From time to time, team members will share their views stimulated from a piece by an industry thought leader. Here, our Director of Paid Marketing, Kim Figor, discusses a Forbes. article by Senior Contributor Forbes Women, Avery Blank “6 Ways Leaders Stay Focused At Work”.
At times I find it amazing that the more I must do at work, the less I seem to be able to do. Yes, it has occurred to me that much of this is due to simply not knowing where to start or time be waisted trying to figure out how to make a dent in a seemingly never-ending to do list.
Like me, do you at times lose focus at work because of feeling overwhelmed or sometimes a lack of interest? If so, the below 6 tips provided by Avery Blank will be worth your time reading. For those, who are saying to themselves, “There is nothing new here; I already know this.”, you are not alone. If that is you, I would challenge you to transition from knowing these tips to consciously implementing them.
1. Make a list of your to-dos.
Writing tasks down can help you visualize what you need to do and focus on completing one task at a time. You can check off the completed task and move on to the next project. Making a list can help you feel less overwhelmed. While you may have a long list of tasks, it can help you mentally to know that you won’t forget the task and that you will complete it by working your way down the list.
2. Focus on one thing at a time and stop worrying about other things.
If an idea comes to you, don’t let it go. Don’t let it be a fleeting thought. Use your thought to anchor yourself and explore the idea now.
If you continue to think about other tasks, it will be difficult to focus on the task in front of you. Focus on that one task now, and then go to the next task on your to-do list.
3. Identify and set aside the time of day you are most productive.
Are you most productive in the morning as soon as you arrive at work? Or are you more efficient around 5pm when many of your colleagues are leaving work and it is calmer in the office? Knowing the time of day you are most productive will allow you to better focus and knock out important tasks. You can leave tedious tasks and projects that require less effort and thought to the time of the day when you are less productive.
4. Accept that you will not be interested in everything you do.
One reason why you may find it difficult to focus is because you are not interested in the task. The reality is that work is not always going to be interesting, fun or challenging. You are not getting paid to enjoy your work. Accept the fact that it is your responsibility to complete some projects that may not be exciting to you but, nevertheless, you must devote effort to them. It is part of being a professional and being a leader.
5. Delegate tasks that do not interest you.
You may have the option of sharing the workload with others. Consider asking a direct report to work on a particular project or asking a peer if they will help with an aspect of a project. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Enlist their help. For example, if you dislike proofreading, consider asking your colleague if they would be willing to read the first fifteen pages and you read the rest of the document.
6. Ask yourself, “Would I rather do this now or later?”
If you don’t complete the project now, you may find yourself having to do it at a less convenient time. You may find yourself rushing to complete the project to get home in time for dinner with the family or having to get back online in the evening. Is it worth the stress of losing out on personal time or your sanity? Knowing that there may be a worse time to complete a task may light a fire under you to focus on the work now, not later.
To help you focus, work on one task at a time, recognize the time of day you are most productive and remember that the ideal time may be now. Leaders know how to manage their own time, so take it upon yourself to identify ways to help you focus.