Use the power of focus to get more done

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If you want to accomplish more, consider how you can use the power of focus….

By Ann Gomez

Is it challenging for you to build focus time into your day?

We know distractions can derail our productivity. This is a predicament for many of us. And yet we default to focus when we have a clear deadline and must get something done. We make efficient decisions; we commit to focusing on that one task. We get in the zone – and we stay there.

If you are in a meeting — whether in person or virtual — you’re probably not looking at your email or scrolling on your phone (I hope). You protect that focus time with others. So, why not make the same commitment to yourself?

When you commit to building pockets of focus into your day, you supercharge your productivity. You work more efficiently, produce higher quality work, and feel less stressed.

I recommend a focus routine such as a 45/15 rotation. Turn off alerts, minimize email and other apps, set a timer, and commit to single tasking for 45 minutes. Then, indulge in whatever you want for the remaining 15 minutes: respond to messages; refresh your coffee; snuggle with your hamster.

Your focus sprints can be as long or as short as you want. The time will vary depending on your schedule that day. But even an additional 20 minutes a day of focused attention will help you make progress on what you value most. And you won’t be losing time, the way you do after an interruption (self-imposed or otherwise), to ramp back up to peak productivity.

What part of your day should you use for your focus routine? Again, this will vary on your schedule but ideally, you’ll want to reserve the time when you are at your peak energy level, and most of us are at our best in the morning. That said, only you know the timing that works best for you and your workday.

But whatever time you choose, you deserve an uninterrupted block of focus time. After all, we can’t create, save, or borrow time. We have the same 24 hours a day everyone else has. But we can protect time. And once we do, our calendar opens up in ways we may never have imagined.

If you make focus a habit every day, you will not only feel better, but you’ll have an abundance of time for your most essential work, your key priorities, and all those big goals and aspirations.

We talk about paying yourself first in relation to our finances. You can apply the same principle and pay yourself first to make the most of another valuable resource: your time.

For more strategies you can use to set yourself up for success, see Ann’s latest book, Workday Warrior: A Proven Path to Reclaiming Your Time, published by Dundurn Press, 2022.


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