In our busy lives, we find that everyday there are a thousand and one things vying for our attention in both our personal and work lives. When life is so busy and so much is expected of us it’s not difficult to understand why we sometimes lose focus of the big picture.
Have you ever gone to bed feeling thoroughly worn out but still asking yourself that question, “ Why have I not achieved everything I planned today?” and felt that your day was somehow completely wasted?
The good news is that these feelings are easily overcome; if you are prepared to implement a few proven strategies that are aimed at getting you back on track. Rather than beating yourself up over your perceived wasted time, concentrate on finding your focus.
Listen to Confucius…
The great philosopher Confucius is quoted as saying: “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” There are definitely some people that can multi-task, but for the rest of us mere mortals, when we try to divide our attention between two different tasks, we rarely complete both well.
Below you will discover five ways to regain your focus and get back on track:
Remove the distractions that are causing you to procrastinate over getting things done – it’s that simple! Forget about checking email every five minutes; they will wait until you have completed your task.
- Divert your phone to voice mail until your task is complete.
- Remove external distractions, close the window blinds.
- Do you sing more than work; turn off the music whilst working.
- Close your office door, it gives you privacy and allows more focus.
Prioritise, Prioritise, Prioritise.
Rather than trying to do everything, focus on one thing at a time, and worry about other work later, ultimately, you’ll get more done and you’ll do it faster.
- Prioritise in a way that works for you. Projects and tasks can be prioritized according to date, i.e. the one that is due earliest or the one that can be finished quickest allowing you to get it out of the way. There are pros and cons to each so choose the one that works best for you.
Get others to respect your time.
You do not have to be rude to people to get them to go away and leave you alone. Learn assertive communication and be prepared to use them, tell them you need time to complete your task and you will help them after. There are many ways to do it – just make sure you do!
- Receive phone calls and even visitors at set times. Tell people to contact you and arrange visits by email and let them know that you only check it at set times, and let people now when they can expect you to return their calls or emails.
Limit your internet access.
The internet is one of the biggest innovations of the last century, it is also a massive time stealer, impose some rules for it usage:
- Only have one window open at a time, close all those windows you’re not using. Avoid social media sites, and leave messenger alone!
Believe in yourself.
Having confidence in your ability to achieve things and get everything done puts you in a positive frame of mind and you’ll be less stressed and worried.
- If you have the confidence, you’ll have the focus!
Now that you’ve been introduced to the five strategies to help you focus and get back on track, you have to take action and learn how to focus your thoughts. If you follow these strategies you will improve your focus and achieve and your goals.
Till Next time
Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor