We’ve talked about practice and tenacity as essential parts of becoming a successful artist. The cornerstone of all good habits though is focus. Focus is the engine that drives all accomplishment. I’ve never met anyone who has succeeded without it. You may not have money or a helper or even talent but if you have focus there is no stopping you.
Focus allows people to take all their energies, resources and time and commit them to a single goal. This is not easy in my experience. People don’t like it when someone is committed to a goal. People will want to distract you and vie for your attention; don’t allow it.
Research studies show that people who multi-task get less done and the quality of their work suffers when compared to people who focus on completing one task at a time and finishing it before moving on to something else.
Tasks like painting, music and mathematics require long periods of focus to achieve successful results. If you want to improve your painting the best way to do so is to cut out distractions and work for as long as you can in an uninterrupted block of time. You don’t have the time you say? That is a matter of priority; you prioritize things everyday so choose to prioritize your painting time.
Here are some ideas for staying on track and keeping your focus.
Be clear about what your goals are decide what you want and how you will achieve it.
Don’t set arbitrary timelines or unrealistic objectives for yourself that is a recipe for failure.
Set a fixed amount of time for practice and study and make sure it is consistent and uninterrupted time. Keep distractions to a minimum and you will accomplish more in the time you do have.
Let the other people in your life know your intentions so they have a chance at supporting your plan.
Don’t victimize others with what you are doing. If you have made prior commitments to family, friends or employers, fulfill those commitments first.
Surround yourself with people who are supportive and respect what you are trying to achieve. It doesn’t matter what level of success you are after.
Always give any chosen task your full attention and best effort.