photo for focus article

Are you the one that is either procrastinating or multitasking, well stop both! What you need to do is FOCUS (easier said than done, right!) change your set of mind to change your life. Focus on quality, focus on your creativity, and most of all focus on productivity. It’s not something that can be done easily, I know. But when you have achieved it, it can have huge benefits not only in your work life but in your day to day life when your no longer in the work setting.

The most important point first!

So how do you even begin to focus? Spend a little time to get your thoughts together, go for a walk, sit down, whatever you find comfortable. Now you have taken a breather take a minute to decide what your highest priority is. Basically you are making a list of all the tasks and responsibilities you have for that week or that month. On this list you are going to order your tasks from most important to least important, this way you can see exactly what needs to be done. In review of your list you can then decide who to pass on specific task to, the key phrase to remember here is “if someone can do it better, let them”. Don’t stress yourself trying to do everything.

What’s YOUR goals?

So now you have your priorities in check. Time to take it to the next level, take another breather, have a few minutes to really focus on what your goal is. The prime question to ask yourself is “where do you want to be in the next 2 to 5 years personally and professionally?” Now time for the lists again, order your goals from most important to least important (I know it’s not easy to differentiate between all the thoughts running round in your head but trust me and you can thank me later). Take a look at both of the lists you have made is there any common denominators? Now you can pair them up together to get both your tasks and goals done.

Stop the Multitasking Now!

Even though we shouldn’t do it we still do, it’s like a naturally reaction for us busy bees. Studies from Carnegie Mellon University have proven that if you are doing two tasks at once, they both suffer quality in which they could have achieved if done individually, so it’s crazy to think that we all still do it. As well as statistics show that office workers can be disrupted both digitally and in human form, roughly every three minutes! University of California studies have shown that it can take up to 23 minutes to return to the original task after being distracted. So why are we still multitasking with all this proof.

 Setting yourself up to FOCUS

The first thing you need to do is to start blocking out the distractions! (even your work bestie). Then appoint yourself blocks of time to get each task done, and actually just focus on each individual task in that allocated time slot, rather than drifting between them all, which we are destined to do at some point or another, but we going to stop it. When scheduling your work time blocks, depending on each task, allocate about an hour to two hours to get your task done then give yourself 15minutes to refresh before starting your next task block. During your longer tasks it is best if you do not answer your phone, reply to emails or instant messages (aka Facebook, the world’s biggest distraction) this way you can solely focus on the task in hand. However, do not let the tasks run your day they have to be able to work around you.

 Break Time!

I bet you didn’t think planning your breaks would come into this equation did you? Well it does. The harder you work is when you really need to have a moment to refresh yourself (work hard to play hard). So what do you normally do to relax? go for a walk? read a book? Getting out of the office for just five to ten minutes can give that boost you need. So plan yours breaks carefully, don’t be wasting that precious “me time”. Do whatever works for you. We all need that little bit of release time in the middle of a long busy day at work. So go for a short walk outside or read a couple of pages of your favorite book you haven’t had time to read.

 Work is not always life

That is right! You can schedule your work life but not always your personal life (if you’re like me then you probably wish you could) but even then everything doesn’t always go to plan at work. So what do you do? You pick up the pieces and create a new path to take. Now I hate change in plans so I know how difficult this can be for some people but at the end of the day, it’s the end of the day and its time to let go of all the stresses of the day. Spend time to yourself or with your loved ones. Tomorrows another day to make one small change to make the rest of your life more peaceful.

FOCUS.