Are you as productive as you could be with all the FOCUS you need or does your day look something like this? It’s Monday morning. You get into the office, log into your computer, quickly check email for anything urgent that may have come in over the weekend, you get a text or two, you check your Facebook feed, then someone stops by to ask about your weekend. Before you know it, it’s 10am and you haven’t gotten your coffee yet. With so many distractions, how are you supposed to get anything done? Oh hold on, someone just stopped by my cube.
Ok, their gone. Now where was I? Oh ya, FOCUS. Below are 4 steps you can take today to increase your focus and productivity TODAY. Before I begin, let me say that this will take a little bit of planning.
Focus Step 1 – Plan Your Success
This is probably the most important part – planning. You can either plan the night before, just before you leave the office, or get in a few minutes earlier and plan your day. I suggest creating work plan the night before. The reason is, until you get into the habit of following these 4 steps you leave yourself open to checking emails and getting caught up in non-productive administrative tasks. Planning your day shouldn’t take long. Just write down the critical things you need to accomplish that day and keep the list short. In most cases, there should be no more than 3-4 pressing items you need to be working on. If you have more than that on any given day, well, that’s a topic for another article. By the way, this does not include meetings.
Focus Step 2 – Become a Recluse
For the critical items you need to complete, you need to give yourself every opportunity to succeed. You do this by removing all distractions for a period of time. Contrary to what some may think, you don’t need to be 100% available if you have the type of job that requires administrative type work. If you are a manager or leader in your organization, your team can live without you for 30 minutes. Find a place and time where you can work uninterrupted. This may mean booking a conference room or closing your door, if you have an office. Plan your day and your work into chunks. Our minds have the capacity to concentrate for only so long.
[bctt tweet=”Myth: You get more done by multitasking”]
Focus Step 3 – Break your work into small chunks
Studies have shown that your brain can only handle so much in a given period of time before it wanders off. To produce the highest quality of work in the quickest amount of time, try working on one item at a time for a specific amount of time. If you have an assignment that should take you 2 hours, set a timer for 25 min, then go to work with all you’ve got for that 25 min. For more on this you can check out the Pomodoro Technique. If you planned properly the night before, you will know exactly what you need to work on. Some tasks may need longer but I’ll let you be the judge of your time.
Focus Step 4 – Take Breaks
After each chunk of work, take a break. 5 minutes is all you need. Go walk around, get something to drink or eat, or have a quick chat. Taking you mind away from the work you are doing will help you refocus when you get back to the task at hand. Believe it or not, taking short breaks often will allow you to get more done. Give yourself a break, you deserve it.
We have all struggled with the shiny object and in today’s world distractions abound. By following the above 4 steps, you will be well on your way to be more focused and productive throughout your day. I’d love to hear how your focused has improved.
Author: Bryan Oliver
Bryan Oliver is the founder of www.flight4success and is a strategic leader, success coach, and best-selling author. Bryan coaches on confidence, mindset, and habit creation to help you reach your dreams.