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Focus and motivation are keys to empowerment

Posted by Chad O'Connor  July 25, 2013 11:00 AM

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You can have goals, you can have skills, and you can have tools for success, but you won’t get as far as you can go without focus. Without proper focus, your time and energy is not properly channeled, which can take you away from the most important tasks you need to accomplish and keep you from reaching your full potential.

As I mentioned in my article “Improve Your Productivity,” we can be easily distracted. Busy schedules, email, electronic devices, and many other factors can all lead to getting off track, so it is critical to train your mind to be focused and stay focused. Below are some tips on how to do that.

Set Goals, Believe in Yourself, Stay Motivated, and Maintain a Positive Mental Attitude
Set and always focus on your short-term and long-term goals, stay motivated - always keeping an eye on the big picture, and maintain a positive attitude. Don’t let negative energy bring you down, and believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

In Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Canfield states “If you are going to be successful in creating the life of your dreams, you have to believe that you are capable of making it happen … Believing in yourself is a choice. It is an attitude you develop over time.” Once you develop that mindset, it can only help to learn how to practice living a focused life to more effectively carry out your vision and goals.

Find Focus, Manage Stress, and Empower Yourself
According to Executive Coach and Organizational Consultant Rita Balian Allen, President of Rita B. Allen Associates, finding focus is the differentiator between effectiveness and ineffectiveness. A lack of time management can derail people from achieving their best work. It requires discipline and individual accountability as well as the ability to say “no” or “not now” when appropriate.

“I have learned to manage my time and my schedule in an efficient manner. I make adjustments on a weekly and daily basis to ensure that I focus on the right things at the right time. Getting organized and staying organized is important,” said Allen.

“In addition to time management, take steps to identify what your personal stressors are, and then determine the best ways to manage it. You should also empower yourself by always having a plan in place and staying true to it,” said Allen.

Practice Yoga and Translate the Lessons into Everyday Life
According to Julie Erickson, Owner of Endurance Pilates and Yoga Studio in Arlington, MA, Yoga can help someone find focus and is good for many reasons. During Yoga, you focus on within and how your body feels, so your mind doesn’t wander to things like your grocery list. That practice can be taken outside of the studio, and the lessons learned in class to control your body can translate into everyday life,” said Erickson.

Erickson once worked with someone with ADHD that came to Yoga to help him learn to focus on only one thing at a time. “We can all benefit from that - ADHD or not,” said Erickson. The breathing you learn in Yoga can also be used to manage stress and anxiety or if you need to relax in general.


  • Believe you can accomplish anything you set your mind to

  • Set goals and have a written plan in place - review regularly

  • Find someone that can help you stay on track - accountability is important

  • Develop a daily and weekly routine

  • Manage your schedule - adjust day-to-day activities as new tasks come up and prioritize

  • Manage stress and aim for optimal health - incorporate exercise into your daily routine

  • Improve mind/body awareness - this can be done through Yoga

  • Stay positive and motivated

  • Other helpful tips can be found in the following article: Self Improvement: 6 things you can do to enhance yourself and your career

Ellen Keiley is President of the MBA Women International Boston Chapter Board of Directors, serves as a Vice Chair of the United Way and City Year’s Women’s Leadership Initiatives, serves on the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Women’s Advisory Council, is a member of The Boston Club, appears weekly on RadioBDC’s Global Business Hub segment, and writes for The Women’s Book and Project Eve. She can be contacted at
This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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