How to Stay Focused Like the Badass You Are
This month has been one of the busiest in a while and I know that whilst I need to be focused sometimes it's far too easy to put off what needs to be done until later. I'm not just talking work here, procrastinating can mean that we don't maximise our potential in every area of our life and when we become too relaxed everything else seems to slip- be that keeping on top of our social media and finances, our body or even the housework (I'm looking at you giant ironing pile ).
So here are my top 5 tips for helping you to keep focused when all you want to do is curl up on the sofa watch some trashy tv and eat your weight in ice cream..
Get It All Out it Your Head.
When we’re constantly thinking and worrying about all of the many things we need to get done, it’s kind of like having hundreds of tabs open in our browser. Our minds become scattered and it becomes hard to get anything done. Brain dump everything you need to do into a master to-do list. Don’t be afraid to go into minute detail so that you know exactly what you need to do, step-by-step. It can also be helpful to break this down by category whether that’s just business/personal or even more specific.
One of my favourite forms of procrastination is getting stuck into busy work so that I feel like I’m being productive while actually avoiding the big or mundane tasks that need to get done. The Eisenhower Principle is a helpful tool for getting really clear on what order to do things in. This requires you to divide tasks into four categories: Important and Urgent. Important but not urgent. Not important but urgent. Not important and not urgent. A task is considered important if it leads us to achieving a goal. And it is considered urgent if it requires immediate attention - for example if it has an upcoming deadline. Once you’ve gotten clear on which tasks go where, work through the first three categories in order. Tasks in the fourth category can usually be dropped from your list all together because if they’re not urgent and not important, why do them?
Work in focused blocks.
Last month we talked about blocking our time and this strategy is just as helpful when it comes to staying focused. The Pomodoro Technique is really helpful for focusing on one thing at a time. All you do is set a timer for 25 minutes and for that entire time, focus exclusively on completing (or working on) a specific task. When the timer goes off, take a five minute break to do something completely different: get a glass of water, pet your dog, stretch your legs, whatever. Working with a single point of focus will help you get in the flow and be much more productive!
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate.
When we try to do everything ourselves, we rarely do anything well. By hiring someone - like a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager (hi, I can help!) - to take over the tasks you don’t like or aren’t good at, you get to stay in your zone of genius doing the work you love and excel at. Often this is exactly what needs to happen in order to free up bandwidth when you want to grow and expand your business.
Give Yourself Plenty Of Rest
Yep, I know it sounds counterproductive when I’m talking about needing a kick up the backside to be more productive and focused. BUT without regular rest - which means both sleep and leisure time - we’ll be too tired to work well. Plus, you’ll likely end up resenting your work. By scheduling rest and recreation into your week, you’ll always know when you have some time off to enjoy yourself, which can make it easier to stay focused on the task at hand when there’s work to be done.
Using these tips I’m now feeling fresh and focused in every area of my life. My business is continuing to grow. I’m reaching personal bests at running. And my home life is ticking along smoothly (okay, okay there’s still an ironing pile but it’s considerably smaller!)
If you’re struggling to stay on task with that beautiful sun shining through your window, give these tips a try and I’m sure you’ll feel more productive straight away.