I came up with today’s topic because I realized I was doing 20 things at once this morning. I had four Word documents opened and was working on all of them. I had over 10 tabs opened (which is normal) and even worse (hate to admit this one) was working on two emails at the same time saving them as drafts and going back and entering in more information. Now I often thrive in this environment and in my fast-paced business, it truly does work. But I also realized, might be time to review my tips on focus. So here goes!
Tips for Focus
- Concentrate on one thing at a time. Make a time commitment and stick to it. Use your timer to make sure you do.
- Keep track of your time. How can this help with focus? Easy. When you are tracking your time you can tell when you are spending too much time on something. Then you can made adjustments if needed. This allows you to get more done. It also allows you to see problem areas.
- Turn off social media and also log out of Outlook. Like many when I have Outlook opened when new emails come in, I see them flash on my screen. Now I love that feature on most occasions because I can keep up better. But when I need to focus, I log out because I know I will get distracted. It’s always on the back of my mind that someone wrote and even if I don’t stop and check then, I’m thinking about it and losing concentration.
- Prioritize – What needs done when? Even marking on your to do list and numbering them works. I will have what needs done and then just the number order of when it needs done. (Just a simple, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Now I don’t have to do this every day. But on days I have a lot going on it truly can help and it’s easy to do. Also, know you have to adjust accordingly.
- Say no. – Now we don’t really want to say no to our clients, but I can say no to distractions. That IM about an event taking place next week might have to wait, etc. I can quickly write that I will get back with them later, on deadline. Then when I have more time I can follow-up. This way I’m not rushed.
- Clear your desk. Take 5 minutes and clear your desk and throughout the day keep it clear. It truly is amazing how much that one step can help.
- Keep organized – when I have a lot going on, I have a tendency to pile. This goes along with clearing the desk, but is also important to make sure we put things away correctly. Those piles at the end of the week don’t help. I also find out that when I pile, I might print the same document out 10 times. (Money down the drain!)
- Clear out your inbox. I got into the habit a few months ago of doing this several times a day. Honestly it’s the best thing I can do for my biz. Having just a few things in my in box, takes away that overwhelm feeling. Also I note what needs done on my to do list so even if I put something away in the client’s folder, I don’t forget I have something that needs action on it. AAAAHHH, it rocks!
- Get up and walk. Once I finish a project, I will often take a few minute break before doing into the next. This clears my mind and helps me turn off one project and jump into the next.
Hope this tips help. Love to hear yours as well. Please do share below!
You made me laugh because I have about as many windows open and several Word documents open. I drive my “engineer” husband crazy but like you I thrive with all the craziness. That being said your tips about focusing are excellent. One of my favorites is to actually get up and walk. I go do laundry or let the dogs out or something like that but it shakes the cobwebs and stretches the body.
These are great tips. I laughed at your visual because I’ve found myself in that situation more than once. Sometimes it works and other times an hour will go by and I’ll feel like I accomplished nothing because nothing was actually completed. I’ve found the first tip helpful. If I set a timer for 20-30 minutes of focused time, it’s less intimidating.
Diana Ennen says
Thanks! Great to hear you can relate! So glad you like my tips. Really appreciate that! Diana