Focus is the hocus pocus with respect to changing how you manage your allocation of time each day. When you can focus and accomplish exactly what you planned, in the time that you allocated, you can eliminate the creation of time debt. Time debt is just like money debt, you have to pay it back from your free time.
In the past, I often found myself distracted when I had decided to do something. This included thinking that I could do two things at once. 🙂 I ended up with massive time debt that ate into my free time which caused me to think I was overworked. I found out it was my own damn fault.
I did focus experiments to figure out what the big culprits were. Here’s how I did it.
Baseline how many hours you are working every week and how many times you are not accomplishing what you have scheduled.
- Schedule one hour to accomplish something that you have been procrastinating.
- When the time comes, start gathering data:
- How many times did I get distracted? By what? Noises, visual cues, daydreaming, smells, hunger, etc.
- Did I start on time? Finish on time? Why or why not?
- Did I get up? What did I do instead? What was I thinking when I did it?
- Anything else that comes up?
- Repeat several times…I suggest at least 7 times.
- Look for patterns. Is there one distraction that comes up every time?
- Pick one distraction. Come up with a plan to minimize this distraction.
Put this process on repeat until you can remain focused in every time slot that you have chosen to accomplish something. You will know it is working because your work hours will decrease because you are no longer creating any debt against your time due to distractions and procrastination.
Start small, with one hour. I’m a huge believer in continuous improvement and believe that it leads to autocatalysis which is basically a chain reaction of improvement. One improvement is the catalyst for another. The goal is to continually get better. There is no destination, only continuous improvement.
Go forth and focus!
PS: If you find yourself overworking and don’t know how to get it under control, get my free masterclass! My clients and I have freed up to 10 hours per week using the process I teach and you can too!