Life is a jumbled mess, just by nature. Take a moment to think of all of your obligations. You might have a family to feed, school work to study, a career that demands more and more of your time, friends who are asking you to go out with them, a partner who wants to spend time with you, parents who ask why you don’t visit more often… the list keeps expanding. How many of these tasks can you tackle, realistically and sincerely, each week? So let us show you how to focus and accomplish your goals, even when life becomes demanding.
More than you think.
Your 6 Tips on How to Focus
1. If you don’t know where to start…
Here’s a good starting point: do you currently keep an up-to-date to-do list? Just letting these thoughts fly around in your head all day is a sure way to make sure they never get accomplished. How many times have you been in the middle doing a chore, then thought, “Oh, I really need to call my mother.”
If you don’t keep a to-do list, your choices are to either call your mother right away or forget again for another week. By keeping a to-do list, you’ll write down these tasks as you think of them, getting the thought out of your head and down on paper.
2. If you already write to-do lists but don’t keep up with them…
Chances are, you’re not getting the full effect of to do lists. Keeping up with your to-do lists is just as important as writing them in the first place. If you have trouble remembering to use a to-do list when you have a task come up, consider making a certain time of the day just for writing and maintaining a to-do list.
This is one of the primary habits you’ll develop in the Staying on the Road journey with Fabulous.
Choose a time of day when you can sit down, think clearly, and add any tasks floating around in your head to your list. Then, go through and check off all the tasks you’ve completed. Do this each day (yes, even on weekends!) and watch as you learn how to focus your mind clearly.
3. If you’re overwhelmed by your never-ending list…
It’s time to start prioritizing. Take a look at your list right now. Which of these tasks must be completed today? You can either create a separate list just for these tasks or highlight them. Do something to clarify that these tasks must be completed today. If your “today” list is still too much to swallow, break it down into hours. What do you need to have done by lunchtime? If your tasks don’t have such specific deadlines, make your own.
4. If you have a list of tasks that must be completed today, but then don’t have any time for any of the other tasks…
You either need to delegate tasks or rethink your priorities. Looking at your list of tasks that must be completed today, think about which of these tasks bear the most significant consequences.
If you can’t identify any tasks that won’t have severe consequences each day, then you need to start delegating these tasks to others. This will depend on the task, but maybe this means asking your spouse to make dinner this evening or asking a coworker to assist you with a report.
If you’re finding yourself asking for help each week, take a step back and find what needs to be permanently changed. Do you need to let your boss know that you can’t take on any more responsibilities? Does your friend need to cut back and only call you once a week instead of 3 times? Can your children start washing their own dishes? As small or large of a task it may be, each time you can get a task off your shoulders, you will open up time for you to consider your personal development.
You might feel bad asking others for help, but the peace of mind it will offer you is invaluable. You may notice that the tasks you do take on will be more focused and of higher quality, since you’re less stressed about other tasks.
5. If you regularly get distracted while in the middle of a task…
Try our Make Me Fabulous “Focused Work” sessions During these sessions, whenever you have a random thought pop up, write it down on paper immediately, and continue your task at hand. If your family, friends, or coworkers are distracting you, then put on headphones, and set a special time each day to yourself.
Sometimes it’s not about learning how to focus but creating boundaries that help you do it. So let people know that each day, from 6pm to 7pm (for example) that you need this time to work uninterrupted, and that you should only be interrupted for emergencies.
6. If you just can’t find the motivation to tackle your to-dos…
Figure out what is preventing you from getting started. Identify any barriers that are keeping you from improving your concentration, and then get around them.
If you’ve been putting off a report for work, is it because you’re lacking the information needed? Speak with a co-worker or supervisor to get a clearer description of the task. Are you dreading putting away that pile of laundry? It’s probably because you feel like other tasks are more important. Get these tasks out of the way first, then you’ll have no reason not to do your laundry. Do you know what you need to do, but find yourself stuck scrolling through social media? Get an app that blocks your access to these apps, or better yet, uninstall them.
While these are simple examples, often times, barriers can be more complex. Keep in mind that it might take the assistance of a friend, family member, or therapist to help you figure out your barriers to success. But, once you find out, you’re that much closer to a more fulfilling life.
Life is a series of tasks; some of them less fun than others, but nevertheless, things we still must do. Changing the way you organize and manage your tasks will change your entire lifestyle. It’s a great way to start on your journey of self-growth.
This is all easier said than done…
This is where Fabulous comes into play. Our Staying on the Road journey will teach you how to focus by developing supporting habits step by step, to make sure they last. We’ll show you how building one habit at a time is significantly more effective than piling on tons of new behaviors all at once, then watching as your tower of habits collapses after a few weeks. We’ll be there for you every step of the way.
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