“Time management is dead; in our day the true struggle is focus management.”
OK this quote got my attention yesterday and I immediately wanted to know more and how to apply it to my business. Let’s see…
This is a graph of what focus management is all about:
How can it help you and I in our business?
From what I see with the graph, we are aiming at being in the top right quarter, which is Great Execution of What Matters Most.
What I see is that this graph tells us to focus on the tasks that are more important to our business. SO naturally, the focus is on the task and not on the time.
It’s not how I spend my time working on my business;
it’s what task(s) I DO need to focus on to have a successful business.
That’s interesting when we know that, as human beings, we have a tendency to spend alot of time doing things that are not really important and then we don’t have time to do what matters most for us. It’s called procrastination! And we are all guilty of that, me first!
How can we focus on the stuff that matters for our business?
Identify your highest value activities, and do them first
Look at you business plan (look at my post on the subject if you need to build one). What three to five things would you like to accomplish by the end of the next month, or the next calendar year? Any steps moving you toward those goals deserve space in your calendar. Then you need to block in these things first and focus on them. It’s that simple…or not.
Because we know that the human brain can only focus for so long. When we don’t take real breaks, we take fake ones, cruising around on the web. So how to get our focus back and be productive?
- Take a Break – Sometimes you need a break to snap you out of the situation you are in. Go for a walk. (Even if just down the hall.) Go outside and take 10 deep breaths of fresh air. When you return to your work you will have a new sense of vigor and energy.
- Narrow Your Focus – When everything seems out of focus, it can be a result of trying to take on too much at once. Instead, try concentrating on one task. Focusing on completing one task can get you back on the productivity track.
- Take a 10,000 Foot View – Sometimes you need to see the big picture. Take a step back. Review your projects and priorities. Are you aware of your workload and what you should be doing? A little perspective of the landscape can save a you a lot of wasted time and effort.
- Look at the Menu – If you don’t know what task to do, go to your “menu of productivity.” I am referring to your todo list. Instead of flitting from one miscellaneous task to another, make sure you are doing what is on your list. Avoid going “off the menu.”
- Match Your Energy Level – When your focus is blurry and you can’t concentrate, you need to match your tasks to your energy level. Do low energy tasks when you are sluggish, and get back to high energy ones when your energy returns.
- Start Small – Can’t get started? Build momentum by starting small. Sometimes even the smallest of tasks, like gathering your supplies for a project, can get your productivity pencil sharpened.
- Set Deadlines – Deadlines tend to bring things into focus quickly. Use deadlines to define when things need to get done, and your productivity vision will quickly return.
As you can see time management is NOT dead and will get more and more attention as it links to focus and task management.
Time management will become smarter…and remember our time is precious as it is limited…spend it in what matters the most for you.
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