I would like to start this blog post by quoting Tony
Robbins. I am not sure he was the first to use it, but I heard it from him:
Where focus goes, energy flows. What we focus on expands.
I believe that to be productive, we need to be
laser-focused on what we want. And what we want, not what someone else wants
from us. When we work towards our goal it is easier to focus, than when we work
on someone else’s goal.
Many times our focus is on the wrong things. We often
focus on how busy we are, how much time we lack, how much we still have to do,
and how little time to do it. We focus on the endless to do list, we focus on
not having time, we focus on tomorrow. We allow ourselves to be distracted
every 6 minutes on average every day by our phones. We allow ourselves to be
distracted by coworkers, family members, people who we even don´t like. We
allow ourselves to be distracted because what we do does not interest us.
Because we come to start the task with the belief that this is just boring.
Sometimes we have to do boring stuff. Sometimes we have to do things we don´t
feel like doing. How to stay focused then? Change the way you think about the
task. Focus on what you can learn from it, reward yourself after finishing the
not so pleasant task.
I believe that if we want to stay productive we need
to know why we are doing what we are doing, why this task is important for us,
and why now? The next step is to have indistractable time to work on the task.
We cannot stay laser-focused for more than 45 minutes, so timebox your focus
time for 45 minutes at a time. During these 45 minutes do nothing except the
task at hand. No phone, no internet (if the task does not require it), no
chatting with anyone, all eyes on the task. After 45 minutes take a walking
break or coffee break or dance break. Do something else, and then you can focus
for 45 minutes again.
Remember, that no one model fits all. Find what works
for you, what makes you more and less productive? While having my corporate
full-time job I started building my coaching career and I had other goals on my
list at the same time. To be able to do it all I had to improve my time
management and productivity skills. I tried a lot of different time management
tips and below I am sharing my top five. These are the ones that helped me to
improve my productivity the most.
– Decide what is most important for you. And if doing
this task today will bring you closer to your goal. If not, should you do it?
For example, I always ironed everything: towels, bed sheets, socks, and
sometimes even underwear. But when I listed my goals, I saw that trying to do
it all makes me stressed as I do not have time for everything. I decided that
ironing a towel will not bring me closer to my goal of being a coach, so I
dropped it. It was hard at the beginning because I liked everything ironed, but
I did not like myself stressed out.
– Plan the time for traction and distraction. We
cannot be focused all the time. We also need a fun time of doing nothing or
something unplanned. If we will not plan time for fun times, relaxed times,
family times, lazy times, they will steal the time from our focused time. It is
fine to do nothing, or play with your friends, or watch tv or scroll social
media if you do it on the time for distraction. When I focus, I focus 100%. I
turn off my phone and all pages on my computer that I will not need. I also try
to be home alone or tell my boyfriend that for the next 45 minutes I will be
laser-focused and shouldn´t be disturbed. But I also plan fun time, usually,
every hour after dinner is not planned. I want that time to do whatever comes
to my mind.
– Turn off all notifications on your phone and
computer. We always check our phones when we hear a beep or see a notification
on our screens, and we get hundreds of notifications per day. Very often they
mean nothing. But we get distracted and it takes time to get the focus back to
the task at hand. I advise you to turn off all pop ups and all notifications
and sounds. Let your family and friends know, that if something important, they
need to call you because you do not use social media 24/7. This trick saved me
so much time. Now I schedule a time for replying to social media messages and
comments. Every week I schedule two hours and reply to all my clients. If I
would be replying when I receive a message, I would be sitting in front of my phone
every day for hours.
– Do not repeat the phrase: I am so busy, I have no
time. What we tell ourselves we believe. No matter if it is true or lies. If
you always tell yourself how busy you are and how much time you lack, your
brain will start believing it and making it true for you. Today, it is also
very popular to be busy and not to have time. Because if you are not busy, then
you are not doing enough. Do not fall for this trap. Do not mix being busy with
achieving and completing things. Tell yourself that you have all the time you
need to achieve your goals. Tell yourself that you have enough time for
everything, that you want to do. It will lower your stress and anxiety. What we
tell ourselves matter.
– Focus on one thing at a time. Do not multitask. We
can only multitask when we need to use different body parts for different
things. For example, we can listen to a book and run at the same time, because
we need different brain functions to do it. But we cannot reply to emails and
listen to a book. That is not possible. Our brain cannot do these two tasks
simultaneously. Yes, you will be able to do both, but you either won´t remember
the audiobook or will send a crappy email. Choose wisely.
We can be productive by staying focused. We can focus
by minimizing distractions. Do you have difficulties and challenges with time
management, with staying focused on the task at hand? Do you start and quit
things before you finish them? Do you want to be better at managing your time
and productivity? Reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us work