There just isn’t enough time in the day! If you’ve shouted that recently, or quietly stewed about it, then you’re not alone. According to a nationwide study, about 67% of working America is dissatisfied and disengaged with what they’re doing and therefore don’t feel focused or productive. Rather than bore you with the oft regurgitated steps to organize your life and manage your time, just follow these simple guidelines and you’ll become more productive, more focused and hey – you’ll also enjoy your day more…. MUCH more! And, you’ll go home knowing you got your WIN! Since the quality of your life is how you feel in every moment, feeling distracted or unfocused is NOT a place to spend your time. Stop feeling like a time waster and get refocused! And if you’re curious about the research behind taking breaks – check this out the report below!
1. Take a BREAK – Clear your desk and your mind: Life is full of distractions that can make us less than productive – even anxious and distracted. A client needs this now, an employee or associate wants you for “Just a minute”, which is often a life and time suck that can last far longer. We are creatures of habit, so if you’re used to being interrupted and allowing it to happen, you need to start retraining yourself with focus. Accept that you’ve been distracted and step back from your desk. Also, if you aren’t taking breaks, you are KILLING your productivity.
2. Get Altitude: Stretch and look around. As you are doing this, remove any thoughts from your mind that you’ve been working with and essentially clear the slate – start over. Clearly the path you were on is not feeling good or the highest and best use of your time and resources.
3. Write your WINS list: Get out a clean sheet of paper and write down 2 things that you will get done today if nothing else. Forget about the to do list from earlier today. It was too long and likely written with a feeling of frustration about how overworked you are. You need to put your head on straight and WIN THIS DAY!
4. Limit communications: Write down exactly who you need to speak with to accomplish today’s goals and create an agenda for those calls or meetings. What is the meeting designed to accomplish? What questions will be asked? What is the outcome? How quickly can the goal(s) be met effectively so you can move on to other things?
5. Quarantine yourself: Tell people in your immediate area that you are focusing on an important project/task and will need to do so uninterrupted if possible. If they still interrupt – short of slamming doors and making faces, use closed doors and words like “let’s schedule a time for that so I can finish what I’m focused on” language. This is your life and if you’re going to feel good, you’ve got to be productive and focused.
6. Ask the great questions: What are my reasons for having this project done or making this progress that I feel good about? What makes this more than a task? When I’m successful at what I’m doing, who – in my life does this help? (remember the impact on EVERYONE at home and at work when you’re productive or not)
Life is not as much what happens to you, but how you perceive what happens to you. If you see the value in taking a break regardless of the circumstances or frustrations – then clean your slate and reengage at a more focused level, you’ll be more productive and happier! Try it. You’ve got the juice, so USE IT!
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