How to Develop Long-Term Focus
Staying Motivated to Achieve Distant Goals
If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things. – Albert Einstein
Many scientific researchers work day in, day out to pursue goals that will take years, decades, or even generations to achieve. Their progress is often painstakingly slow, they likely receive little feedback, and they know that success isn't guaranteed.
However, despite the odds, they find enough meaning and motivation to keep working towards their objectives. Because of their long-term focus, we've all benefited from life-saving advances in areas such as vaccination, CT scanning, antibiotic development – and very many others.
It's clear that people who maintain focus on long-term goals can achieve much bigger things than those who jump from idea to idea, or those who give up after the slightest setback. So, how can you keep focus on long-term goals, especially when you have to contend with everyday distractions and other urgent tasks?
This article looks at strategies that you can use to focus on your long-term goals. For more on how to focus on shorter-term tasks, see our articles on Improving Your Concentration and Avoiding Distractions.
What Is Focus?
Focus is your ability to center your attention and energy on a specific task, object, or activity, for a sustained length of time.
It's often quite simple to focus on short-term tasks and goals, because you see results quickly, and this helps to keep your motivation levels high. However, it's much more difficult to focus on goals that might take months, years or decades to realize.
One reason for this is that you may lose sight of what you want to achieve, and why. ...