We all know the importance of
focus in moving forward in our businesses. Without focus, you end
up randomly wandering through you day getting things done but nothing
completed. But there is one ingredient that needs to be present in order to see
the true benefits of focus - boundaries.
often neglect to set up boundaries around our time and commitments.
Boundaries allow you to focus on something to completion and that is how you
are able to move forward. Interruptions are a huge hindrance to maintaining
focus. You've all felt that frustration of getting into something only to be
interrupted by a phone call or someone asking you a question. It takes the
average person at least 20 minutes to completely immerse oneself into something
so imagine what happens to your day when you allow constant interruptions. It's
time to draw that proverbial line in the sand when it comes to managing your
Be fully committed and
disciplined with your time. This may sound easy but in
practice is so hard to do because it requires breaking bad habits and creating
new productive habits. Habits take at least 30 days to break so give yourself
time to allow that bad habits to go away and the new ones to take over.
Start your day knowing
exactly what you need to do. Create a list at the end of
your workday of what needs to be accomplished the following day. Prioritize
these tasks and then estimate how much time you'll need to complete each task.
Here's the key, now schedule those tasks into your calendar.
Schedule the normal
interruptions into your workday. That's right, you can schedule
interruptions. You all know what those common interruptions are - phone calls,
emails, texts, Facebook. Don't allow them to randomly set the tone for your
day. Interruptions can especially be stressful when you're under a deadline.
Rather, schedule a time to handle these most common interruptions.Unless it is
a true emergency, there is no reason why you have to immediately respond to
someone. By scheduling your response time, you can then check the messages,
collect your thoughts and be fully present when responding to them. Nothing is
worse then only being half present when talking to someone. We've all been on
the giving and receiving end of that I'm sure.It doesn't work and truly makes
the other person feel like they are not worthy of your time. Imagine conveying
that to a client?!!
Creating boundaries is
critical to establishing focus to your day. By
anticipating the common things that interrupt our day and throw us off track,
we can move forward in a much more productive and relaxed manner. You do have
control over your time and how it's spent each day. Take ownership of that and
start being disciplined in how you use your time.
At the end of today, I want you
to sit down and plan out your "to do's" for tomorrow. I personally do
a mental dump and then organize and prioritize that into the top three things I
need to complete first. Next, schedule time to complete each one of those
tasks. Keep your task list to no more than 3-4 items. You can always add to
once things are completed. Psychologically, it's a much better
feeling to add to your list because you are completing things than to end the
day not completing things and carrying that task over to the next day.
Mindset is everything!
Then schedule time to check
your email and phone messages, update Facebook ,etc. I typically first check my
email around 11am. This allows me to get my day going without being emotionally
influenced by any email correspondence. You know how that frustrating email has
a way of staying with you. I start my day completely focused on my tasks
without any interruptions. By lunchtime, I've accomplished at least one if not
all three tasks. I take lunchtime to return calls and respond to emails. I then
schedule my afternoon in the same manner - checking emails two more times
before the end of the day. By planning your time in this way, you'll find
you'll get so much more done and actually be more energized in the process
because you are eliminating the stress that interruptions can often bring.
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