How To Focus On What Matters

by Jessie Gardner September 21, 2016

Focus is my new spirit animal. Here's why:  

One trillion million thousand lines long.

That is how long I feel like my to-do and bucket lists are right now. Can you relate?

I’ve officially adopted FOCUS as my new spirit animal because I’m finding the art of focus to be my greatest challenge, but also the greatest and most fruitful return on my time.

There is beauty in having the freedom to choose what we do, but with it comes exactly that, endless choices and opportunities to say yes or no, every single day.

I needed to simplify the question, “what should I focus on?” because, quite honestly,  my to-do list was becoming as long and tangled as Rapunzel's hair. If you are needing a fine-tooth comb to work through your list, this may help you too:


Filter One: No Impact = No Focus


Identify one thing (yes. ONE thing, that was not a typo). If you were to focus on this one thing, how would it impact your current situation or project? Go for impact. If you completed the work, what would change? What would move the needle? There are voices shouting all around us saying, “work on this!”, “invest in this!”, “you HAVE to be doing this!”, but if it doesn’t move the golden ball that is your current focus or dream forward, slice it out of your mind and to-do list. Just like that. Chopped. Applying this filter to my to-do’s took out 80% of the things on my list (which may be things I tackle later when they will create impact), but for now, no impact = no attention, focus, energy.  For us here at HeySoul, our one and only shining focus is the revamp, refresh and spice up of our product line. woohoo! More to come on this soon. 


The risk in dancing around the multi-tasking ball pit is we chance never finishing. Focus on crossing the finish line of what matters deeply to you and creates impact. Why? Steven Pressfield sums this up beautifully:


“Because finishing is the critical part of any project. If we can’t finish, all our work is for nothing.”


Filter Two: Be honest about the bees.


It’s incredible how many distractions pop up in the day. The pop-ups, social updates, texts, noise, emails, clutter, and on and on. I think of these things as bees buzzing around my world that I often give into when they flutter by in all their distracting beauty.


Pressfield calls the urge and temptation to not work on the things that will evolve ourselves as resistance. Resistance is self-sabotage. It is giving into the hum of immediate gratification and putting the work that matters on hold. He says, “the more important an activity to your soul’s evolution, the more resistance you will feel to it- the more fear you will feel.”


So show up prepared every day to beat resistance. Be real with yourself and identify that which distracts you from your area of focus and cultivate awareness in the moments when the bees start to fly. This allows you to consciously say no to the temporary buzz of the bees and yes to the sweet honey that only exists on the other side of finishing the work that will up-level your life. Doing this dissolved the remaining fluff on my list like water to cotton candy. 


Once you take out the distractions and things that don’t drive results or value to the goal and life you are wanting to create, the impactful things rise to the surface. When you sift through that list, what comes up may challenge you and blow the boundaries of your comfort zone to smithereens, which I hope it does. That is when you know your focus is right where it should be. It is in the work that scares us, challenges us that allows us to spread our radiant wings that makes the work worth doing. 


So, we can choose what aligns with our greater goals of becoming what we are here to be and create in the world, or we can choose distraction.


Challenge yourself to take control of your to-do list so that everything you touch is creating impact and movement toward your goal and dream. Feel free to adopt my FOCUS spirit animal. Pretend he's sitting on your shoulder rooting for you to get that impactful work done.

And if finding focus in your life and connecting to your soul’s purpose is top of mind, check out our Purpose Box complete with unique and gorgeous products including a custom-made necklace from The Giving Keys made exclusively for The Purpose Box :

Enjoy the day and find your focus! 

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Jessie Gardner
Jessie Gardner