Take the time to think about your goals for the new year. Identifying and implementing something new requires focus. When tackling a long list of nonessential, tedious tasks, focus is mission critical. Whether the bull’s-eye on your back is a hefty goal or a bunch of minutiae, adopt these tips to sharpen your focus.
Start by defining you what you want to get done. Goals are the big chunks of stuff you want to get accomplished, like find a new job, train for a race, or hire a new employee. Now cull that list of goals into what is most important right now. It doesn’t mean you are abandoning the other goals. It means you are making a choice. Too many goals sap your energy and dilute your resolve to achieve anything. Simplify! Pick one goal and identify it as the #1 priority. You will now have laser-like focus on what you plan to accomplish. Goals without action steps are just words.
Make your goal specific, as in actionable (what-when-how), achievable (key milestones) and measurable ( success ). Write an action plan for your goals. Break the action plan into a series of small steps. Write your goal on an index card as a daily reminder of what you intend to achieve.
Prioritize your time each day. Schedule specific time to work on your goal. Then move to your list of to do’s. Choose the most challenging task and nail it. Now you have momentum to roll into the second item on your list. Ignore the diversions that get in the way of moving forward. You haven’t the time to do everything . Let it go. Make a list of what needs to be done for the day and begin. Stay upbeat and accountable to yourself to follow through. Keep your focus until your allotted time is up. Then roll over your unfinished items for tomorrow.
Ditch the distractions. Turn off the buzzing, beeping phones and message alerts. Find a quiet zone, invest in quality headphones to concentrate. Leave the tasks alone until you have spent some quality time on your goal. Tasks often end up being a major time suck, and busy work should not be confused with focused productivity.
Become a life hack. Choose to be organized, Productivity thrives in a clean, neat space. Set boundaries – set and keep timelines to get things done. Block off times to ensure completion. Refuse to allow diversions to side track your focus.
To show up fully engaged each day, learn to manage your energy as well as your time. Eat well, exercise and get to bed. Your focus suffers dramatically with sleep deprivation. Choose to be positive. Measure and track your progress against your goal. Build on your successes, and allow for unmotivated days. Focus is a habit. Cultivate focus and boost your productivity.