An area of focus is a part of your life that requires your personal care and attention. If neglected for an extended period of time, it will have a major impact on your overall level of happiness and personal satisfaction.
I’ve defined these 6 areas through many years of trial and error. If I ignore any of these areas for an extended period of time, it will sneak up on me in unexpected and unwanted ways. When I proactively pay attention to each of these areas, investing time and effort in their care and well-being, the result is a balanced and fulfilling life.
My first key area of focus is Meaningful Relationships. This covers all the key relationships in my life including my spouse, kids, family, and friends.
Your attention is the greatest gift that you can give another person. I find that when I get busy my attention turns inward toward myself. This area of focus reminds me turn my attention toward the people that are important in my life. This might include having a date night with my wife, taking one of my kids out on an adventure or planning a friend night.
Extraordinary Health is my second key area of focus. This covers all aspects of my health including physical exercise, healthy eating, getting enough sleep, meditation & mindfulness.
I remember hearing a saying a number of years ago that went something like this: “You either make time for wellness or you will be forced to make time for illness”. I find that everyone has health issues, that if not monitored, will quickly get out of hand. This area reminds me to pay attention to this critical area of focus.
For me, Personal Growth is the key to fulfilment and happiness. People are much more satisfied with their lives when then are growing and learning.
My real learning started shortly after I finished school. I realized that if I wanted to be the best at what I do, I would need to dedicate my life to walking the path of mastery. I’m an avid reader of books on business, leadership, mindfulness, strategy, productivity, money, health, and relationships. I’ve attended countless seminars and workshops, continuing my growth and development well beyond what I learned in school. I’ve also used coaches and mastermind groups to help me through key areas of development and to hold me accountable.
Work That Matters
I like to believe that the work that I do each day matters in some way. We spend so much of our lives at work it would be a shame if we didn’t spend it on doing something that matters.
The formula that I use for work that matters lies at the centre of these 4 questions: 1) Do I love the work that I do? 2) Am I really really good at it? 3) Can I get paid for it? and 4) Am I making the world a better place? I regularly ask myself these questions and if I’m unable to answer a clear yes, I know that I need to spend some time on improving this area.
The area of money can be a sore point for most people. We never seem to have enough to go around and we will do almost anything to get more of it.
This area of focus is about making peace with whatever issues you have with money as well as expanding your financial intelligence. It’s about educating yourself on how money works, getting clear on how much you really need to accomplish your goals, and building a sound financial plan to gain control of your finances.
Just 4 Fun
I know that I’ve neglected this area when I get stressed and cranky. This area reminds me to stop and enjoy the moment, to take the time to reward myself for achieving a milestone or accomplishing a goal.
It also reminds me to notice the rhythm between work and play. It’s very easy to get caught up our life’s work that we forget to invest time to play. Yes, this means taking a regular vacation (at least 2 or 3 times a year – my target is 4). It also means building time into your regular routine to read a great book, to play with your kids, and connect with your friends.
Why should you adopt the 6 key areas of focus as your own
There are 4 simple reasons why I adopted the 6 key areas of focus as my own – and why I think you should too!
- It helps me look across my entire life. The 6 key areas of focus cover all the major functions of my life. It includes relationships, health, growth, work, money and fun. I believe that these are the major building blocks of a productive and satisfying life.
- It helps me keeps things simple. With life being so complicated, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. By narrowing my focus to the 6 key areas that are the most important to me I can let go what’s not important. This reduces my stress and increases my overall level of happiness.
- It helps me identify when things are going well. Through the news and media we are continually bombarded with everything that is going wrong in the world. When I turn my attention to what is working well in each of the 6 areas it gives me motivation to keep going.
- It helps me identify when things are out of whack. More often then not, when I review each key area of focus, I will find a number of opportunities where I can make some minor adjustments. This allows me to get back on track by taking action in the areas that are a priority.
Call To Action
If you find that you are stressed, overwhelmed or your life feels out of control, I highly recommend that you adopt the 6 key areas of focus into your life. You will find that within a very short period of time you will be more productive, happier, and grounded once you focus on your priorities.