Before starting to plan the week ahead we should focus on how do we wish the week to look like.
How do we want to perform at work, what do we need to get done during the week? If we don’t know how to measure, we can’t manage our work properly.
During my office work I experienced different challenges/myths to my focus:
a) writing everything down as to do list without prioritizing
b) checking emails to read later when you have more time (Face it, is never less work to do and you end up only with a big list of unread emails)
c) considering your emails your “to do list” (your emails are not your to do list and they can be divided in different categories: delete, delegate, do it now, do it later, defer the decision, decide)
d) checking emails all the time just for a quick look as if it is something important (is time consuming, establish a time for emails: 20 minutes per hour and use the rest of the time working)
e) Unread email show that you’are needed (is not true, it shows that you don’t manage your inbox properly, the actual work is outside your inbox)
f) Helping colleagues with small tasks it shows team work and respect (is not true, it shows interruption and disrespect for your work. You can schedule your small tasks to one hour when you can help everybody.)
Questions to ask yourself if you achieved your goal for the week:
1. How do I know that I am focused?
2. What needs to happen to feel focused?
3. For how long do you need to be focused? This is a question that changed my life. If we plan to be focused for 5 hours straight, then this will cause stress and anxiety for us because is not possible. We can stay focused for 40 minutes and take a break of 5 minutes after. I advice the break to be a glass of water (maybe a walk to the kitchen or outside the building, a chat with a colleague/even verbalizing an email that you wanted to send to that person would be effective, is less time consuming and you can take a break from your work)
4. Remember the “I will” I want” and “I won’t”? Here is the moment to put this concept at work.
Fill in the blanks:
To be focused I will:……………………………….
I want to be focused, to:…………………………
To be focused, I won’t:…………………………..
The last bit is the most important. Thinking that you will not encounter interruptions is crazy. there will be interruptions and distractions.
A great awareness before starting to tackle them will help you a lot.
-What does it distract you at work from your focus?
-What might interrupt your flow?
As you already know, we have also a Facebook page where we share daily tips and exercises about productivity and focus, if you would like to stay tuned: https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Procrastinate-therefore-Ill-fix-it-Tomorrow/537782569671245
If you need to be proactive to help you maintain your focus:
Design a proactive time at the beginning of the week, read all your tips and advices and put in practice. Constantly checking the facebook page for new tips, is a very big mistake that will cause distraction.
There are plenty of apps to use to become more productive, to maintain your temptations away, but “Joining a Facebook page about productivity is like buying a chair for jogging”:)
Tomorrow evening we will have an workshop designed to support our focus to achieve our goals. Please write down your questions and we will try to find solutions together.If you didn’t join yet, please follow the link below and reserve your place. It will be a small workshop, for a better focus. Places limited to 10. Get Productive workshop
Have a great week of clarity and productivity!