Focus on One Thing at a Time

It’s important to stay in the present and focus on what’s happening now.

Focus means doing something and thinking about it at the same time.  Usually we are doing this – and thinking about that.

My ‘For This Moment Technique’ is a great tool to use to stay focused.

I first started using this technique back in 1988.  I was running errands with our fourth child, Sean, Sean at 3who was three, about eight blocks from our house, the van died.  Now this was long before cell phones!  I started to stress out about how I was going to get the van fixed, how I was going to take care of the rest of the errands, and pick up the other three children later.  I decided the best thing to do was to walk home with Sean and then call the car dealership. Still stressed, I started walking home. All of a sudden I looked around and realized it was a beautiful day, and I was holding the hand of the most adorable
three-year old in the entire world!  I thought to myself “Right now, I’m going to focus on this time with Sean and let the rest of the day work itself out.”  I did just that.  Sean and I had a wonderful walk home and as I listened to his precious chatter I thought to myself, “Life is good!”

That was a turning point for me.  Now, whenever I start to feel stressed I stop and think, “For this moment, what can I focus on and take care of? What is just one thing I can do?”

Right now, I hope you are focusing on what you are reading and thinking about how this simple mental technique can totally change your life.  I mean totally!

In my keynote presentation “Now is Your Time: The Steps to be Fearless and Extraordinary” I share what can happen when you start to focus on one project and one person at a time.  The results are amazing. The presentation is all about giving my attendees more focus, more momentum, more meaning, and more success which all results in more hope. It’s a beautiful thing!

I feel that you can achieve all you desire in life if you are open to honestly looking at your life and making changes where needed.

Here is my question for you:

What could happen in your life if you would focus on one thing and do it to completion before you start on something else?Focus

First thought – best thought. Do not think too long on this.

Tell me what your answer is. If you want it kept private e-mail me. If you’re ok with sharing with others then post your answer here at my blog. When you answer this question honestly you will know immediately what you need to do. It is truly amazing.  It may be frightening taking that action but you will know what to do.

In upcoming blog posts I’ll share some of your stories (anonymously, of course) and give you tools and strategies on how to take action.

Already have a success story?  If in the past when you gave up multi-tasking and started focusing on one thing at a time – what happened?

11 Responses to Focus on One Thing at a Time

  1. Debbi says:

    If I would focus on one thing and do it to completion before I start on something else, I would have at least a few completed tasks instead of only uncompleted tasks. I am a big list maker and I hate it when I realize I have not completed anything on my list. I would get great satisfaction in crossing completed items off that list. I know it would make me feel more in control of my life as opposed to currently feeling out of control!

  2. Your post hits home with me, and reminds me of something I heard Marshall Goldsmith say in his keynote in NYC: “Be happy now.” Three simple words, not so simply applied, but your story is a good reminder of why it’s worth doing.

  3. Natalie S says:

    If I would focus on one thing until completion, I would definately be living a more productive life. I also would surely gain confidence instead of always mentally beating myself up for all the undone things in my life. I also think I would serve as a better role model for my children; they would see someone who finishes what they start!!

  4. Jenny B says:

    The funny thing is that I spent the first 10 years of my adult life learning how to master the art of multi-tasking, because that was what the media at the time was saying needed to be done to be successful. Now, after much stress and health problems to boot, I am having to learn how to focus on what I have right now and the learning curve doesn’t seem to be an easy one for me but I will keep on keeping on. Wish I knew then what I know now. Back then I was so concerned with getting lots done, now I want to focus on having less to get done in the first place. I want to finish things and just be able to enjoy what is in my life right now 🙂

  5. rose c says:

    It seems impossible to me now because I get interrupted so often by family members and there are urgent matters that frequently demand my attention-If I could focus on one thing at a time it I have no doubt it would bring me inner peace-but how to do it amidst the busy-ness of family life is a mystery to me.

  6. Erica Cooper says:

    Focusing on one thing at a time certainly gets more done, keeps my focus, and keeps me creative. There are days when I can accomplish this nicely, others not so much. It takes extreme focus and drive to keep my priorities when there are dozens of things all wanting attention at the same time. My client’s work often has to come first before other determined priorities. I am always working on maintaining a single focus to keep my joy and creativity up and my stress down.
    Thanks for the motivation!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    These are great posts, thanks for sharing! I realize that some days it is easier than others but if every day you can tell yourself that today I WILL spend 30 minutes sometime doing one thing – that works. Get used to that and then later tell yourself that today I will spend 60 minutes doing one thing, etc. Eventually you get in the habit and you find yourself not getting distracted so easily.

    Focus works and makes us feel better!

  8. mary cook says:

    If I could just focus on one thing, and follow it through until completion – Wow – It would make me so happy to have completed it. Especially if it were business related. It seems like the demands of homelife are constant and they’re always stacking up, and I get frusterated because I’ve been trying for weeks to send out an email to my clients. Not just any old email, but one that visually is very bright and cheerful and will make someone smile and hopefully want to buy my service.

  9. Rhonda says:

    Being focused on one thing at a time is definitely more productive. When I let the guilt of not multi-tasking go, I can get so many more things done. Trying to answer phones or work on several projects at the same time only causes the current work being done to be repeated or mistakes to be made. Multi-tasking is so overrated as ones mind cannot be fully engaged when doing more than one thing at a time. The mind will only be giving partial attention to any task when trying to do more than one thing at a time.

  10. Linda says:

    I think that when you focus on one thing and get it done, it gives you more energy and confidence to go onto the next thing. Yesterday, I spent about an hour on something that has been bothering me for the past week and I completed that task and now I don’t have that wearing on me like it did. So focusing on one thing and completing it gives you freedom from the past so you can create in the now.
    I’m also very excited about the virtual day training tomorrow and thank you for all these great inspiring stories and lessons.

  11. Ola Otto says:

    Elizabeth, you are always so right on target!! If I would just focus on one thing until it was complete before I moved on to something else, wow, all of the comments above!! I would have something COMPLETE, I would feel GREAT about it, I would have one less thing on my incompletes list, I would feel more at peace, more joy, more pleased with myself that I actually did what I said I would do. I love the “freedom from the past” comment. It makes room for the new. Hmmm, if I focused on only one thing until it was complete, I would also have fewer PILES around the house. Elizabeth, I think I’ll try your suggestion of doing just one thing for 30 minutes until that becomes a habit and then increase it to 60. Maybe I’ll be bold and just start with 60!! Fabulous post and reminder!! Many thanks, Ola

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