Word-Of-the-Week #954: Focus

November 17, 2022 by  

Focus – close attention and concentration.

Do you get overwhelmed when you think about achieving a goal? Do you have a tendency to avoid completing certain tasks?

This week features the follow up to Marcel Schwantes, Inc. Union Tribune article, “Getting to the Goal: Here’s how achievers do it.”

  1. They recognize when they’re procrastinating.

We’ve all suffered from procrastination in one form or another. It’s important to figure out the reasons for your procrastination. Some people find a particular task or job aimed toward attaining a goal unpleasant, and that becomes the source of their avoidance. Here are three instant strategies to help you out:

Have clearly prioritized to-do lists, schedules, time frames for completing a task, and deadlines for goals to help counter procrastination.

Work back from your deadlines to know how long you need, and when to get started so you’re not late.

Focus on one task at a time. Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is actually counterproductive. Finally, like all well-organized people, make sure your work is broken down into manageable steps.

  1. They practice the 52 and 17 Rule.

When working toward your daily goal, try 52 minutes of work followed by 17 minutes of rest–what is known as “interval training” in sports. Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, co-authors of Peak Performance, found that adopting an interval-based approach to productivity isn’t just for gifted athletes. One study found that its most productive employees preferred a work routine where they spent, on average, 52 minutes engrossed in their work, took a 17-minute break, and then returned to their work. Retaining the highest level of productivity toward achieving your goals in a day is not working longer; it’s working smarter with frequent breaks.

  1. They listen to music for focus.

Music has been found to be a great way to maintain focus and stay productive for goal-attainment. The key is to experiment first, and find suitable music that helps you focus. A good tool to use is Focus at Will, which uses music scientifically driven to improve your concentration. Background noise also has also been proved to sharpen your focus. Try Coffitivity, a tool that emulates the ambient sounds of a cafe to boost your creativity and help you work better to get stuff done.

  1. They don’t multitask.

There’s a myth out there that to be successful means to act with warp-speed urgency and do as many things as possible at the same time. Actually, the most successful people are very patient and avoid juggling many things. In fact, research says multitasking is a myth and can be damaging to our brains. You end up splitting your focus over many tasks, losing focus, lowering the quality of your work and taking longer to hit your goals. The 8 percent of people who nail down their goals are smart enough to work on several smaller chunks to complete a big goal. But they do it by knocking one down then moving on to the next one.

This week’s all about having focus. How would it feel to work smarter and not harder? Do you have a clearly prioritized to-do list? Are you able to work on one task at a time? Do you make time to take frequent breaks?

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