Do you spend your day with a clear plan or strategy?
What has the most emotional impact on you?
How are you spending your time? On the Urgent or the Important?
How Do You Contribute to the Problem?
You will normally do the things that distract you like checking email, answering phone calls, sending text messages and responding to notifications on your smart phone. Productivity requires you to focus on your day. Analyze the key components of your day, create a plan and focus on what you can control. We live in an age of distraction. Everyone wants your attention and you are connected to the rest of the world 24/7. I can even log onto the internet and get a live feed of the space station right now.
Your Focus is Being Targeted
You can focus on the things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem. – Tim Cook
Everything you do, interact with and see is marketed towards you. The study of human behavior is so good that we know how to stack shelves to catch your eyes and your kid’s eyes, the type of colors to use and packaging that will attract your attention. I even know what times are effective to send emails to you and my co-workers so it increases a higher percentage of being opened. Each popup window is strategically placed based on your past behavior. This is why in today’s world it is increasingly important to focus on the task at hand.
Take Back Control of Your Focus
- Get clear-cut on what you want. There are a thousand things on everyone’s to-do-list. Which is more important and moves you towards your goals?
- Make sure you focus on what’s important. Select 1 or 2 things that are most important to you and are related to your core values.
- Keep it to a minimum. Only select 2-3 items per morning to work on. Anything more has your brain cluttered and juggling more than it can handle.
- Disconnect from the world. Probably the toughest, but best advice you can receive. Your will power and ability to resist is higher in the morning.
- Turn off your notifications. Smart phone and computer notifications keep us up-to-date, but pull us away from important tasks.
- Clear the clutter. Whatever work station you might have, keep it clear and minimal. Whether it is a lad, cubicle, or service truck, clutter distracts the mind.
- Email kills productivity. Control how you check your email so it doesn’t control you.
- Train people to respect your time. Someone needs something at every second of the day and what they are working on is more important to them. Take the time to do something for yourself while meeting the needs of others.
- Don’t try to do too much. Think quality over quantity. Efficiency is much more productive and faster than working frantically.
- Stop multi-tasking. Attempting to multi-task destroys focus and prevents efficiency.
- Take more time. Plan more time to complete tasks. If you get done early, use the extra time you have as a reward.
- Plan the night before. Planning the night before allows you to reflect on today’s current success and failures and lets you apply lessons learned before tomorrow gets here.
- Take breaks. Breaks are rewards. Breaks refresh will-power and focus.