This week’s episode introduces our February theme, Focus. You’ll learn how Sharon chose this theme despite some initial resistance as well as tools and frameworks for sharpening your own focus. You will hear how to bucket out your own areas of focus, practical tools for rethinking your schedule, how to shape your own goal setting retreat and more. This week’s episode is great for anyone who is feeling lost for where to put down roots or who is overwhelmed from trying to do many things at once.
“Focus is what we pay attention to. A small act with the most consequential of results. Where we choose to focus drives not just the outcomes we achieve but the process for how we get there and how we – and those around us – feel along the way.”
Areas of Focus
Consider what 1-3 buckets of focus are critical for the results and impact you want to drive in your life. Here are the 3 areas that Sharon is focused on this month.
- Goals Setting
- Quality of focus
“Like so many things in life, it wasn’t so much about finding the perfect new thing so much as peeling back the layers – of clutter and expectation – to get to the core of what really matters.”
Exercises for Sharpening Your Focus
Set aside a 1/2 day goal setting exploration
Consider: What do you want to achieve? How will you get there? What support do you need?
Create: A list that lays out what you will “Pick Up” and what you will “Put Down.” You may add, like Sharon did this month, what you will “Delegate” and what you will consider for “Later.”
Pay attention to your schedule
Past: Look at schedule what notice what you see. What does it suggest about your priorities? What are jazzed to see there? What’s missing? What on this snapshot brings you energy? Consistency? Do you follow this plan?
Present: For one week, create a daily log each day that lays out what you focused on that day. Write is down at the same time each day and use 15 minute increments to block out your activities. At the end of the week ask yourself what you’ve learned through both the daily of experience of paying attention to how you are using your time and by reviewing you data that you gathered at the end of the week.
Future: Draft your ideal week. Lay out what are you doing each day. Do you follow the same routine 7 days a week. How much space do you like to leave open? When you put everything down how does the whole week feel? Edit and adapt until you come up with a week that knocks your socks off to imagine.
Follow your thoughts
Sit down in a chair. Both feet firmly on the ground. Allow your mind to drift in and out of focus. Choose a path: Either focus on emptying your mind of the thoughts as they arise. (e.g. Put those thoughts on a cloud and let them float away. Or on a log on a river and let them float downstream.) Or choose to follow your thoughts from one to the next, allowing them to interact and spark other thoughts as they emerge.
Set a timer and stick to your allotted time. (1 minute is great for beginners. You may enjoy working up to 10 minutes, 30 minutes or longer.)
Get into your body
Being in our bodies is a gift. Whether you choose meditation, running, yoga, throwing paint at the wall or getting out into nature – focus on moving and appreciating your body.
- In episode 76 of Design Yourself, Sharon introduces the Design Myself challenge and January’s theme of Rituals
- Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business
- The Coffee Bar (Washington, DC)
- Here is the free guided meditation that I mentioned Design Yourself guest Joanna Andreae created.