6 tips to help you achieve total focus at work
With information overload and instant gratification being so prevalent these days, it’s easy to see why many of us have become addicted to multitasking.
Like many people I know, I like to multitask on occasion. So far, multitasking hasn’t caused me any serious problems, but I know some folks who have messed up big-time by trying to do too much all at once. Because I’ve seen this happen, I am determined to quit multitasking before I get myself into hot water.
Business coaches tell us that multitasking can lead to errors, and correcting errors can lead to serious stress. Since I’m working on eliminating stress, I’ve been asking business friends who seem to have all their ducks in a row how they function without multitasking during the workday. Here are some ideas they’ve suggested for “single-tasking”:
- Each day, or the evening before your workday, make a list of tasks that are top priorities.
- First thing each day, work on the highest-priority item. Do nothing else until this task is done. After the project is finished, take a short break before tackling another.
- Turn off all distractions, including cell phones and email, and when the project calls for serious, no-interruptions concentration, turn off your office phone.
- If an interruption is urgent and can’t be put off until a project is complete, note where the project stands and where it’s been left off. When the interruption is over, return your total focus to the job at hand.
- Quit checking email each time the notification sounds. Plan to check email at predetermined times, and once you’ve read your email and dealt with it, return your focus to the current project.
- Stretch and breathe now and then. If, for example, you take a walk and keep your focus on walking, you can return to work with a clear mind and purpose. A couple of friends have told me that they use meditation breaks to help them focus throughout the day.
Several of my business friends rely on total focus to help them manifest both business and personal goals. They believe that total focus creates “flow” for them, and when they cultivate it, they lose all track of time.
Bill Gates said, “My success, part of it certainly, is that I have focused in on a few things.” Painter Robert Henri said, “Do whatever you do intensely.”
I get the message. It’s time to practice the fine art of total focus.
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