Last week we talked about spinning plates and how you can simplify your chaos. Another step to gain control of the chaos is focus. The challenge is that when you are in the midst of chaos you often can’t see how to focus. Do you find yourself jumping from one thing to another never taking the time to discern if it fits into your plan? Is it difficult to determine which thing is the most important? Do you find yourself only addressing things once they become urgent? If so, chaos and scrambling become the norm.
Let’s figure out how to focus. Many of my clients come to me saying, “I’m busy all day, but I can’t tell you what I’ve done or how I got off track.” It becomes difficult to focus when you become overwhelmed by the enormity of your lists. Here are some ideas to help you lessen the chaos and increase your focus.
- What do you actually want to achieve? Many times you set goals because you think you “should” have them on your list. When you set a goal that is a should, you will set up resistance to doing it and then judge yourself for failing.
- Each morning schedule time to preview your day and write down the top three items that will move your current project forward. If you are a “fly by the seat of your pants” person, you may resist this step because it feels like it will limit you. It actually gives you a container from which to be creative and effective.
- When something new pops up during the day ask yourself this question – “Is this more important than what I already have planned to do?” If the answer is “no” then put that item into your calendar for another day. If the answer is “yes” then move the already scheduled item to a different day or time in your calendar. Do you see a theme here? When you ask yourself this question you move into actively making decisions rather than being pulled through your day.
Which of these three ideas would help you most quickly shift from chaos to focus and success? Practice one idea for a week and evaluate. If it doesn’t work, then try another one. Let me know in the comments below how you are doing.