Here are four bright ideas for mastering focus and getting things done.
Face it. Focus doesn’t come easily for most people. I’ll admit that I sometimes fall off the “focus wagon” and allow distractions to upend my day, despite the best of intentions. I’ve recently read a fascinating article by strategist Tony Jeary, “the results guy”. Tony suggests that focus is a skill that must be learned, polished and practiced.
Wouldn’t we all like to get more done in a day? With everything it takes to be a successful solopreneur in the voiceover world, I sure would.
Step 1 : Become aware of the need to improve focusing skills.
I take pride in my efficiency most days. But the daily barrage of emails, phone calls, auditions, recording sessions, the ever-growing to-do list, and social media apps on my devices can at times create an overwhelming enviornment that disrupts concentration. So Tony suggests that one should take an honest inventory of what you believe about your ability to concentrate. So, I decided to;
- Eliminate social media notifications on my smart phone
- Stop constantly checking email
- Understand that the ability to focus is a strategic skill
Step 2: Make a conscious decision to devote time and energy to improving
- How well do you focus through the day?
- How well do you prioritize?
- How much time is wasted daily because of distractions?
Step 3: Practice and Train your mind to concentrate
- Darren Hardy, another mentor of mine came up with what he calls “jam sessions”, discussed in his “Insane Productivity” course. Each jam is solely dedicated to a task without interruption for 54 minutes. All distractions are turned off while jamming. I try to do several jams per day, and the efforts yield big results.
- Realize that focus and concentration is not about time-management, or being challenged due to poor organization.
- It’s natural to become distracted, but you must train yourself to think in ways to counteract and overcome disruptions. And not allowing yourself to be distracted.
Step 4: Implement these focusing skills and make them routine
- Write down each day’s priorities you intend to finish each day
- Make an activity log of everything you actually did all day for a couple weeks and realize how much was lost to distractions. It’s a real eye opener!
Jeary states that we must realize that we must think of focus as a strategic skill. If we minimize its importance, which is easy, we’ll end up ignoring it. He sums it up with, “Your ability to concentrate is related to how well you avoid and eliminate distractions.”