“Determine what specific Goal/s you want to achieve, then dedicate yourself to its attainment with narrow focus, ignoring distractions & using your passion, until you feel the satisfaction of the achievement”.
Topics of Goals: Know, Reduce or Eliminate Distractions, Plan, early Start, Adapt, Schedule, Emails, Muscle, Reward, Re-Start, Breaks, Multi-Task.
Don’t get attracted by Dis-tractions. If you’re forever falling behind on your work, because you give in to distractions, see if a few of these tips below can help you stay on track to your goals. Most of us have trouble focusing at one time or another, but the reasons differ. Some people stray when they’re bored; others find reasons to avoid a difficult task. But almost all of us occasionally wander from the task at hand. If you’re lucky, it’s just a momentary lapse and you’re soon back on track. But if staying on task is more than an occasional problem, try some of the following tips. They won’t all work for everybody, but you’ll probably find at least a few tricks that help. Studies show, it takes about 20 days to break or adopt a habit, so be patient.
#1. Get to know your Distractions. Before you do anything, spend a little time in analysis (not on the couch) but observing your work patterns. When you find that your mind has wandered from your goals, try to recall what you were doing when you lost your way. It’s a bit difficult to do, at first. This type of discipline isn’t natural. It will take a few days for your mind to catch on, so don’t give up. Once you’re aware of the actual distraction(s), you can implement counter-measures.
#2. Reduce or Eliminate Distractions is the first step to getting focused. It is the same way with your focus. If you’re trying to concentrate on your work, but your phone is ringing, somebody’s knocking on your door, people are talking near you – means all these distractions around you, which makes it much harder to focus on your goals. It makes it much harder to concentrate, because every single time, you’re faced with a decision: do you pay attention to the distraction or do you stay focused on the task at hand?
Reduce or Eliminate your Distractions:
- Put your phone on “vibrate” and put it in where you can see it, then you can see who’s calling and decide if you want to answer.
- Close the door to your to your office, if you can. Put a “Do not disturb” sign that’s going to tell people. “I don’t want to be disturbed.”
- Set up a Schedule of when you’re available & when you don’t want to be disturbed and post it at your entry.
Eliminate as many visual or auditory distractions around you as possible. We know from science that every single time you face a distraction, it can take you up to 20 minutes to regain your focus. Don’t waste your time. Eliminate or at least reduce, distractions as much as possible to meet your goals.
#3. Make A Plan. When you go to the office, do you sit down, and do your urgent duties (ie, important Emails) or do you think: “What should I do?” And then you choose the one task – which seems the most important and you start doing it. But then, in the middle of it, something else pops in your mind, and you think, “Wait, this one is more important,” so now you switch your focus to something else. In the middle of that task, something else pops in your mind and you think, “Wait, should I be doing this, or should I continue on original task?” And the vicious cycle continues. When you don’t have a plan with goals, and you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing, your mind is going to keep wandering around. If you have a plan, if you know that between 8:00 and 8:30, you’re supposed to do this one task, you’re in a different mindset.
Always have a Plan. Ideally, plan the night before. Otherwise start your day with writing down what you need to do, when do you need to do it, why you need to do it. When you have a plan, when you have a schedule, it is that much easier to focus and to stay focused on your goals.
#4 Do the most important Task – First Thing in the Morning. Like everything else, (energy, willpower), your focus is the highest in the morning. Put whatever important Task you have as close to early morning as possible, when you have the most energy. When you go to the office, check your Email and only answer the most important. Be pleasant, but don’t you start talking to people for a long period, or return non-urgent calls. Keep these necessary distractions to a minimum; so you can get into your #1 Task done asap to meet your goals.
#5: Adopt to the Situation. Sometimes, we just have to deal with reality of some distractions and adjust accordingly. You can’t eliminate job-related interruptions altogether, but you can adapt. Come in early or stay late and use those “quiet” hours when no one is around, to do the work you can’t get to during the chaotic workday. If that’s not an option, set aside a couple of hours every day and ask co-workers not to interrupt you. Put a Schedule on your door or entry-way, then, stick to it. Let in-house calls go to voice mail. Shut your door, if you have one. Put up a Do Not Disturb sign if you can.
#6: Schedule your Emails. Constantly checking Email, interrupts your train of thought. Make Emails a To-do task that you complete per schedule and then forget about in-between times. Best to check Email twice a day: 1) when you first arrive & 2) after Lunch. When you’re done, close your Email and don’t open it again until the next scheduled session.
#7. Your Focus is Like a Muscle – Train It. If you’re somebody who’s constantly distracted, or if you’re used to multi-tasking, 40 minutes of focus time might be too much for you. Start with 15 minutes. Get comfortable with 15 minutes of paying attention to only one task. Then make it 20, then 30. Slowly build your way up to this focus time. I don’t believe in longer, because you should take a short Break (ie, get a cup of Coffee or Drink) and you’re clearing your mind & re-energizing your self. You’re training your focus. It becomes a good habit of meeting your goals & feeling the satisfaction.
#8: Reward Yourself. If you’re facing a particularly unpleasant or difficult task, promise yourself a treat when it’s done. You might keep a favorite tea or coffee around or treat yourself to some special chocolate. If you’re not the only one involved, it’s a great way to keep others on task too —”When we’re done, let’s meet in the break-room for a surprise treat.”
#9: Leave a Re-Start reminder. When you must interrupt your work, don’t just walk away. Leave a clue to quickly re-start you back into the work (ie, >>). If you’re working off Hard Copy, do a Post-it with the words “Re-Start here.” This helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to re-engage with the current important* task.
#10. Take Regular Breaks. Taking breaks is going to allow your focus to renew with new energy. Your energy follows a very predictable pattern every single day: it goes up, and it takes about 1/2 to 2 hours to go down. And when your energy starts going down, so does your focus, concentration, willpower & even your mood. Most people don’t like that – at all. When our energy goes down, start going for coffee, energy drinks, for sweet treats, just to pump our energy up. But, if you take a break instead, your focus is going to renew, because your energy is going to be re-charged. This is going to help bring your energy up to where it should be, which is going to bring your focus up, your willpower, your mood, your creativity, and everything else up. Always take breaks. Even if you don’t feel like you need them, take a break. When you get exhausted, when you’re wiped out and it’s 2 in the afternoon, no amount of sugar, no amount of productivity apps, nothing is going to change your focus, but taking a break.
#11: Don’t Multi-Task. We’re conditioned to believe that multi-tasking is efficient, but successful multi-taskers are rare. Multi-tasking actually dilutes your focus. Every time your mind switches gears, you lose a little time. Most of us can’t talk on the phone, read email, & give instructions to our assistant, at the same time — and do so efficiently. If you don’t believe me, think about how it goes when “you” multi-task.
Comments: Do you know any other way to stay Focused?
compiled by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz from several sources.
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