“How to focus and actually get things done?” Is a question I hear very very VERY often.
Every day is a challenge for me to keep myself focused on the things that need to be done, in my daytime job at the video production company where I work, in my business that I’m running by myself, and in my home, my household, taking care of the pets and looking after my physical, spiritual and mental wellbeing while maintaining these great relationships with my friends…
I often get totally overwhelmed!
The only way for me to tackle this challenge is using a system, and yes, this system WORKS! Like a charm!
The one thing that is still keeping me sometimes from staying focused is not applying the system.
Why? I don’t know, probably some weird kind of self-sabotage or simply forgetting that I don’t have to be overwhelmed and there actually is a handy solution to keep you focused.
I would really advise you to do this exercise together with me, now that you are reading it, you will feel GREAT afterwards, I promise.
So take a piece of paper and we’ll do this together.
Create Focus By Brain Dumping
When the feeling over overwhelmingness (I know that’s not a word but I still want to write it) gets too strong and I’m on the verge of pulling my hairs out one by one, I turn to my “focus system” and get it all out.
The first thing you want to do is get a piece of paper and write down your main areas in life where you need to focus upon now.
After you have done that, write down everything that’s on your mind that you still need to do, it doesn’t matter if it’s silly or not. If you think about watering the plants, write it down.
It’s just a matter to get it all out and you will notice that these million things in your head will often fit on 1 or 2 papers.
When you have done this you should feel slightly relieved. It makes such a big difference when it’s all out of your head and on paper. At least you have some kind of overview now.
Next thing to do is to write A, B, C, D or E next to each item on the list.
Write an A for things being really urgent and important and D being not so urgent and not so important. If you have some E’s written down, just draw a line through those points because when they are so unimportant you might as well not do it at all. E stands for eliminate.
Now take a new sheet of paper and re-write all the action points on your list in order of importance. So on top all the A items, then the B’s and so on.
The final step in this exercise is to write a time down for each item when you are planning to solve it. Write down if you are going to ask somebody else to do it or when you are going to do it yourself.
Nobody is going to come to your house and kick your dog if you are not sticking to your plan, but it is still good to do it, to motivate yourself to do these things.
That’s basically all you need to do, now you have an overview and you can see the bigger picture. Write these action points down in your agenda and check each day if you have any A-items to do.
Using this method always gives me a sense of calmness and even happiness. Overwhelming things seem doable and you can just tackle them one thing at a time.
You can use this exercise on each area of your life and even on each separate project.
You can break a new project down in all the different action steps that need to be taken, give each action step an A, B, C, … plan them in your agenda and do every day the A-items first!!
Do not start with a B-item if you still have an A-item on your list! Don’t start surfing on the web, don’t Facebook, don’t think about tomorrow’s action steps as long as you have A-items for the day on your list.
Doing this exercise regularly (you can do this every morning for everything you need to do that day once a week) will give you clarity and focus like you never had before.
Too simple you say?
You know it works when you did the exercise together with me, if you didn’t, stop reading and go do it right now! You will discover immediately the power of focus.
Please let me know your thoughts on this one.