To quote my friend Karen Mayfield, “It’s not ‘hocus pocus,’ it’s just focus!” Sometimes I think… well, that’s easy for her to say! Sometimes there are so many things going on in my mind, it’s difficult to sort out what’s important and what’s not at any given moment.
I wonder how some people get so much done in a day and others seem to be distracted by what has come to be known as “the next bright shiny object.” That bright object can be anything from a call from a friend to a whole new project that shows up and lights you up, leaving the last one in the shadows. When this happens to me, it’s that project in the shadows that happens to be what I’m working on when the next “shiny object” comes along. And the irony of the situation is… the project in what is now “the shadow” was the last bright shiny object!
So how do we stop this?
Allow me to share something from The Power of Focus, by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt, that may help. I’ve also added my take on this clever acronym. The authors of this book have a simple acronym, “B-ALERT” that adds up to a powerful formula to bring focus and balance to your day.
B is for Blueprint which is a simple map for the day. Creating a map for what you will do in your day is more likely to keep you on track. And preparing it the night before will actually work in your subconscious during your sleep.
The letter B also stands for Believe in Yourself and your abilities to get it done. No matter what “it” is, believing in yourself is part of the process and the path to success.
A is for Action. The amount of action you put into something will determine your results. There is a difference between busy and taking focused, productive action. Use your blueprint to guide you to planned action.
Something else I thought of as I was reading through this acronym and the letter A is Allow. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my “internal judge” censors the process in the action taking step. Thank the “judge” for sharing and move on.
L is for Learning. Today there are so many ways to learn, books, audios, videos, and other media. Develop a habit of reading at least 20-30 minutes daily. Read anything that stimulates, inspires and challenges or gives you an edge in your profession.
Listening is another good point for L in this focus driven acronym. Listen to your intuition on what is right for you to learn more about and integrate into your daily practice. Take some time during your day to center yourself and listen to your inner guidance. It’s the loving voice that you hear inside. Be sure to know the difference between this voice and that of the “judge.”
E is for Exercise. If you’re like me, you just sighed “Oh no!” The reality is, there is a direct correlation between Body, Mind, and Spirit. If we wish to live a focused, balanced life, we do indeed need to pay attention to our health. Let’s together commit to a brisk 15-minute walk. Personally, I know my body will be happier because of it.
My addition to the letter E is Embrace the process. Having learned from great people like Jack Canfield that what you resist persists, embracing the process is always more beneficial to resisting it. Resistance always persists, so instead of being in the space of resistance, I invite you to embrace the process of change.
R is for Relaxing. Yes! Take time to recharge! But how many of us keep going thinking we are the energizer bunny? The authors of this book recommend taking a nap to preserve your energy or even boost your energy for a more productive day.
Another R to consider is Relevance. How relevant is all the chatter and unfocused thought going on in your head to what you are working on or how you are being in any given moment? Take time to relax and sort out what is important or relevant then gently set the rest aside.
T is for Thinking. Reflective thinking, that is. At the end of your workday or just before you go to bed, take a few minutes to review your day. How did it go? What went well? What adjustments can be made to create better results in the future? Remember, this is not about beating yourself up. It’s a way to learn from each day and for the next opportunity to do it differently. Make this a daily habit.
Transformation takes time, and focused intention will help it along. So, T is also for Transforming. With the acronym from the authors of the Power of Focus and my added thoughts, you now have an opportunity to do things differently.
So Karen is right… it’s not “Hocus Pocus,” it’s focus. Now you have a strategy to make focus a conscious process. With the tool of “B-ALERT,” the next time a “bright shiny object” presents itself, you can make a more focused, more effective decision for a more balanced day, and ultimately a more harmonious way of living and being.