Do you feel like your to-do list keeps getting longer? Are you losing focus and falling more and more behind?
You’re not alone.
When this happens, we can find ourselves:
- Spinning in overwhelm
- Busying ourselves with activities and emotions that ultimately that don’t get us anywhere
Focus Strategy #1: Apply Think Box Practice
When I feel like I’m falling more and more behind, I found that a strategy from playing golf is extremely helpful.
First and foremost: I like to apply the “Think Box” verses “Play Box” practice.
This is a golf instructor analogy that has probably been used in many other sports and strategies.
Let’s Start with the Think Box:
It’s the basic concept of taking an approach to the ball that is from behind and staying back in one box of defined space where you take it all in.
In the Think Box, You ASSESS, PLAN, DECIDE:
- Assess the facts and the details for a moment.
- Check wind, topography, conditions, distance – all the specifics of the shot you are about to take.
- Plan from there how you will hit the ball, which club you will use, where you will stand, how hard you will hit.
- All your decisions are made from here: the details are assessed and then determined from that place, standing back from the play area.
Then and only then, you grab the club and step up to the “Play Box”.
Now You’re Ready for the Play Box
Only after you have assessed, planned, and decided are you ready to play.
The Play Box is the exact area is where you will stand to take your shot. You commit to exactly the decisions you have already made.
In the Play Box:
- You do not second guess or question yourself.
- You do not re-evaluate.
- You DO commit and execute what you already decided.
Just act. No practice shot. No stretching, no re-assessing. Just committed, confident action.
A Starting Point to Refocus in Your Life…
You could step away and rethink, but then you need to start the process all over again. You cannot just change your mind and go while you are in the play box. You must step out and start the whole process over.
This ensures that you are using all your best skills and strategies when making these decisions. Changing on the fly without planning because you are misreading something isn’t done without consideration of all other factors.
The starting over allows you to plan again without just reacting.
Appling this golf strategy is a starting point toward a refocus in your life.
How to Focus on Your Goals
Step 1. Re-visit Goals and Priorities
- Step back from the game all together for a minute.
- Revisit your main priorities and goals that you are trying to achieve.
- Remind yourself what the goal and priority are. If you have written them down, go back and refresh yourself.
- Look at everything on your list and check them against your goals and priorities list. If you don’t have that written down or defined well enough, this will be a really helpful step for you to get through this process.
Step 2: Implement the Practice of Constraint
Constraint: a limitation that you put on your life that simplifies it.
- Make one BIG decision about something which limits all the opportunities for other decisions later to focus energy.
- Less decisions = more willpower and discipline
- Now you have a rule set in place that allows you to decide ahead of time.
When something else comes up or another opportunity arises, you know that you need to say no. You need to stay focused and limit your distractions.
Why don’t we? Maybe because we…
- Want to keep our options open
- Fear missing out on another opportunity
- Second guess whether the decision to focus was the right one
Value and Benefits:
- Available energy
- Easier, simpler
- Increase the likelihood and time toward accomplishing decision #1
- Can you make a commitment to yourself and follow through on it?
- Are you able to prioritize what you really want and plan for it?
This exercise reveals your ability to make decisions and make a commitment to yourself. Are you willing to honor your commitments and your relationship with yourself?
If you would never miss an obligation you make to your boss or a client, why would you miss an obligation you made to yourself?
Who will give you the hardest time for the rest of your life if you continually let yourself down? YOU will!
Step 3: Get Back into the Think Box again
- Outline your goals, the steps to get there and map it out with tasks and details.
- List it out and convert to calendar.
- Where is an area where you have frustration in your life? Why are you frustrated?
- What could you subtract that would help you simplify?
- What are some rules you could put into place to help guide you?
Before you leave the Think Box, make your decisions with all the details considered, knowing that once you leave, you are committed. No turning back.
Step 4: Step into the Play Box and Commit
Now you can relax and honor every commitment you have made to yourself, all day. The benefits are many:
- Higher self-esteem
- More confidence
- You build integrity with yourself
When you get up there and you second guess or have doubts or don’t want to follow through, just allow the feelings when they arise. Expect it to happen and know that it will pass.
Until you do this consistently, this is going to happen. Then trust that you already did the thinking necessary and now it’s time to do what’s in front of you.
When you simplify, it will set you free! You can do this!
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