This week I’ve been reflecting on the importance of putting my focus on the things and people that I care about and prioritising what’s important in my life. How do you stay focused on what’s important and avoid distractions? How do you manage to juggle conflicting priorities and keep your head in the game?
“Your focus determines your reality.” Qui-Gon Jinn, Jedi knight
How do you stay focused?
If there’s one thing we’d all like more of, it’s probably the ability to focus. But telling ourselves to stay focused is easier said than done! There are so many distractions all around us and without focus we end up demotivated and giving ourselves a hard time. The myth of multi-tasking has been disproven many times, and yet we still ask ourselves to try and do several things at the same time and then wonder why we’re feeling stressed or demoralised. Our brains cannot hold more than one thought at a time and there is a huge cognitive cost to constantly switching between activities.
Whether it’s fatigue, distractions, lack of motivation, or something else entirely, if we’re not able to focus then our productivity will reduce and with it our chances of success. Maintaining focus is about taking care of your mental and physical health, as well as getting on with the work. It’s important that we get enough sleep and regular exercise to allow our brain to do the work we’re asking of it. By eliminating distractions, investing time in priorising physical and mental health, and putting in place positive structure, you can improve your focus and productivity.
Here are my Top 10 Tips:-
🌟 Set goals. They must be achievable and bit-sized. If something’s too big and complicated we get overwhelmed and we procrastinate. Break it down.
🌟 Prioritise. We often spend too much time on things that appear urgent but are not actually important. Use a lens of both importance and urgency.
🌟 Delegate. Anything that doesn’t have to be done by you should be delegated. And that includes all the things you could do but shouldn’t.
🌟 Separate. Don’t mix planning with doing. Decide how you will do a task. When it’s time to take action, just do it without having to think too much.
🌟 Use your calendar. Add tasks to your schedule and block out time to spend on the things you want to achieve. Include the notes on how you will do a task.
🌟 Take breaks. Having gaps between tasks, even if only a minute or two, will help your brain make the switch and will reduce feelings of overwhelm.
🌟 Routines. Have a regular rhythm for how you start and end your days. Your brain likes routines and it will help you embed positive practices.
🌟 Decide. Start your day by deciding what time you plan to finish. Communicate it to others to help you stay on track and keep your word.
🌟 Review. At the end of each week look back at what you have achieved and forward to what you want from the week ahead. Be intentional in what you do.
🌟 System. Have a system for getting things out of your head and keeping it clear. That will help you avoid the stress of open loops and multiple lists.
It’s completely unrealistic to expect yourself to know everything or be able to do everything. Please be kind to yourself and if you’d like to talk through the choices you’re facing or any blockers in your business, let me know.
Lisa Zevi – May 2021