How to Stay Focused
With all those things pulling your attention in many directions, often at once, how do you keep to the task of achieving your goals?
- Set Smart Goals: The acronym smart stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant/realistic/recorded and time-bound. That means having goals with a structure to help you plan and track your progress.
- Create a Picture of Success:It often helps to visualize your goals. Know what it will look like and the goal moves from an abstraction to a real, attainable thing.
- Keep Them in Sight:Have a list of the tasks you need to complete; make sure there’s a schedule and have it calendared so it’s clear and deliberate. It can also help to have some visuals such as pictures to keep you focused.
- Identify & Remove Distractions:Remember those pesky distractions? Now it’s time to do something about them. Some things that pull us away from work are unavoidable and important, but others are time-wasters. Make the distinction and terminate with extreme prejudice those distractions that can be lost.
- Avoid Procrastination:Procrastinating comes in many forms, from taking a coffee break to overdoing it with research. It’s important to nip this tendency in the bud. Get an accountability partner to keep you on track. Sometimes it helps to do the hardest tasks first or the easy ones first, whichever will keep you busy. Regardless, don’t wait to do something. Start early and get it done.
- Prioritize:One way to help gain order from the chaos of the many tasks you must accomplish to reach your goal is to prioritize them. Not all tasks are created equally, some are critical, while others could be left to the last minute as they’re not so important. Therefore, some you need to pay more attention to than others, but you won’t know until you prioritize.
- Visually Track Progress: To get to your goal you must know where you are. That means having tools to track your progress, using tasks and milestones to break a big project into more digestible parts, and being able to see where you currently are in the big picture.