Staying focused on what matters most is a key to getting the most out of your life. But it seems as though life is moving faster than ever. We have more distractions than we ever had in the past. Everywhere we turn, more seems to be wanted from us and our focus. It’s no wonder it’s so challenging staying focused on what matters most.
With a bit of discipline and these 8 tips, you can experience the benefits of staying focused and avoiding distractions that sideline you from what matters most.
1. Listen to Background Music
If you have the means, play some background music while you are working. You can choose any style of music, but it has been shown that classical music works best for solid focus and productivity. This could be because there is usually no singing to otherwise distract you. Choose whatever style works best for you, though.
2. Set Up a Distraction-Free Environment
If your work area contains too many distractions, you’ll almost always be tempted to take on those distractions. Setting up a TV and having access to your smartphone while you are trying to work is likely to be counterproductive. The situation has gotten even worse now that the internet offers so many more distractions than ever. Utilize some of the many tools available that can help you limit your internet use and block time-wasting websites.
3. Set Goals and Measure Them
If you set some goals and monitor how you are doing with them, you have something to strive for. This makes it much easier to focus when you know there is an end game to your work. Monitoring your progress is crucial for this to be effective.
4. Delegate When You Can
Often, we are given are take on too many tasks for any one person to complete in a day. Deadlines for these tasks seem to be getting shorter as well. Sometimes you have these extra tasks simply because you haven’t set up healthy boundaries and don’t say no. If you don’t feel comfortable saying no, then at the very least, see what responsibilities you can delegate so you can focus on what matters.
5. Don’t Multitask
Most people hold the belief they are good multitaskers. The truth is most people aren’t. We are not really designed to take on more than one task at a time and are too easily distracted. What ends up happening is we do a mediocre job at many tasks rather than doing a great job with a few.
6. Create a Daily to Do List
You may know what you need to get done at a high level or month-to-month what is expected of you or what you expect of yourself. How you decide to get those tasks done is up to you. If you set up a to-do list each day, you have a clear picture of what you need to complete for the day.
It won’t always happen, and there will be interruptions not included on the list. But, at least you can focus on the items that you believe will help you get closer to accomplishing the tasks you have set up that are helping you make progress towards what matters most. An added benefit is that creating that to-do list will free up your mind for that focused activity.
7. Find Ways to Create Accountability
It can be easy to stray from what you need to get done. The distractions, procrastination, or just going down those rabbit holes. Find something or someone who can help make sure you are getting what you need to get done. Explore what works best for you. If you’d like to explore coaching as a possibility, click here.
8. Use Time Management Software
What’s great about time management software is it allows you to track what tasks you are performing on a minute-by-minute basis. Most will allow you to run a report to see where you are spending most of your time and what needs tweaking. If you want to go the old-fashioned route, keep a time journal. Keep handwritten notes on where you’re spending your time and reflect weekly on what can be changed or enhanced in the coming weeks.
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