I've been using an excellent method to focus the energy lately which really surpasses other styles of focus that I've used, and I just thought I'd share. This method is going to be for energy manipulation. If you don't know what energy is, it is like the electrical signal behind your thought waves but on several more frequencies than you normally interact with, and usually projected or intercepted via something akin to a radio wave.
In my practice, the energy is very important, as it is necessary to use it in order to develop psychic ability. In fact, it is the vehicle which carries information to and from your brain, whether that be for telepathy, or many other useful or interesting abilities.
Often, you'll see visualization exercises as the primary tool with which to influence energy, through meditation. This is great, but I have been using something which, at least for me, works even better. If you can take on a 'persona' of an outside entity to yourself, basically just pretend that you are on the outside of yourself looking in as another being, you can use this perspective to focus on what you want the energy to do from the mental perspective of a spiritual being. It is very simple, actually, and as I've practiced it several times in combination with the normal perspective of just being myself, I can say that for some reason it just speeds up the energy flow. Heated energy builds more quickly, (did I mention that heat is a common indicator for energy? It is.) and other sensations such as a feeling of conscious interference like magnetism (best way I can describe it, sorry) also becomes quickly apparent. I don't stop there, though. Once I've got this mental perspective stable within my mind, I project it as intent into the energy. This might also need explaining so bear with me. It is important to not base your perspective on physical awareness, for this to be effective. Because that wouldn't help much. You want to place your focus on your 'outer self', that is, the conscious awareness that you have outside of your body. When you do this, pay close attention to keeping away from physical perceptions, and closer to perceptions which are like how your thoughts and mind feel. Now you just need to lock your awareness onto that kind of perception, just a couple of centimeters away from your head.
Now, back to step 1 - you want to take the focus on being a spiritual entity outside of yourself and hold the impression of that mentality in your mind, but in the spot a couple centimeters away from your head, and making sure to keep close to an energy awareness, rather than a physical one. It might be tricky, but you can get the hang of it, I did. =P This is a base-line as far as this technique goes. Once you can do this, you want to add specific intents to it.
Say you want to cast a spell to influence how positively people perceive you. You can do that, however, what you would do is take the technique I mentioned, and use that to 'be' this outer spiritual entity who is willing you to seem more pleasant to others. As the outer spiritual entity, pick a positive feeling or thought that you want associated with yourself, and focus that onto 'you'. Oh, and remember that if you switch to the perspective of an outer being, then for all intents and purposes you aren't 'yourself', so when you focus an energy like this onto yourself, you will think of you... as "you". Not "myself" or "me".
It is a bit involved but, for some reason it works very well for me. It's useful. So, there it is!