We live in a fast-paced world with constant distractions that might steal our attention. In a previous article, we discussed the importance of focus. When you lack focus, it is a challenge to achieve your goals. Likewise, when you start to learn new skills or feed your self-growth and career development, without focus, you will be inevitably distracted. That is why a better understanding of your perseverance, structured thinking, self-starting, and tough-mindedness will help you develop your focus to become a lifelong learner.
Understanding Your Learning Mindset
Before you go further, we recommend that you quickly take the Free Learning Mindset Quiz to gauge yourself in the following sub-areas:
Individuals who preserve approach their learning goals with determination and patience. You are unique, so you’ll find that others may preserve to a greater or lesser extent than you. Individuals that approach goals in a relaxed and spontaneous manner will do well to develop a more focused approach to help them in their learning journey. Individuals who preserve tend to work toward goals in an industrious, disciplined, and dependable fashion. However, a focused approach may lead to disappointment or burnout when the goal is unattainable.
Individuals who structure their thoughts and take a well-organized approach to projects stay focused on their goals and are not easily distracted. Of course, you are unique, so you’ll find that others may be well organized and structured in their thinking to a greater or lesser extent than you. Individuals who prefer to multi-task and be involved in many projects simultaneously can jeopardize their results. Individuals who process information in a structured, linear, sequential manner tend to attain their goals. However, overly structured may cause them to overlook newer concepts or practices that could benefit them.
Individuals who start initiatives on their own draw energy from within and do not need continuous encouragement and prodding. As you are unique, you will find that others are self-starters to a greater or lesser extent than you. Understanding others’ proactive spirit can be a source of encouragement in your learning journey. Those who are casual about their responsibilities and unorganized tend to be less proactive. Developing a self-starting attitude can help them learn. Some individuals have a strong will to achieve and do not need external motivation to learn. However, they may tend to start a project before understanding the complete picture and so lose focus as their learning journey continues.
Strong-willed individuals can face reality, and obstacles rarely throw them off course. We all have varying levels of tough-mindedness, so understanding others’ strengths may inspire you to move ahead in difficult times. Individuals who are not tough-minded tend to give up on their goals or tasks in times of adversity. Developing tough-mindedness can help you push through difficulties and reach your goals. Tough-minded individuals stay focused on their goals even in times of trouble, but pushing beyond one’s limits can lead to stress and burnout.
Focusing You Attention
The ability to focus is the key to becoming an effective lifelong learner. It is a potent tool for keeping you on the direct road to achievement, happiness, and overall life satisfaction.
How can you develop your focus?
Developing focus is one of the most important skills you can possess as a lifelong learner. It allows you to stay on task, learn new information more effectively, and retain what you learn for longer periods of time. Here are a few tips for developing focus:
1. Establish a routine - One of the best ways to develop focus is to establish a routine for learning. This could mean setting aside a specific time each day or week for studying, or working on a specific project. When you have a set routine, it becomes easier to stay focused and motivated.
2. Eliminate distractions. - In order to focus on your learning, it's important to eliminate distractions. This means turning off your phone, computer, and television, and finding a quiet place to study or work. If necessary, put up a sign or use noise-cancelling headphones to help you stay focused.
3. Set goals - Another way to develop focus is to set goals for yourself. This could involve setting targets for how much you want to learn each day or week, or completing a specific task by a certain date. When you have goals, you're more likely to stay focused and motivated in your studies.
It is important that you remain motivated and interested in learning. Find subjects and activities that interest you and keep exploring new things. Never stop learning, because life is a continuous journey of growth and discovery.
To learn how to develop your learning mindset and become a lifelong learner, take the Free Learning Mindset Quiz now. It comes with a personalized guidance report, which drills deeper into your strengths and weaknesses, along with worksheets that provide exercises and activities to help you overcome your barriers to learning.