7 Tips to Focus on What Matters and Get It Done

focusIn a previous post we talked about managing priorities. Below are a few tips to help you focus on what’s important.

1.Tame the email/communication beast

For me this is the biggest time waster. If you don’t have to check email (voice-mail) first thing in the morning, don’t. Do one important thing instead. If you have to check email, do it at certain intervals and limit your time for responding. I have three time slots during the day (around 9 AM, 12 PM and 4:30 PM) to check email. I give myself no more than 20 minutes on each session. If something is not done, I carry it forward to the next day. Do the same thing with social networking activity as it can take up a lot of your time.

2.Write things down

Writing things down is the simplest tool to get clarity on what’s important. You become more aware of it. Awareness combined with clarity will motivate you to get things going.

3.Think long-term

Think of how this activity would matter in a few years. If it matters, do it and commit to it. If it doesn’t, let it go or do it after you get what’s important done.

4. Balance your commitments

Honor your obligations to yourself as much as you do with others. You may have to say no to others and you may have to say no to yourself. If you have too many things that you think are important to you, chances are you will feel overwhelmed and won’t get anything done.

5. Embrace the unitasker in you

As mentioned above, you may have to say no to yourself at times. Focus on a priority or two and no more. If you start doing something and you find out it’s not the most important thing to you, remove it and add something else. Don’t try to juggle so many things as this will induce stress and suck the joy out of what you do.

6 Get organized

Once you have decided what your top priorities are, get organized. If you want to spend more time with family, think about how you want to spend the time and schedule it. If you want to learn a new skill, get the tools and learning material and create a simple system. A clear direction will make it easier for you to start.

Organization is important  when doing the mundane stuff too.The more organized you are, the more efficient and effective you become in getting the routine stuff done and out of your way. **

7. Schedule time alone

Allow yourself free time to do whatever you want. This time is for you to daydream, play or simply do nothing at all. Do not cheat yourself and use this time to make up for whatever didn’t get done. You need the break to recharge and refocus your energies. T

his can be the time when you get insights and reflect on your daily experiences.

As you start moving forward, you can revise your approach and adapt it to new changes in your life. And please remember consistency is the muscle of momentum. So keep at it.