Shemeka Brathwaite, MSED is a peak performance strategist, keynote speaker, and coach. She is often invited by organizations, associations, and educational institutions to provide inspiring programs on productivity, leadership, and executive presence. Her immersive training programs help professionals learn how to implement new systems that streamline the demands on one’s time, so they can achieve more at work, increase their influence, and live intentionally.
Each day, there are dozens of tasks that are calling your name, both at work and in your personal life. With life being so busy it’s easy to lose focus on the big picture.
How many times have you gone to bed wondering what you actually accomplished that day? Or have you ever felt like your day was somehow wasted?
To avoid these feelings, you can try a few different methods to get yourself back on track. Rather than bemoaning your wasted time, resolve to regain your focus and get back on task.
There’s a famous quote about focus by the great philosopher Confucius: “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” True, there might be people who are able to multitask and do it relatively well; but more often than not, people who split their attention between two different tasks have a more difficult time completing both tasks well.
Here are five ways to regain your focus and get back on task:
1. Eliminate the distractions. Get rid of the barriers that are causing you to avoid getting things done – it’s that simple! Forget about checking your email every five minutes; those emails will still be there when you complete your task. Make a list of distractions and eliminate them!
Turn off the phone and let the voice mail take over..
Turn off the music if you find yourself singing more than working.
Simply closing the door to your office can give you more privacy and more focus.
2. Time, focus on it, and worry about all the other projects later. Ultimately, you’ll get a lot more done and you’ll finish it more quickly. You’ll also be recognized by the high quality that you deliver when you’re free from distractions.
Find a way to prioritize that works best for you. Choose either the project that has the earliest deadline or the one with the least components so you can finish it quickly and get it out of the way. There are pros and cons to both systems so tackle it whichever way works for you.
3. Prioritize your work. Rather than working on projects simultaneously, take one thing at a Tell everyone to respect your time. There are many nice and respectful ways to tell people to back off. If you’re finding yourself in a time crunch and can’t seem to get away from others, consider letting them know that you need time to finish some important tasks. There are a lot of different ways to do it.
Set business hours during which people can expect you to return their calls or emails.
4. Set some limitations with your internet access. The internet is wonderful but it can be a huge time waster, especially if you work at a computer all day long. Regain your focus with some self-imposed rules.
First, close all those windows you’re not using. Avoid MySpace or Facebook, quit searching on eBay, and leave messenger alone!
Establish certain times each day to use these fun things and just focus on what you have to do. You’ll quickly accomplish more!
5. Have confidence in your abilities. This may seem like a really small thing when it comes to focusing and getting back on task, but believing that you can get everything done that you set out to do puts you in a positive frame of mind and you’ll be less distracted with stress and worry.
Have confidence that you can complete each task with ease and believe in your ability to deliver. If you’ll just have the confidence, you’re sure to have the focus!
Now that you’ve been introduced to five ways to focus and get back on task, it’s up to you to take action and learn how to focus your thoughts. If you’ve got to get stuff done, follow these steps so you can put yourself – and your goals – first!
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