We live in a world of distraction. Some would say that we have access to more information than ever before, and they would be correct. I would add that we also have to deal with more distraction and "noise" than ever before. How does one keep their focus and not get distracted down the dead-end trails of distraction? On some days I find myself heading down one rabbit trail after another because by nature I have a wide variety of interests. This wide range of interests can be a positive thing when channeled correctly, but when unchecked it can cause me to waste large amounts of precious time.
Let me share with you 3 ways I keep my focus in a world of distraction:
- Set goals on a regular schedule. Your goals may be both short and long-term, but no goals is one of the quickest ways to keep from getting those things done that you need to accomplish. Setting goals can be done as simply as writing them down on a sheet of paper, or you can use many methods of goal setting using tools such as Outlook or other electronic means. If you don't know where you are going, then any road will take you there. Start first with goals.
- When setting goals, schedule time for reflection. Any strength overused can become a weakness or liability. This may sound counter to point 1 in this post, but setting too many goals can also cause you to waste time. This occurs because you don't take time to reflect and review the initial set of goals to see how well you accomplished the given goals. Periods of time for review and reflection are essential in measuring the success of your initial goals and it will also help you with the follow-up goals you will set. Don't neglect the time to reflect.
- Gain feedback from those you work with and work for. I know that I am most effective when I listen to and act upon the feedback of others who are working with me or who I work for. Some feedback can be painful, but pure feedback on what works well and what does not is another sure way to make the best usage of the time you have. The phrase "time is money" is often used, but if we measured each day in the manner we measure our cash and assets we would certainly value our time much more accurately.
Set goals, take time to reflect and ask for and act upon feedback. Using these three simple steps will help you make marked improvements in how you schedule and utilize the time you have.