Invariably, on the days that I set out to be my most productive – the days I plan to shutter myself inside and get things done – whether its project work or blog-writing, something seems to go awry. In fact, as I sit to write now, well – life is happening in the background. Complete with all its noise, chaos, motion and emotion.
So – how do you stay focused and intentional? Keep these three points in mind:
1: Eyes on the prize: It’s easy to get distracted. If your mind wanders, come back to WHAT it is that you set out to do. Block time off on your calendar. Know that the one thing you need to accomplish in this time is ___X___. Like a horse with blinders, stay single-focused until you complete the task. (You can even reward yourself with a latte or a walk around the block when you finish!)
2: Recall the WHY: There’s a bigger reason you’ve set this time aside. You’re working on this project BECAUSE it’s important to the company and you play a critical role. You’re drafting content BECAUSE you have an important message to get out to the world. You want to finish this piece of work now BECAUSE you’re attending your child’s 4PM soccer game. Find your why and get energized.
3: Limit distractions: One of the most simple tools: headphones! I use headphones to create the right environment with music. I’ve also been known to put them on to give a clear visual of “I’m working and uninterruptable” – even without music playing. Shut the door. Turn off your email. Close your browser. Mute your phone. The world can wait an hour or two while you accomplish great things.
Let’s face it – the world will not stop turning to allow us to focus or catch up. (Although – if I had a genie in a bottle, this just might be one of my three wishes!) We have to go inward to find the resolve to accomplish our goals. And clarity of what, why and how we can do that may just be the antidote to our distraction.