Focus (noun): the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition.
How many times a day do you lose focus? What about in a week? If I could gain back all the minutes I’ve wasted trying to “refocus” or “reorganize” I’d probably have years worth. But let’s be honest, without a plan – I’d end up wasting half of it anyway.
That’s where a focus board comes in. Thank God for whiteboards, they’re truly a lifesaver. No, this isn’t some hippie vision board where you cut out pictures from magazines and plaster words like “dream” and “inspire” all over them. Although I’ll admit, those are pretty cool.
This vision board is simple. It’s clean. Straightforward. Actionable. And most importantly: it’s ALWAYS visible.
Since starting this practice I’ve wasted less time, been a better friend, more efficient worker, crossed off more “to dos,” prioritized better, and had more time to spend on fun stuff.
It takes less than 10 minutes a week and all you need is a whiteboard and a marker.
- Divide your board into 8 sections: Self, Skills, Social, Service, Feelings, Why, To Do, and Main Focus.
Step 2: SELF
- Write 3 words that describe your best self this week. Who do you need to be? What will you radiate?
- After each word, write an actionable way you can achieve that descriptor. Keep it simple!
Step 3: SKILLS
- Write 5 skills you need to work on this week to be the best you. What do you need to improve in order to reach your goals? Which areas of interest need some attention?
- After each skill, write down 1-2 ways you can improve in that area. For example, can you take a class? Listen to a podcast? Get a mentor?
Step 4: SOCIAL
- Write 3 words that describe the type of friend you’d like to be this week. How do you want others to perceive you? Who do you want to be to those you care about most?
- Following each word choose 1-2 people you can work on that with. For example, one of my words this week is “helpful.” I will provide valuable content and be available to answer any/all questions to each of my clients this week and anyone on social media.
Step 5: SERVICE
- Write 3 ways you can serve others this week. How can you use your unique skills to impact the lives of those around you? These don’t necessarily have to be volunteering or traditional giving back. They can be things like: post valuable content, offer to run errands for a friend or family member, donate clothing or toys, etc.
Step 6: FEELINGS
- Write the 3 feelings you’d like to embody most this week. When envisioning your ideal self in your ideal environment, how do you want to feel? Starting points: eager, focused, fulfilled, whole, aligned, excited.
- If you’d like to take it a step further, write down a few ways you will make these feelings come to life. For example, I feel focused and aligned most when I’m writing about health. So I’ll make sure to set aside time to do that this week.
Step 7: WHY
- Why are you bringing your best self this week? Who are you impacting? What’s your main goal? Why are you here?
- This is super important because all of your words and actions should stem from this “why.” Every time you go to make a decision, if it doesn’t match up to your why, you know it’s not the one for you.
Step 8: TO DO
- This is where you’ll list off your most important tasks for the week. Things like assignments, errands, appointments, etc.
- I like to split mine up even further by jobs and life areas!
Step 9: MAIN FOCUS
- What’s the one thing you need to focus on MOST this week? Write that here. Try to keep it to 1-5 words. Kind of like a mantra.
Place this board somewhere you’ll see each and every morning and night. Perform mental check-ins throughout the week to see if you’ve upheld your why and performed at the level your best self would. Read your adjectives throughout the day as reminders for the type of person you will be this week. Keep a marker near by so you can check off “to dos” as you get them done – there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing your list dwindle down.
If you do this practice weekly I promise you’ll find peace and a newfound focus in your life. Plus, it gives you a reason to buy fun markers… I digress.