I think you should use whatever will help you at that particular time. If focusing on your breath does it, then go with that. if you feel distracted by outer phenomena, focus on an object. if you feel the need for a little inspiration, perhaps a statue or a picture of a lineage master you have faith in will work.
But of course this only goes for shine practice while sitting. Doesn't apply during times away from the cushion, so perhaps you can incorporate present attention on your thoughts, watching them arise and subside, etc. during your formal practice. I think this kind of awareness greatly helps us in our time away from formal practice. We all have to think over the course of our busy days, so using methods to "distract" our minds during meditation is tough to integrate into everyday life.
Just another look from a different angle