Staying Focused.

@nannacroc (4049)
June 10, 2009 3:35pm CST
Has anyone got any tips on how to stay focused on one thing? All my life I have found I get a keen interest in something for a short while, then get bored and my attention goes to something new. The only exception to this is my interest in reading, even then I have 'phases' of the type of books I prefer. At the minute I have about half a dozen different craft projects on, three or four stories half written and a house half decorated. Any tips would be welcomed and maybe even taken on board.
8 people like this
17 responses
@sjvenden27 (1851)
• United States
11 Jun 09
Staying focused is a problem that I have too.. One thing that I have found to work is setting personal goals to complete the task.. Instead of the goal being finish the book, which can seem to be a long ways away.. When you sit down to read, figure out first how much time you have to read.. Lets say you can read a 15 page chapter in 15 mintues, and you have about an hour to read.. Set this goal in your mind, I will read three chapters before I get up to do something else.. The reason I said three instead of four, that gives you 15 mintues where if you needed to use the bathroom, or get intidupted, you can still make your goal.. If you set it too high, you will not be able to complete it. Which makes it easier to wonder off and do something else.. Lets say you have a list of tasks that you need to have done today.. and you would like to start all of them at once, either due to the lack of time, or your very interested in all of the above.. or you feel overwhelm... Put the most important things on the top of your list, this are things that you can have to be done period. The second part of your list should be of things that you would like to complete but not top proiety. Lastly these are things that are either long term goals, things that are not going to happen for days or weeks.. Or point blank wants instead of needs. You start at the top of your list, lets say you complete three of your major tasks, and you would like to take a break, but you know that you have to get that list done.. Go down to the bottom of the list and choose one of those wants, instead of needs.. Do that one next.. Then go back to the top of the list.. Each day until you can do it in your head rewrite your list.. This refocuses your attention to what needs to be done for that day.. Also life is always throwing those curve balls at us, so something that you thought the day before as a want, it now a top priority. Take breaks, also figure out your own way of checking off your list.. Saying to yourself thats one less thing on my list, and after awhile, your list will become storter, or more manageable, because you are already doing certain tasks each and every day. Good Luck
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
Thank you. I do try this every now and again and it works beautifully for about a week, then it all goes to pot.
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jun 09
I can understand that. I use to feel the same way, then I realized my attitude had a major part in the reasons why I could not complete what I have started. If you think you are going to fail, you focus on that, and in the end it will happen. But if you start to think "I can do this!", you will be suprised!! Just recently, I got myself on the right track.. there was something in my life that I really had to change.. I didnt think that I could do it. I did a lot of praying, and had support from friends and family that helped me to keep motivated. Granted I have only been on this track for about 3 weeks, but I am still doing it.. Its not easy to stay focused.. It would be easy to go back to the way I use to be.. but it would be a bad choice, and possibly lose what I have worked so hard to gain.. I do not fear success as much as I use to, now I am just leary of it.. Its like a new pair of shoes.. They look good on the outside, but on the inside its uncomfortable and it seems like there isnt much room.. After awhile, with each step you take with "your new shoes" it becomes just a little more comfortable... can not really tell you from there.. Still working on that yet.. I just know that when I take a look back to were my "new shoes" started I have made some steps into the right direction. You can do it!! It just takes time and dedication.
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
17 Jun 09
I hope things continue to go well for you. I am trying very hard not to start anything else before I've finished the things I've already started, I know I have to have enough patience to finish one thing before going on to another, it's practising that causes me the trouble.
1 person likes this
@dorypanda (1586)
10 Jun 09
I have tips on how to stay...........oooh......look something shiny......... What? Oh right, try to just concentrate on one thing at a time, that's how I've handled college.
@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jun 09
Trouble is I am always thinking of what else I should or could be doing.
3 people like this
@dorypanda (1586)
10 Jun 09
Well, that's an easy one............stop thinking! :P (it works for me)
1 person likes this
@check23 (448)
• Philippines
11 Jun 09
Me too... =D
@wenjule (107)
• Jamaica
11 Jun 09
Hi nannacroc you sound like a Saggitarian like myself. (lol)I too have that problem. I have alot of interests but a short attention span. I dont know if my tips might help but here goes. 1. Try to set goals or a to-do list and set a time period to achieve these goals 2. List each item in terms of priority. 3. Mark off each task as it accomplished to give yourself a sense of achivement as well as motivation to accomplish the other tasks. 4. If the work load may be too much ask for help. 5. Get the support of family and friends so their comments or criticisms can be a motivation. 6. Be consistent 7. Reward yourself for tasks accomplished. Well I hope these few tips can help. I better go start doing them myself.
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
First of all, welcome to MyLot. I'm not a Saggitarian, I'm either Capricorn or Aquarius, do you think being born on the cusp has confused me? Thanks for your tips, good luck in sticking to them.
1 person likes this
@wenjule (107)
• Jamaica
12 Jun 09
Hey Thanks for the welcome. I hope I was of some help to you.
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
10 Jun 09
i find that i get pretty bored of the same craft projects so i tend to have a lot on the go, this way, i dont get bored or feel that it is a chore. i guess the key is to switch your projects up fairly often which is what i do.
2 people like this
@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jun 09
Thanks for your reply, my problem is that if I'm doing one thing I'm always thinking about the others I want to do.
2 people like this
@cher913 (25895)
• Canada
11 Jun 09
you just have to make it interesting enough so you dont keep thinking about the other stuff.
1 person likes this
@JoyfulOne (6243)
• United States
11 Jun 09
Boy, can I ever understand what you're saying. I never used to have trouble and could multi task and still get it all done. Since I got that 'chemo brain fog' after that therapy, I can't stay focused on anything anymore lol. Now I keep a spiral notebook and write lists of what my projects I need to do are. I have one page labelled housing repairs, another one remodeling projects, another 'crafts I want to finish up on', sewing tasks, etc. The only thing the lists really do is to make me aware more of what I want to accomplish (whether I get to do it or not is a whole nother story hahaha.) I do a notebook paper where I write on each day of what I hope to accomplish that day (or week.) I find I'm more likely to get a project done if it's down in black and white and it's 'in my face.' I'm a craft-a-holic too, and a sewing fan, so for those projects I usually designate rainy days as craft days. Or I save those for the days where I'm not walking as well and need to sit more. I read an article once that said to spend 15 minutes in a room, and to straighten up for that 15 minutes worth of time 'decluttering.' Such a simple idea, yet I find it works well for me...I do my 15 minutes of decluttering in a different room each day if I can, that way I don't feel I'm spending a lot of time and my mindset changes to making it more fun and not an un-ending chore. It's hard to keep the mind motivated to get projects done. I do know what you mean though about having trouble keeping focus, and especially getting bored with a project!
2 people like this
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
I have a list too and feel great if I can tick off some things on it but, like you, it just reminds me of how many other things I want to get done. Take care.
1 person likes this
@paulzyl (116)
• India
11 Jun 09
I may suggest that among the many ways to be focused the things you can do are 1)Force yourself to be focussed.if you ask me how can I do that.Make people expect from you.Like getting into competitions and chanllenging people on that. 2)Being with like minded people is real important as the quote says "Tell me who your friends are,I will tell you who u are". 3)Watching videos and reading about people who excel in that field will surely inspire you and show you something to aim at. 4)Vision is absolutely important and before choosing anything don't be hasty.Make the vision real clear before you even start focusing.Thats when the focus stays long. 5)Finally, God is the one above all.
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
Thanks for the response, the vision part sounds a positive step.
1 person likes this
@p1kef1sh (45647)
10 Jun 09
I suppose that being superglued to the chair isn't an option? Otherwise I find that concentrating on completing one thing and resisting all others as impossible as you. Occasionally I manage it. But it's more luck than judgement. Sorry that I can't be more helpful. Being paid helps!
2 people like this
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
So I should blame you should I?
@gabs8513 (48803)
• United Kingdom
10 Jun 09
Lol Nannacroc you have to focus on the one thing and just make sure you stay Focused, it is ok to have 2 things going but not the amount you have lol, I would get confused myself lol Stay focused by imagining how lovely it will look once it is done I wish I could help you more lol but that is how I normally do it Good Luck
2 people like this
@nannacroc (4049)
10 Jun 09
Thanks, gabs, it's always good to her from you and I know you're right maybe I should try finishing one or two things at a time. Take care.
2 people like this
@andresimp (818)
• India
11 Jun 09
inorder to be focussed and dertermined, follow a time table. dont procrastinate! do the scheduled work on time. if you have set an hour for reading, and you get bored in 15 min, force yourself and continue reading for 1 hour.. its ok if you lose concentratration, tell yourself i have to read for an hour. when you set a goal and work for it, i m sure you will achieve it. for first few days it might be difficult to follow..but eventually you will get used to this system. even if you get bored just keep doing it on the scheduled time. Yoga and meditation also helps. hope you follow it. good luck.
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
Thank you. I have never managed meditation as I keep thinking about things I should be doing but I have decided to try and set myself a goal of completing 2 projects before going on to another.
• India
11 Jun 09
good.. it seems to me that you have racing thoughts. like you i cant do meditation. sometimes i close my eyes and count my breath.. it also helps.
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
It's worth a try, thanks.
@iskayz (5424)
• Philippines
11 Jun 09
Hi there! I think your problem why you're not focused is because you lack patience in trying to finish something. Just like when reading a book. I bet you wanted to jump midway the story and get to end fast hehe. Just have patience and be disciplined enough to finish what you've started. It's just normal if you have so many interests in life. In fact, it's a good sign cause you will never ever get bored cause you have so many things in mind that you'd like to do. Again just be patient. try to finish one activity at a time. Ciao!
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
I know you're right about me having no patience. I'm not like that with books but that's because I usually have 2 or 3 on the go at the same time and I've been reading so long it's easy to stay focused on them. Thanks for the dvice, I am trying some self discipline at the minute and trying to concentrate on no more than 2 things.
@iskayz (5424)
• Philippines
12 Jun 09
Very well then good luck! You'll see that you'll finish a lot of things when you do them one by one. Happy posting!
@pumpkinjam (5700)
• United Kingdom
10 Jun 09
You should set yourself one task to finish even if youy do bits of other things as well but just decide on one of your things that youy will get done and keep at it until it's finished even if you get bored. I've just spent about 2 and a half hours doing something boring because I knew that if I ventured from it, I would not return - at least not for a while - so I stuck at it until it was finished even though it meant staying up later than I wanted but I know I have achieved something. You should remember that. Half finishing a bunch of things is not an achievement but finishing something is.
1 person likes this
@dorypanda (1586)
11 Jun 09
She's right you know. :)
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@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
I know what I should do, it's how to do it that's the problem.
1 person likes this
@check23 (448)
• Philippines
11 Jun 09
Maybe you should keep doing what you're currently doing while thinking of what you want to do next then you'll just realized that you're done with whatever you're doing. =D
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@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
That makes sense. Maybe that's the answer.
• Philippines
11 Jun 09
It helps to shut off your brain at the time when you feel like you need to think of something else. It's pretty hard to do at first buy forcing yourself not to think of anything other than the present moment can become a habit later on. It will serve you well :)
1 person likes this
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
It's worth a try, thank you.
@MsTickle (24969)
• Australia
17 Jun 09
Oh I can so relate to this...I sometimes wonder if I have ADD. I'm motivated to start things but not to finish them. I have several books half read and many projects I've begun and would like to begin. As I've aged I've decide it's just the way I am and I need to accept it and forgive myself (cos I feel so guilty). But I feel I'm not able to achieve anything and I'm wasting my life. I try to learn subjects I'm interested in but my studies go in one ear and out the other if you know what I mean. I simply cannot comprehend things I read or retain the information.
@nannacroc (4049)
17 Jun 09
Well we'll just have to keep trying but it's very hard to change the way you are especially as you get older. It's the guilt that's the worst but I've almost learned to ignore that.
1 person likes this
@MsTickle (24969)
• Australia
18 Jun 09
Oh it's so good to know I'm not alone.
@KrauseHome (33259)
• United States
14 Jun 09
Personally I think we all have these types of moments when we have troubles staying focused on just one thing, and maybe have about a half dozen or more things started, and not sure where to go next. I have done this many times myself. I think what often helps the most for me, is to Write down the things I am trying to accomplish and then work on getting them done without taking my eye off of the prize as well.
@nannacroc (4049)
14 Jun 09
I think you're right and I am going to start making a list of the most important things I need to accomplish and try to focus on no more than 2 at a time.
@jordan04n (463)
• United States
11 Jun 09
Adult attention deficit is what this sounds like...really. Read up and check it out. Many adults live with this all their lives and is is extremely annoying. This can be fixed with meds. Talk to your doctor.
@nannacroc (4049)
11 Jun 09
Maybe, I know I was told I had what they used to call a 'kangaroo mind' when I was at school, that was a long time before they identified ADD. I don't take medicines for anything if I can avoid it.
@hi2rashid (153)
• India
11 Jun 09
staying focusse is the good idea for someone who is new for that place...........