Focus is essential for peak performance. Athletes who focus on the right things at the right times will outperform those who get distracted. However, this begs the question, “What is the right thing to focus on?”
Staying organized and managing your to-do list is a challenge. There are a ton of systems and tools that claim to help you get more done. You can spend so much time shopping for a tool you don’t get anything done. What really matters is finding a strategy that works for you.
I’ve tried a lot of different methods to keep track of all that I have to get done: sticky notes, to-do lists, outlook tasks, white boards, note pads, and apps (lots of apps). Many of these were suitable options. All had their limitations.
Have you ever been oblivious to what was going on around you because you were so immersed in something? I sure have. Sometimes we get absorbed in a movie, a big game, a well-written book, surfing social media or just good conversation and lose awareness of our surroundings. What would you say if I told you we can harness that same phenomenon in our work?
“Do more with less” has become the mantra of today’s businesses. Sixty hour workweeks seem to be taking over. We complain about lack of time and manpower while more items stack up on our task lists. However, I remind you that necessity is the mother of invention. Allow me to introduce you to Parkinson’s Law and how we can embrace the pursuit of efficiency.
Progress and accomplishment increase motivation and energy. Distractions, on the other hand, suck the wind out our sails and leave us feeling drained. Yet, if we can remove our distractions and overcome them, we’ll gain great satisfaction in our work. We’ll feel as if we achieved something…because we did.
One of my favorite questions to ask people when I speak about multitasking is this: “Have you ever come home exhausted at the end of the day, with no idea what you actually accomplished?” The typical response is a resounding “yes.” Perhaps you’ve had that experience too. Often, this occurs because we weren’t focused enough and spent the day interrupting one task for the next every time a new issue came to us. The side-effects that seem to accompany these days are drained energy, lower satisfaction, and increased stress.