I have a few personal projects in addition to my client projects plus my Muse passing across ideas of her own and insisting on being attended to ASAP. With so many things going on inside my head, it can sometimes be difficult to focus and get things done.
There have been times I became so fed up of all the things fighting for attention in my head, I just stopped doing anything and went out to fritter away the day for some mental quiet.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury of doing this often. Over time, I have been able to work more effectively with the 5 simple methods outlined below:
5 Ways to Focus and Get Shit Done!
1. Make a To-Do List
It sounds generic and basic but it works wonders. Every morning before the day starts, break out a sheet of paper and write down your priorities for the day then list them in order of importance.
I suggest starting with the simplest thing on the list then enlarge your screen and focus on only that task. Instead of a sheet, I have a cute notebook like this one handy. I also have a section for jotting down new ideas on the go.
2. Get Emails Out of the Way
Have a quick look through your emails and respond or send out stuff that involves someone else providing a reasonable timeline when you will get back to them. Afterward, shut down your inbox and don’t open it again for a few hours.
Tim Ferriss elaborates on a method related to this in The 4-Hour Work Week. I spend one hour on emails in the morning then another hour or two in the evening. I achieve inbox zero quite effectively too.
3. Don’t Multitask
The definition of multitasking indicates handling more than one thing at once. This sounds like an effective way to get through things quicker.
However, your focus is divided and you can’t service each task like it deserves. Instead, set a timeline for each task and power speed your way through it by eliminating all other distractions.
4. Get an Idea Pad or Whatchamacallit
I call mine an idea pad. It’s a little black book where I write down all those ideas from the crazy lady, aka my muse, in my head fighting for attention. I discovered when I leave it alone too long, I forgot something really important.
Every time an idea pops into my head but I’m too busy to pay attention to it, I grab the idea pad and write down 2 lines quickly. I usually come back to it after a few days to elaborate on the idea.
5. Use Social Media Blocking Software
Are you obsessed with social media and can’t function without checking Facebook, Twitter, etc every few seconds?
Then you need to get some help with your willpower. These apps will help block your access to the Internet for a predetermined amount of time every day.
Engaging in all of above will enable you to focus properly on your priorities and stick to a timeline, helping you to do and achieve more every day until it becomes a habit.