We’ve discussed a lot about retraining ourselves to have better focus in our personal and professional lives throughout this time management thread. But there are several other really important things that can be time thieves that you may not have considered. Here are several things that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine to help improve your focus:
- Take a break every 2-3 hours. Sounds pretty simple, I know, but it’s really a lot harder than it sounds. Especially if we’re working from home, it just seemed silly to me to get up every couple of hours and walk around the house – but I did, and I was amazed at how refreshed I felt. It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time, maybe just 5-10 minutes, but it will help you steer clear of brain overload. Even if it’s just to go out and water the garden, throw in a load of laundry, or empty the dishwasher. Stepping away from whatever you’re working on will clear your mind and improve your focus for another 2-3 hours.
- Remove clutter from your workspace. I know, hard one! I used to say, but I can find what I need in those stacks! I could, but it would take several minutes (sometimes up to 10) for me to find whatever it was I was looking for. Best thing you can do for yourself is to try and touch one piece of paper no more than twice. Complete the task, file it away, or do whatever needs to be done to remove it from your workspace. You will feel a HUGE difference by doing so.
- Learn to say ‘no’. I am probably as guilty of this as anyone. I remember my third year in business my husband said I was running the business part-time; that I was really a full-time volunteer. And he was right. I was serving on five different Boards and volunteering for an additional six non-profits. It was ridiculous. I was spending so much time doing volunteer work, I didn’t have time to market my business. It started as volunteering my time so others in the group would get to know, like and trust me, but at some point, I needed to step back and realize that there was nobody in that group who was interested in, or able to, do business with me. Take a really hard look at how you’re spending your time and learn to say ‘no’ when it’s in your business’, and sanity’s best interest. You don’t have to be unkind, there are ways to say ‘no’ nicely. Such as…
- It really sounds interesting, but right now I can’t add the time needed to do it right
- Thanks anyway, maybe next time
- The timing won’t work with my schedule, but keep me in mind for another time
While we may all struggle to put these objectives in play, just try one or two and see how it goes. Baby steps are okay. If something doesn’t feel right, try something else.
Jeannine Grich, owner of Accurate Business Services, a VA practice, is an author, writer, speaker, and VA Business Coach, specializing in providing professional business coaching to established and start-up virtual assistants (VA’s). For her FREE article, “What’s Holding Back my Business Success?” or “Finding or Expanding Your Niche”, Visit: http://www.VAbizcoach.com; or contact her at: http://vabizcoach.com/contact-us/.
Ready to find out how to take your business to the next level? Schedule a 30-minute complimentary session to discuss how coaching can help you GROW, here!