The Power of Focus
Let’s face it…everybody is busy these days. Sometimes is just seems like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Between our seemingly never-ending “to-do” lists, families with two working parents, or single parents working hard, kids’ soccer practice, the internet, and everything else that goes on in our world, we hardly have time to breathe, right? Wrong!
Typically, the problem isn’t actually a matter of available time but instead it is the prioritization of time. There are some simple techniques and tools that you can use to stay focused and get a lot more done in your day.
At this point in human evolution, it is important to accept that we live in a fast-paced, results-driven society and that multitasking and time management is not an option anymore, it’s a necessity…and when you do it right, it’s an art!
Here is my list of Top Seven Power Tips To Stay Focused
This will help you get everything done in your multifaceted life:
- Prioritize your tasks and be disciplined about staying on your priorities – This may seem obvious but very few people actually do it. Here’s a simple way to prioritize your day. Make a list of the things that you know you have to do. Then, go through the list and rate the priority of each task from 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest priority.
Be honest with yourself about that…everything can’t be a number one priority…what REALLY needs to happen NEXT? Once you have prioritized your list from 1 to 5, make a list of all your number 1’s. Then prioritize that list in order of highest priority from 1 up to the number of tasks on that list.
The next part is what requires discipline: Start with Number 1…and don’t do ANYTHING else until Number 1 is complete, or if that task requires a longer term focus, work on it until there is nothing else you can do to move that task forward. Then, just continue down the list in the same way until you complete everything. You’ll be amazed at how much time you save by staying on task.
Don’t allow yourself to get distracted with phone calls, email, Internet surfing or some other task unless it’s an emergency Hint: there are very few “emergencies” that qualify).
- Prepare for your next day in the evening before – If you make and prioritize your list the night before, you save lots of time and can jump right into your day the next morning. Plus, you won’t like awake in bed thinking about all those things you think you have to do tomorrow.
- Drink lots of water throughout the day and get a little exercise (or a lot of exercise) – Staying hydrated is vital to your mental focus. Stay away from lots of coffee and sodas (I know there are bunch of you who don’t want to hear that) because they tend to dehydrate you and the caffeine, while a quick “pick me up” creates other focus issues later.
If you work at a computer or something else that requires repetitive tasks or desk work, you should get up and stretch every hour or so…get away from your normal routine. It’s great for your focus and to keep your mind alert.
If you can, take a walk for at least 20 minutes every day or so some kind of exercise. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps you to focus.
- Use a SYSTEM for time and priority management — There are lots of excellent systems that will help you stay on track. For scheduling, I like to use Outlook and Google Calendar and keep it synced up to my Droid phone. That way my assistants can have access to my schedule and it syncs up wirelessly when I’m on the road, so we’re all on the same page, no matter who is doing the scheduling. Definitely DO NOT allow technology to slow you down, though.
These days, many people have a tendency to spend more time with their slick new devices than they would spend making a simple handwritten list. Also, don’t let the lack of technology be an excuse not to manage your priorities.In my opinion, the very best system available for really taking control of your time and your day is called Simpleology, developed by one of today’s most brilliant minds, Mark Joyner. The basic program is free and you can set it up in minutes. You can get your complimentary system at:
- Batch tasks together – If you have similarly repetitive tasks or errands to run, take a few minutes before you start to see how certain tasks can fit together. You can literally create extra HOURS in your week by doing this one process alone. For example, plan your errand route for the highest level of efficiency.You can start one project that can run on it’s own and then do another while you’re waiting…example: Instead of sitting there watching your email download in the morning, hit “Send/Receive” and then go make your breakfast while it downloads. You get the idea. It’s really incredible how much time you create when you have two or three menial things going at once, when they don’t require your constant attention.
- Delegate everything you possibly can – I know, especially with us entrepreneurs, that we have a tendency to want to do everything, be everything to everybody and we suffer the consequences. Every time you find yourself cleaning your own house, doing your own filing, making tedious, non-essential (to you) phone calls, ask yourself these questions: “Is this the highest and best use of my time?” “Could someone else do this for me?”Virtual assistants are great at taking the load off of you and helping you stay focused on revenue-generating activities or higher priorities. You may at first question whether you can “afford” the extra help but once you have that help in your life, you will be asking yourself why you didn’t do it sooner. Your goal should be this: Anything that isn’t your true passion is something you should delegate.
- Reward yourself for a job well done! This is SO important and yet so overlooked. We work, we work, we work, we accomplish great things and achieve our goals and then…? And then, we work, work, work, accomplish great things, achieve our goals and…you get the picture? Get in the habit of rewarding yourself and celebrating even your minor achievements. Take yourself out for a frozen yogurt or take a few minutes to do something nice for yourself. It doesn’t have to be big or costly (but it can be if you want it to), just something that acknowledges yourself for a job well done. In fact, I suggest you celebrate as soon as you make the list in step one of this process.
There are lots of other things you can do to create more minutes in your day, hours in your week and days, or even weeks, in each year. It’s just a matter of focus!
One of my coaching team would be happy to offer you a complimentary discovery coaching session to help you stay on track with that process. Learn more at: http://www.mastermindmentor.com/coaching-programs/