Everyone should ask themselves from time to time, “How good am I at focusing?”
Having the ability to focus can make the difference between reaching your goals or watching them slip farther and farther away.
Improving your ability to focus is possible, but in order to do so you must first assess how well you focus right now – but how do you do that? How do you gauge an intangible – or measure something than cannot be quantified? I’ll let you in on a secret! When you look more closely, you can quantify it, you simply have to look at the big picture.
Start by evaluating your daily, weekly or monthly results. Ask yourself:
- “Am I accomplishing what I want to accomplish in order to reach my goals in each period of time?”
If the answer is no, the next question is,
- “Are my goals realistic and attainable?” If the answer is no again, set new, more realistic and attainable ones.
If the answer is yes, it is possible that you are easily distracted and lose focus, which makes you less productive that you need to be.
Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t like the answers. Use the information to determine what the problem is and change what you are doing to reach you goals.
Track Your Time
Track the time you’re spending on specific tasks for a week – and track it very carefully. Every time you change directions or start a new task or activity, jot it down. At the end of the week, analyze the information. For example:
- How long do you spend on each task?
- Is the bulk of your time spent on productive work that will move your business forward? Or on unnecessary, irrelevant tasks?
- Do you work in large blocks of time, or do you jump from activity to activity?
- How often are you getting distracted by time wasters such as social media or social phone calls?You certainly may be using social media for your business; but, are you getting distracted by personal interactions?
This can be a very enlightening and beneficial exercise. You may find that you are spending much more time doing unnecessary tasks, flitting from task to task, and/or socializing than you think you are, which means that you are NOT FOCUSING on productive work.
Keep a Journal
This is a good way to gauge your focus and see where you can make improvements. It does not have to be minute by minute, but log your activities for the a.m. and for the p.m. each day. It can help you get back on track and improve your time management skills for better performance.
Plan Your Day
Take the time at the end of each day to plan your schedule for tomorrow. This is an excellent way to stay focused rather than leaving your actions to chance and tackling things at random as they pop into your head.
Highly focused and productive people plan! They know what their day will include because they schedule work to be done at specific times – and they follow the schedule.
If you are not doing this, there is a very good chance your focus can be improved.
It is critical to give your mind and body a rest at least three times a day. (This is so important that there are laws requiring two breaks and lunch).
Taking breaks does not cause you to lose focus. In fact, it does just the opposite.
When you work for very long periods of time without taking a break, you will lose focus. Your mind will wander more easily and fatigue will distract you.
The most productive people know the importance of scheduled breaks. The minimum should be every two hours, but some people prefer shorter breaks every hour.
If you need a reminder, you can find timers online – or use your smartphone. Whatever you need to do – take those breaks to refresh and refocus your mind.
How Good Am I at Focusing?
Ask yourself the question one more time!
If you are not sure, or if you are questioning your ability to focus, you may be struggling in this area.
Take the time this week, track yourself – and find out. If you need help, follow my upcoming posts to learn specific things you can do to improve your focus and increase your productivity.