I’ve had the luxury of having a great deal of flexibility in my schedule this past year, but with a busy fall coming up, I will need to get more focused to ensure I am spending my time on my highest priorities. I am a dabbler, which means I dabble in a lot of different things. Another way of saying that is I can’t say no to anything! If something sparks my interest, I follow that path. Along that path, another shiny object captures my attention and I can’t resist exploring it. And on it goes…. It’s been wonderful to indulge that natural tendency this past year and following whatever path struck my fancy and chasing fun new shiny objects.
I have been reading a book “Organize Tomorrow Today: 8 Ways to Retrain Your Mind to Optimize Performance at Work and in Life” by Jason Selk, Tom Bartow and Mathew Rudy. I’ve read plenty of books on this topic, attending classes, tried a hundred different methods, and I found this book’s suggestions helpful. I’ve implemented a few of them in my daily journal / To Do list process that I hope will help keep me focused in the coming months.
First things first though. PRIORITIES! It isn’t effective to make To Do lists, and organize my day if I’m not clear what my priorities are. 2 years ago I started doing a Word of the Year exercise where I pick ONE WORD (oh so hard!!) as my focus for the year. REJUVENATE is my word for 2017.
I try to remember that focus word before I overcommit, overschedule and chase every interesting thing that comes my way. I’m not so good at it, so I have to remind myself of it frequently. This is the leading page in my Daily Journal (I use a simple journal – a 3 ring binder and I add pages as I need).
At the beginning of the month, I write down my priorities for the month. This is hard for me and I generally write down too many (i.e. more than I can accomplish which sort of defeats having priorities!). Regardless, I just write down what comes to mind that I want to focus on for the month.
At the beginning of the week, I write down 3 things:
- Priorities for the Week (pulled from my monthly list)
- What Do I Want to Experience This Week?
- My Affirmations
Here is where one of the suggestions from “Organize Tomorrow Today” comes in – sometime during the day, the authors suggest writing down 3 THINGS to do the next day. And of those 3 things, which one MUST GET DONE? When I follow this, I feel more FOCUSED because I have to narrow my priorities and To Do lists down to 3 things for the day. It doesn’t mean I don’t do things outside the 3 or that the 3 don’t get changed, but it does help me FOCUS on just a few things at a time.
Each day, we have a zillion ways to get distracted and lose focus. This is just one way that helps me FOCUS and feel less scattered and unproductive. What do you do to help you FOCUS?