Monday, February 14, 2011

Lost Focus? 5 techniques to make the most of your day

I was recently reminded of a bunch of de-stressing/time-management techniques that I've been using for a while... It can be applied to all areas of your life, and help you maximize your time in the work place, and MAKE time to train and stay active.

When I start to lose focus, or I find myself working on several projects at once and finishing none, or when I look back on a day and wonder what I actually accomplished, I always do the following.
1. Breathe. That's it. Just breathe. Sit in a quiet place for at least 10 minutes, close my eyes and think about nothing. Forget work, the gym, forget the bills, forget the deadlines and issues awaiting you, forget the 10-14 hour days this week. Just think about breathing. You will be amazed at how well this will calm you down and get your mind centered.
2. Write down my goals for the day/week/month/year.  Writing these down will likely be an eye-opening experience as you start thinking about how 80% of your daily activities are NOT in line with your goals. Keep this piece of paper in your wallet or purse at all times and revisit it often.
3. Make a to do list. On a separate piece of paper, write down absolutely everything that you have on your mind that you need to do. This is called a brain dump. Free your mind from having to remember anything. Put it all on paper. 
4. Identify the important tasks....Those things on your list that are in line with your "Goals" list from number 2. Any tasks that are not aligned with your "Goals", either eliminate the task or the project associated with that task, or delegate the task if it is still something that must be done. YOU should only do things that advance your Goals. 
5. Do the things on your list. Now that you have written down those things that advance your Goals, you should be able to power through the list much faster. Check them off one by one... nothing feels better then a to-do list that's got a bunch of check marks on it. 
When you do this, you are ensuring that you are working ONLY on the things that are in line with your mission. Thinking about the things you need to do, rather than doing them is a lot like rocking in a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere.
You MUST stay focused. In this world of "Noise", it's easy to go off on tangents. Refocus on the things that are important to you and you'll soon be reaching ALL of your goals and setting new ones.
Oh yeah... and Happy Valentines day!

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