You’re trying to do all the things, but progress toward your goals feels slow. You think about what you could get done if you just had more time. What if I told you you don’t need more time?
You need more focus.
I know you are busy. I know you hustle hard. But what if things could be easier? What if you could get in flow. What if you could get things done — without more time?
Let’s talk about how focus helps and how to get focused in a world built on distractions.
Focused or Busy?
The idea that “busy” is a badge of honor isn’t new, and a lot of us don’t think of being busy as a virtue. But how do you get “unbusy” when you wear multiple hats in a go – go – go world? How do you get past your mile long to do list? How do you actually get things done when you are pulled in every direction daily?
The answer is Focus!
Focus means knowing your purpose or your why.
Focus means knowing your goals or how you’ll get to your why.
Focus means knowing the projects you’ll take on to meet those goals.
Focus means knowing what’s most important to do each day to finish those projects or feel the way you want to feel.
Focus means having distraction free time to do the work.
3 Steps to Find More Focus
Focus is both the clarity about what you need to do and the time to do it. Focus starts with a plan and a to do list that works for, not against you. Focus means training your brain and using systems to help you get past distractions.
1. Start with a plan
Plan your week to make sure you have the focus time you need and the most important things get done. Do a big brain dump of all the things that need to happen. Identify the things that will move you toward your goals. Schedule those first! Put in any set schedule items (weekly meetings, appointments).
Then mark all your work time for the week. Now get really realistic about time. If you have 30 hours of work, you can’t fit it into 20 hours of work time. It’s like trying to pour a gallon of soup into a quart container. Two things happen when we aren’t realistic about time: we feel overwhelmed and a sense of failure and we train ourselves not to get stuff done.
Instead overestimate how long things will take. Break down tasks into smaller chunks and schedule each piece. Decide what will have to happen next week (or next month or next quarter).
2. Make decisions once
When it comes to time and focus, routines, themes, and systems are your friend. What decisions can you make once?
Think Taco Tuesday or Financial Friday. Or block off Wednesdays for content creation and Mondays for client calls. This repetition in your week is time you don’t have to think about.
When you set up routines, you don’t have to think about things. You get into a habit that serves you.
I have a closing routine — 15 minutes at the end of my workday to review what I got done that day, celebrate my wins (super important), check my calendar and write out a to-do list for the next day. Then I close my computer, straighten my desk, take the dishes to the kitchen, plug in my devices to charge, recycle notepaper, and set up my start-to-work for the next day. This process sets me up for success the next day AND triggers my brain to know that I’m done with work.
3. Use triggers to find focus
Just like I train my brain to know that I’m done with work, we can train our brains to focus.
In Focus Sessions, we use our Focus Flow to bring people into focus every time. Each step is designed to help you focus, and the repetition of the flow each time, helps people get into that focused state more quickly as they get used to doing it. Here’s what we do:
- Prepare — Turn off notifications. Put on Do Not Disturb Mode. Closeout tabs and files you are not using. Move other projects off your desk. This helps remove distractions AND starts to tell your brain you are getting ready to focus.
- Arrive — Take a few minutes to breathe, meditate, and clear your head. In Focus Sessions, our host will walk you through a brief exercise to help you arrive here.
- Declare — Identify what you are going to work on. Write it down. The more clear you are on what you are doing (Writing my bio for my website vs. Working on my website copy), the easier it is to focus. Pick something you can get done (or make good progress on) in the time you have available.
- Share — In Focus Sessions, we show what we wrote on our Post-it notes or share in chat what our focus task is. You can say it aloud to yourself or text your accountability partner that you are focusing for the next X minutes on X task.
Then start your timer and get to work. If you get distracted, use your written note to pull you back to focus.
Plan your time. Set your focus. Get more done. The Focus Planner helps you set up your week and your focus time. Get yours here: Focus Planner.
Join us on a Focus Session, the first session is on us!