made for you earlier.

4. Password – it’s something you type in several times a day, why not get it working for you? I love this story of how one guy used his password to literally change his life!

5. The humble post-it note – sick of technology? Or know that it’s more likely to take you off track than keep you on track? For a much more low-tech option, simply write yourself a message on a post-it note and stick it to the side of your screen, or your keyboard, to remind you of whatever it is you need to know.


What’s even more powerful than what others say to you, is what you say to yourself. So what message do you want to give yourself today?

Have a play and let me know how you get on!


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