20 Useful Ways to Create Focus Today
Distraction dilutes the impact of your life.
Consider the splendid absurdity of an unfocused life. You can spend a day chasing distractions and feel important doing it.
Distractions are tender morsels of delight that gobble your time and squander your talent.
The world provides a thousand whispering seductions that create the illusion of significance.
Focus determines the quality and direction of your life.
20 useful ways to create focus today:
- Do one thing at a time. Forget about multitasking. Open an application. Use it. Close it.
- Decide to finish what you start. Set milestones for large tasks.
- Schedule distraction-time. Give yourself 15 minutes to click on news banners before lunch, for example.
- Place your phone out of sight and out of reach. David Burkus calls this creating friction.
- Schedule time to complete a task. Set a deadline. Then observe #2 above.
- Protect your best hours. Schedule important tasks when you’re at your best.
- Clear off your desk. Clutter is distracting.
- Schedule email-time. If it’s not email time, turn off email.
- Manage your energy. Notice fatigue. Fill your own tank.
- Choose one or two important tasks to complete today.
- Go for walks.
- Say no. Try it.
- Know the difference between urgent and important.
- Do less people-pleasing. Stay connected to who you are.
- Put next week’s big rocks on your calendar this week.
- Go to bed. See #9 above.
- Define success for today.
- Connect with an accountability partner.
- Prepare for tomorrow tonight.
- Ask yourself if what you’re doing actually contributes to your mission.
An extravagance of opportunities creates poverty for people who lack focus.
The difference between busyness and achievement is focusing on things that matter.
“What we can control is our performance and our execution, and that’s what we’re going to focus on.” Bill Belichick
Which of the 20 items do you find most useful? Difficult?
What helps you focus?
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Prepare for tomorrow – tonight. That has always helped me. Working from home, I have neglected to make my “to-do” list for the next day. Maybe it’s because subconsciously I am not leaving work? I know I do better when I sit down at the end of the day and make my list for tomorrow. I will get back into doing that!
Thanks SB. That one helps me too. Just preparing my workspace for the morning seems to help me relax.
When we were all in the office, I used to schedule meetings with me as the only attendee on a different floor. That way, I could work uninterrupted by folks dropping by for a quick question (because the questions are always quick but the answers are usually long). In the virtual world, the equivalent is to schedule a meeting (so it appears on your calendar if folks check) and then to close out of both email and your chat app (we use MS Teams). Either way, the important part is to schedule the meeting on your calendar.
Schedule an out of office meeting with yourself. Thanks Jennifer. Sometimes we are our own best company. 🙂
Dan–all good points. #13 is very important.
But keep in mind–too much focus can give you tunnel vision. One of your distractions may trigger a great new idea.
So don’t overly structure your day and only focus on being highly efficient. As you say–Schedule some distraction time.