Undoubtedly many of you have goals and aspirations, whether they are a consuming hobby, family matters, or work accomplishments. Most of us would agree that, to achieve your goals at any significant level, you must put quality time into the tasks that will make those goals a reality.

How do you keep yourself focused on the things you need to do? Do you have methods that you use to keep yourself motivated, and what are the tangible benefits you have seen by using these methods?

asked 15 Oct '09, 05:56

Vesuvius's gravatar image


edited 15 Oct '09, 06:01

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

Could someone with enough rep please add the following tags: achievement time-management goal-setting ...Thanks!

(15 Oct '09, 05:57) Vesuvius

Done as requested :)

(15 Oct '09, 06:01) Barry Allen ♦♦

I am convinced that the key obstacle to motivation is being preoccupied with lots of little, unimportant things, lot's of “shoulds”, “musts”, “impossibilities” and self imposed limitations. Doing what you ought it be doing, instead of what you love to do is the greatest problem.

Think about it – do you have trouble concentrating on an interesting conversation, playing or watching your favorite sport etc? Of course not, keeping your focus on such things is natural and effortless. Then again, doing things that are simply pleasant won't satisfy you on a deeper level.

So if you want to end such problems once and for all you have to find your passion - your gift to the world - and start giving it selflessly.

Of course, not all of us are ready to take that step yet. Here are a few ideas that could help you stay focused on the more mundane tasks (from an article on a similar topic I wrote some time ago):

-PREVENT distractions – unplug the TV, unplug the phone if not needed, close down ICQ/Skype/whatever messenger you are using (or use invisible mode). Don't open up the web-browser at all. If you need it for what you do get a second one (Mozilla, Opera, Chrome and Safari are popular choices) which you use for “work” only and don't bookmark potential time wasters in there. Look around and remove all that time-wasting stuff now!

-Create a TODO list – pen, paper and a cork board can work wonders for your productivity. I like to create my todo list for the next day before going to bed. IMPORTANT – do not expect to check off ALL items on your list. Yes, it's OK to leave some of the less important tasks unchecked – you WILL do more then you would have without the list and that's what counts.

-STRESS leads to poor concentration. Relax, chill and take it easy! Honestly, I'd much rather be unproductive then stressed out. The negative effects stress has over your body and mind are just not worth it. Add “Relaxation” to your todo list and be sure it's one of the things you check off every day :). By all means, get enough sleep.

-Your DIET affects your ability to concentrate. Don't fall into the trap of the “health-maniac” though, as this can easily lead to STRESS. Simply choose fresh food whenever possible (fresh fruits and vegetables are awesome) and avoid caffeine, sugar, sodas and cigarettes and you'll be doing great!

-Do the counter-intuitive: If despite all effort you still find yourself slipping into inertia and repeatedly being distracted by unimportant things just STOP trying to concentrate. Do something else instead, but do it CONSCIOUSLY! Take a minute to relax or do something involving your body. This “exercises” will give you the feeling of control and will interrupt the self-sabotaging pattern. Use your increased mindfulness to get back to work.

-meditate :)


answered 15 Oct '09, 07:19

Toshiro's gravatar image


Great answer to a great question :)

(10 Mar '11, 20:10) Michaela

There are two boards glued to my desk, and I see them all the time when I'm sitting on my chair. On the first one there are pictures and extracts from some texts, dividied on categories. For example on the bottom right side there are pictures of some famous karate masters, picture of black belt and the kanji of my style. There are also other themes, like spiritual development and my school career. On the second board I have many quotes that I've carefully chosen. If you are mostly visual it's a great way to stay motivated.


answered 15 Oct '09, 15:09

Asklepios's gravatar image


The more positive our thougts are the more positive rewards we get and then we are less likely to become demotivated. This requires effort and at least in the beginning we have to monitor our every thougt to sift out the negatives. However if you make this an everyday part of your life it becomes effortless. The more I expolore my inner spirituality, the more empowered I become. The more I understand and discover about my spirituality the more inspired I become. Even though little has changed in my physical environment I feel like I am growing every day. Everyday I grow into a greater awareness and I realize that its just endless.


answered 16 Oct '09, 15:20

Drham's gravatar image


My motivation for staying focused is to get relief from letting go of resistance. When my emotionas signal to me what I dont feel good, thats my motivation to use processes to align myself.

Once I am aligned, I try to do whatever else I need to do from that feeling good place.


answered 10 Mar '11, 14:34

Nikki777's gravatar image


classic question thanks for 'bumping' it up

(10 Mar '11, 18:43) ursixx
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