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Can You Become Too Focused On Something – and Jeopardize Other Areas of Your Life?

Can You Become Too Focused On Something – and Jeopardize Other Areas of Your Life?

Let me introduce Robert. He is passionate about building his online business, because he thinks that’s his ticket out of his day job.

He is putting a lot of hours in on a daily basis and he is making a very nice progress every day.

Good for Robert, right? Or is it really?

You see, he has been focusing too intensively on just one area of his life. Sure, he’s even making some money off his online venture, but at the same time, he feels tired and stressed. It’s not because of his workload – he absolutely loves what he does.

The problem is that his life is out of balance. He has a family, but he’s ignored them lately in his dedication to his online business. In addition, he has some health issues, since he never has time to exercise or fix his diet. He starts to question his success in his business. Is it worth it, since it’s putting the other parts of his life off-balance?

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Things don’t look so good for him and unless he starts making changes soon, he’ll lose the most valuable things in his life: his family and his health. The good news for Robert and anyone else who is struggling with the same issues is he doesn’t have to give up on his business. There are things that he can do to change the situation.

Taking things for granted

It’s actually quite easy to see why Robert’s life is falling apart. He’s focusing too much on one area of his life while ignoring the other parts. No-one’s life should be centered on only one area; it needs to be spread across many. In order to live a healthy, abundant life, you have to get a bird’s eye perspective of things and see your whole life, not just one part of it.

Also, when you are focusing too much on something, you’ll start taking things for granted, like:

  • Yes, my wife/kids/friends will understand why I work so hard
  • Yes, I can fix my health issues later
  • Yes, I’ll rest later, I’m doing just fine

Unfortunately, this is the perfect recipe for disaster, and if you take things for granted for too long, you’ll do a disservice to yourself and those around you.

Do you respect yourself?

It’s fear that is pushing Robert so hard. He’s afraid that he’ll never be able to resign from his day job and start living his online dream. That’s why he works so hard every day. Then there is the slacker issue. If he doesn’t work hard, he labels himself as a procrastinator, who is not committed enough to his business.

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Unfortunately, he is not able to see that the amount of work he does is already outside the healthy boundaries and it’s already turning against him. Further, he fails to see that he is not alone. The reality is that there are many “Roberts” out there who are facing the same situation as he is – building their businesses part-time and looking for a way out their day jobs.

It can be done; they just need to do it smartly…

Getting back in balance

1. Know the signs. Learn to listen carefully what your family or friends have to say about you and your habits. If you are unsure of what is going on, just ask!

You could also have a regular discussion with your spouse or with the whole family about the situation and how things could be improved. The sooner you improve things, the fewer conflicts there are going to be in the future.

2. Understand your goal and the risks. Make sure you understand what is at stake: Are you really willing to risk the well-being of your family or your health for reaching a goal? Once you see the whole picture, you’ll most likely decide to take proactive action and seek for the balance.

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3. Change the perspective. See things from family’s perspective. For instance, do you really know how your spouse feels, when you are working all the time – while she has to take care of your children (especially if they are small)? Instead, switch roles where you take care of the children while your spouse is out of the home or doing his/her thing. When you understand how the other person feels and it’s easier to make decisions to balance your life.

4. Make your schedules public. Make sure that you define your schedules (working, hobbies …) and then share this information with your family. This could be done for example by using a family calendar and putting it on the fridge door. This way everyone is on the same page about when you are available to them.

5. Allocate time for other stuff too. Our lives shouldn’t be just work – it should contain other things as well. Make sure you dedicate time for yourself, your family, and your friends. This way you can create a balanced life and you will feel much better.

6. Join forces. Form a private Facebook group where you can interact with other likeminded people, for e.g. entrepreneurs. You can share information, ask tips for better productivity or how others have dealt with off-balance situations in their lives.

In conclusion

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When you focus too much on a single area of your life, the consequences can be disastrous. That’s why it’s always important to make sure things aren’t out of balance. When your life is balanced, you are happy and more productive.

Have you ever been too focused on something?

Featured photo credit:  Young man looking at a mirror and aiming via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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