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How to remain focused on your Goals

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Focus - What is it?

Unread post by immy »

Focus is everything. If order to win consistently we need a few things on our side but being Focused is one of the most important ones. Again, if you're not good at understanding your mind and how to utilise it, you may find it very hard to remained focused.

But focus is everything. And we must do everything in our powers to learn to be focused in anything that we do in life. More on this here.

When Bill Gates first met Warren Buffett, their host at dinner, Gates’ mother, asked everyone around the table to identify what they believed was the single most important factor in their success through life. Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.” (See more in The Snowball by Alice Schroeder).

I love the clarity of their answer but I am also concerned by how this can be, to quote Rudyard Kipling, “twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools.” I am an advocate for focus in work, life and leadership. However, the subject has a nuance and depth that many people miss. For a start, most people think of there only being one kind of focus.

Focus as a noun

When people speak of focus they usually mean having a single goal. It is a static thing, a thing you have. This kind of focus conjures pictures of Roger Bannister relentlessly pursuing his goal of breaking the four-minute mile, John F. Kennedy challenging NASA to put a man on the moon within a decade or, coming back to Bill Gates, a vision of a personal computer on every desk. The upside to this kind of focus is clear and compelling: you pursue a single objective and don’t get distracted along the way; you build momentum as many different people aligned behind achieving this one goal.

However, there is a dark side to focus as a noun. It’s what we might think of as the Kodak Problem. Kodak was relentlessly focused on a single objective—and it almost killed them. They found themselves caught off guard by the disruptive innovation of digital cameras. Kodak was so focused on optimizing for traditional film capture and processing that they did not see or accept the transformation in their industry. This is where the second type of focus comes in.

Focus as a verb

Focus is not just something you have it is also something you do. This type of focus is not static; it is an intense, dynamic, ongoing, iterative process. This kind of focus conjures pictures of Steve Jobs saying to Jony Ive day after day, “This might be crazy, but what if we…” until once in a while the idea took the air out of the room. It’s the constant exploration needed to see what is really going on and what the “noun focus” should be.

Imagine if the moment you woke up this morning your eyes focused one time and then never adjusted again. You would be out of focus all day. Our eyes produce clarity through a perpetual process of adjustment. Similarly, in our lives and on our teams, it is not enough to say, “We have our focus!” Rather, and adapting Dwight D. Eisenhower statement, “Focus is nothing, focusing is everything.” That may take the point too far, but it still makes the point that having a focus is insufficient.

The downside to thinking of focus as a verb only, is that it can lead to being overly reactive. It can lead people to making and remaking decisions too fast for any real momentum to take place. It can result in counterfeit agility where things feel fast but people aren’t going forward. It can become motion sickness instead of momentum.

The answer is to develop and value both types of focus. Professor Henry Mintzberg taught that there are two sources of strategy:

Deliberate strategy, where leaders develop a clear vision and map this to long, medium and short term goals (focus as a noun);
emergent strategy, where people respond to unanticipated problems and opportunities (focus as a verb).
It is the disciplined pursuit of both of these approaches that best enables us to focus on what is essential. We can plot this on a two by two to see what is at stake.


Here are three ways to combine both types of focus to ensure we getting the vital few things done.

Ask the right questions

Bill Gates said of Warren Buffett, “I first met him… at a dinner my mother had put together. On my way there, I thought, ‘Why would I want to meet this guy who picks stocks?’ I thought he just used various market-related things—like volume, or how the price had changed over time—to make his decisions. But when we started talking that day, he didn’t ask me about any of those things. Instead he started asking big questions about the fundamentals of our business. ‘Why can’t IBM do what Microsoft does? Why has Microsoft been so profitable?’ That’s when I realized he thought about business in a much more profound way than I’d given him credit for.”

In order to have focus we need to escape to focus. As I wrote in Essentialism, “I once attended a question-and-answer session with Bill at the headquarters of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle, Washington. By chance he had just completed his latest ‘Think Week.’ Though I had heard about this practice, what I didn’t know was that it goes all the way back to the 1980s and that he stuck to it through the height of Micro- soft’s expansion. In other words, twice a year, during the busiest and most frenetic time in the company’s history, he still created time and space to seclude himself for a week and do nothing but read articles (his record is 112) and books, study technology, and think about the bigger picture. Today he still takes the time away from the daily distractions of running his foundation to simply think. Whether you can invest two hours a day, two weeks a year, or even just five minutes every morning, it is important to make space to escape in your busy life.”

Know how valuable your time is

As Bill Gates has written, “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time. There are only 24 hours in everyone’s day. Warren has a keen sense of this. He doesn’t let his calendar get filled up with useless meetings. On the other hand, he’s very generous with his time for the people he trusts. He gives his close advisers at Berkshire his phone number, and they can just call him up and he’ll answer the phone.”
Focusing on what is essential is a powerful ability, perhaps the most powerful in a world where we are so bombarded with distracting ideas, information and opinions. However, if we want to consistently give our energies to what is essential we need to develop both kinds of focus. Only in this way can we answer with confidence the question, “What’s important now?” ... successful

7 Ways to Remain Focused during Trading hours

Staying focused while trading is a matter of building good habits.

1. Set clear goals: Instead of saying, “I'm going to trade a solid eight hours every day,” say I'm going to trade London Session from 8am UK to 10 or 11am UK. I am going to look for Setups and trade the best setups. I am going to filter the lower probability setups. I am going to trade after such and such news times.

2. Work in 60-90-minute blocks: As we work, our alertness drops off, increasing the lure of distractions. Set a timer and take a break at the end of each cycle. Reset your focus by listening to music for a few minutes, taking a short walk, or going for lunch.

3. Turn off the world: Let’s face it, the world is a distracting place. Avoid temptation by severing all ties. This includes email, office phones, cell phones and your family members (spouse/friend/kids/siblings etc) . Let the people in your office/home know that you are not to be disturbed during so and so hours e.g. 8am to 11am uk adn then to 4 pm.

4. Schedule distractions: Distractions are not all bad, but you need to make them work for you. Use them as reward for a solid chunk of work. Start out with distractions that are good for you, such as working out or calling your friends. If Facebook and Twitter are your thing, block off time in your schedule to post or browse other people's updates, but stick to your schedule. Remember, you control the distractions.

5. Practice not being distracted: Meditation is a great way to do this because it’s just you and your thoughts. If that’s not your thing, practice single-tasking throughout your day. At lunch, just eat. Don’t read the newspaper or check your email at the same time. In meetings, don’t doodle in your notebook or play with your phone.

6. Pay attention to yourself: Start to notice when and how you get distracted. What thoughts happen just before that? Are you tired, hungry, or bored? As you learn what triggers your distractions, you can head them off before you slip into an hour-long IM chat.

7. Use technology to your advantage: From blocking out distracting websites to tracking how much time you spend surfing the web, many apps can actually help you stay focused. Once you identify what your habits are, pick one that will help you meet your goals, but don’t let these become distractions in themselves.

- See more at: ... oMbZc.dpuf
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What is the Secret of Successful Trading?
The Consistent Pursuit of DS1 :nerd
The thing that makes me money is trading ONLY when I see MY SETUP (TTPP). That's it.
I'm not here to catch every move, I'm here to catch good moves ONLY when MY SETUP appears.

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Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:46 pm

How to remain focused on your Goals

Unread post by immy »

How to Stay Focused on Your Goals

Focus is what keeps us on track when we are trying to reach our goals. If you think of an archer as s/he aims at a target, it is essential that the archer has focus in order to hit the bulls eye. Likewise, when a person wants to create something in their life, they must main focus in order to achieve the goal.

There are many reasons why a person loses focus while pursuing their goals. The constant distractions in today's world mean that maintaining focus can be very difficult. Distraction of work, home, friends, socialising, events and everything else constantly compete for our attention and dedicated time. It takes time to stay focused on achieving our goals and it's so easy to fail in our attempt to maintain enough momentum, desire, energy and persistence needed to achieve our goals. As a result we often give up and think our goal is unachievable.

Another reason why we might lose focus in pursuing our goals is that we may talk ourselves out of pursuing our dreams. When we first begin pursuing our goals, we may be motivated by the fact that we are improving our lives and achieving our wishes and dreams. Shortly after starting the process of taking action towards achieving our goals, we can often begin to question the plausibility of achieving what we want. As soon as we start questioning our ability, we start to loose focus.

So what can we do to ensure we maintain the focus we need to achieve our goals? Here are some tips that will help us stay focused.

Write our goals down. Put your goals, reasons, objectives and beliefs in writing. When they are in writing it makes them more real and they can be reviewed and used as a constant source of encouragement. Eventually your goals will become branded in your mind.
Click here for the Goal Setting factsheet

Watch for Negative Self Talk. To find our more on noticing and changing negative thinking check out the Online Skills section

Plan your action. Build your plan for reaching your goal. Your plan becomes your road map and helps you determine the best course to follow.

Minimise Distractions. Get rid of as much temptation as possible that deviates from your focus on your goal. If your goal is to loose weight, throw away all takeaway and delivery food menus that are delivered through your letterbox. If your goal is to save money and reduce money spent on non necessities, unsubscribe from any online shopping, gaming, promotional newsletters, email or text alerts. If for example your goal is to exercise more and you have identified watching TV as a distraction, don't turn on the TV until you have achieved the tasks relating to your goal. Use every method you can think of to remove distractions from your situation and it will certainly help your focus.

Use the Power of Visualisation. To have something to focus on we must have a strong visual picture of our target so we can maintain focus on the end result. The more you bring what it is you wish to obtain to the forefront of your mind, the more focus you can give to it.

Measure Your Progress. You can't control your progress unless you can analyze your progress. Create a system and timetable to measure your progress. Record your daily progress. This can tell us if we are on track or if we need to make adjustments to either our plan or activities. You need to measure your progress on a regular basis as it gives you some control.

Prioritise your Goal. Focus on a few goals at one time. Try not to overburden yourself as it will limit your chance of achieving your goal and demotivate you. Concentrate on the important ones first, achieve them and then you can look at addressing the other goals.

Work your Goals into your Daily Plan. Do something towards achieving your goals everyday. The best way to achieve your goals and maintain your focus is to do something that will make it happen each and every day. Even if its only 15 minutes each day, it is better than not doing any goal related activity at all. Give your goal daily attention and you'll remain more focused and at a better chance of achieving your goal.

Use the Power of Positive Affirminations. Keep telling yourself in the present tense and in a positive statement of what you want to achieve. When someone's goal is to climb a mountain, his/her affirmation will detail being at the top of the mountain, not on getting from the bottom to the top. Positive affirmation can help you maintain focus and help you believe in yourself and your ability to obtain your goal.

Celebrate your Milestones. Mark your successes and acknowledge your progress towards your desired goal. Set milestones and as you achieve them reward yourself. This will motivate you and make you see your milestone in a very positive way.

Also remember that there is no quick fix to achieving your goals. It requires your motivation, effort, research and time. However our goals are far more attainable when you stay focused on them.
What is the Secret of Successful Trading?
The Consistent Pursuit of DS1 :nerd
The thing that makes me money is trading ONLY when I see MY SETUP (TTPP). That's it.
I'm not here to catch every move, I'm here to catch good moves ONLY when MY SETUP appears.