One of the most common problems for business people managing multiple priorities is lack of focus. When there are many things that need to get done, it can be easy to bounce from one task to another, without ever finishing anything. This approach leads to many problems, including missing deadlines and poorly executed work. In addition, this approach can lead to frustration, since you never feel as though anything is accomplished.
Learning to focus on one task at a time can have an amazing positive impact on your productivity. There are several ways you can help yourself to be more focused, so that each task in your day gets ample time. Here are some suggestions.
1. Structure your day. Use your calendar to block out times for the “must do’s” in your day. You can more easily focus on other tasks when you know that your most important tasks have ample time allotted.
2. Limit your time on less important tasks. We all have those tasks that need to get done, but which do not have to be completed in one day. Set aside some time on your calendar to work on these things, but when the time is up, move on to the next item on your calendar. By working on these items consistently for a defined amount of time, you will stay caught up, still leaving enough time in your day for the most important tasks.
3. Limit interruptions. One of the biggest things that causes us to jump from task to task is interruptions, or “emergencies”. It is critical to have some time set aside during the day where you will not answer the phone or accept other interruptions. This time will be your most productive.
4. Make a commitment to finish what you start. People commonly leave tasks at the ninety percent finished point. Make sure you finish some things everyday. Finishing a project and being able to mark it off your list is a powerful psychological boost and will help fuel you forward.
Clear focus on one task at a time can greatly improve your productivity. Adding some structure to your day, minimizing interruptions for a period of each day, and using your time wisely for your most important tasks can help you find the focus you need to get your job done effectively and efficiently.