Focus is one of the most powerful time management skills in your toolbox. It’s about being in the moment, and consciously choosing where you put your energy.
Focus enhances your presence and productivity, and it’s a skill that we each need to bring to our moments over and over – as often as needed. Focus doesn’t maintain itself; it’s something we must choose.
So, I offer you 5 Tips for enhancing your ability to recognize, value, and make use of this powerful time tool as your moments unfold.
Tip #1: Focus is a skill you learn and relearn.
As young children, we were highly motivated and focused on learning basic developmental tasks such as walking. In order to focus successfully on important aspects of your life, it is vital that you relearn this skill. Rekindling your active interest in what surrounds you refreshes your outlook and limbers up your mind.
Tip #2: The more fully you focus, the more effectively and easily you complete tasks.
One helpful technique is “batching” or organizing similar activities together. For example, group all your phone calls, and make them one right after the other. Or, set a block of time aside to read and answer your email.
In this way, you are creating a flow of energy rather than jumping from one activity to another. Since dissimilar tasks require realigning your energy and focus, allow extra time whenever transitioning to a fresh “batch” of projects.
Tip #3; Quieting your mind helps you focus.
Whenever I work with a client who is agitated or anxious, I always suggest meditation. How this is done can vary from person to person, but 10-20 minutes, two times a day (done with regularity) helps quell anxiety and increase the ability to focus. Diaphragmatic breathing can also help to balance your energy.
Tip #4: Capturing your ideas is a way to focus.
Taking the responsibility to immediately record your fresh ideas saves you the time and the trouble of frantically trying to recall them later. This is an easy way to help yourself focus. A further advantage to jotting down thoughts right away is that you can then turn your full focused attention to the next project at hand. I personally rely on stickies, a hand-held recorder, and writing tablets, depending on the circumstance. Taking steps to carefully file and to later retrieve these thoughts strengthens your capacity to let go of them and focus successfully on NOW.
Tip #5: Break large projects into smaller pieces to maintain focus.
It is easy to become overwhelmed and out of focus if you try to grab hold of a large complicated project. Instead, list its separate components. Next, group them into three or four individual categories. This helps you develop and maintain a clear vision. By focusing on a specific task within a specific time frame, you will experience success that you can build on.
I hope that these tips help you with your focus!© Copyright 2013 Paula Eder, Ph.D.