111: Staying Focused and in Flow


Welcome friends to Episode #111 of the Own Your Best Life Podcast. We all know the power of focus and how if we could stay focused for a little bit longer on what matters most, then we would be able to do so much more in the time we have. In our culture of distraction and multitasking, it often feels impossible to stay focused on one thing at a time. Today, we’ll review how to actually stay focused so that you can finally get yourself off the hamster wheel of doing, and be able to bring your projects and goals into completion.

In order for us to finish the things we start and to actually achieve without burning out, we need to stay focused. Focus is to keep something at the center of your attention, actions and interest.

Many of our best intentions fall to the wayside when we don’t stay focused. We seem to lose interest in our goals and we get partial results. We consider it to be self-sabotage or that something is inherently wrong with us in this capacity. We’re just not the type of person who does this. We’re not physically fit. That’s why we don’t keep exercising. We’re not someone who has a relationship or successful career in this thing we’re doing now. That’s why we don’t have the relationship or career we desire.

We think to ourselves, “I’m not who I want to be so why bother?” What if this isn’t necessarily true? What if it was simpler than what you considered? What if you’re bored, lost interest and just thought it would take a lot less time or be a lot easier than it was? If that was the case, then nothing has gone wrong. You can get back on track.

When I coach, this flow state is often missing if time management tools and strategies are implemented but not working. You will see exponential results when strategies are coupled with a better understanding of yourself, how you are creating your experience of focus and flow, and what you can do differently to find it again.

Staying focused and on track in big and small ways is much more about curating your experience of each moment than on the thing itself. If you get tired of chasing money goals, you will lose focus. If you get tired of a relationship you lose focus. If you are bored and decide to stop doing that one task to do something else, you lose focus.

Focus comes from Creating and Finding Interest

What if it was more about creating and finding interest than in asking us to stay focused? Often we beat ourselves up with timers or try to bribe ourselves with extrinsic rewards. That doesn’t work in the long-term if you haven’t done the flow analysis work first. Timers might work for the short term, but you will look at a timer and just ignore it. You will look at the extrinsic reward like a trip or a purchase and think “it’s not that great.”  You’ll think that this reward is not enough to get you into action because the goal you’re trying to achieve or the task that you’re working on is not only not fun at all, but it is also true that you can go out and just have that extrinsic reward without ever doing the work. 

What if we could find fun and allow that to keep us motivated and focused? I’m not saying to find the fun that comes in terms of distracting ourselves from the task at hand or our big goals. What I am saying is that there could be intrinsic fun within the thing you’re doing that makes it compelling and of interest to you. It allows you to focus because you want to focus. You desire to focus. You have a deep interest in what’s going on right in front of you. So much so that you don’t want to lose focus. It’s that good.

When you stay focused because of fear of failure, it is a different experience than working and living from a desire to express all of yourself. To know that you have a lot more to give to the world and to act from that place is so much more enjoyable. You don’t want to stop when you’re in that state of flow.

Working from enjoyment and interest is powerful and much more motivating than working from a place where you are worried about not doing what you’re supposed to do. Both the fear and the intrinsic motivation keep us focused, but intrinsic motivation and flow actually keeps us focused for longer and in flow states longer.

This is why when I work with my clients, we actually spend time understanding what is meaningful to them. You need to know what activities bring meaning and heart to your life to be able to know how you work. You need to know what motivates you and what allows you to feel like you’re working and living in flow, instead of working and living in fear of failure. This is a creative pursuit more so than a technical one. We sometimes feel like professionals aren’t creative or creatives aren’t professional, yet the ability to create something and stay focused is what makes anything we have come to fruition. You need to attend to each thing you do as if you were a professional. As if you were paid to do this as your main occupation and not just a hobby. 

Books wouldn’t be written if we didn’t stay focused on writing. Projects wouldn’t be completed without focus on each of the tasks. Businesses wouldn’t be created if we didn’t focus on what needed to be done next. Kids wouldn’t be raised appropriately if we didn’t treat this as a priority. All of these things require us to put them at the center of our attention and activity if not for a whole day, for the parts of the day where we are there – present. Present as we are raising kids, having relationships, writing books, and working with customers and clients. Present as we are making decisions that shape the future of our lives and our work.

When we can attend to each small thing as if it were our work and we were being paid to do this at a high level, we would be so much more focused and productive than we are today. I urge you to give this some thought. Is there a place in your life where you feel like you are missing a sense of purpose or feeling defeated? You’ve likely lost focus and flow. 

Nothing is inherently interesting or compelling. It is our perspective and what we make things mean that create interest or desire. Deeply desire the thing you have lost focus with and you’ll find yourself naturally grateful and interested in your work, relationships or health again.

In summary, there are 2 ways to think about life. One as if nothing was interesting. The other is as if everything was interesting. I hope you choose the latter. 

Have an amazing week. I’ll talk to you next time.

If you want to become the person who is engaged with all aspects of their life, reach out at https://mayempson.com/contact to schedule a consultation. It is the next step to learning more about whether or not coaching is right for you and how to make the best use of coaching. In our coaching together, you will simplify your life, create more freedom of choice and learn how to live in the present moment.

If you’re ready to Own Your Best Life, I want to invite you to watch the free training on how to Stand Out and Lead, using spiritual, high-performance strategies. You can access the training at https://may-empson.mykajabi.com/stand-out-and-lead.

You can then apply to join my Spiritual Achiever® program, where you’re going to create your next chapter with spiritual and high-performance strategies to achieve time and financial freedom using my proven method. It’s risk-free. You either start seeing results within your first month or I give you your money back. Schedule your call HERE. We’ll see you inside.

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