You have just 24 hours. And, you’ve got to do everything in these many (but few) hours. Practically, there’s a limit to the efforts you can put into a day, but then,
the paucity of time shouldn’t be a deterrent to achieving your goals.
You can achieve more by increasing your productivity which is contingent
upon improving your focus.
Focusing on the task at hand is the surest way to make the most of your limited
Here are four clever ways to improve your focus
Don’t allow your mind to trick you
The human mind is a trickster. It’ll make you underestimate or overestimate
your capabilities. And, both of them are dangerous.
Your mind will trick you by suggesting that you can complete a task in less
time than you usually take. This is a fallacy that will make you allocate
two hours to do a job that may eventually take five hours to complete.
It’ll end up eating up more time than you initially planned and also drain
your energy. It will demotivate you to the extent that you may stop
planning your day.
Thus, understand your real strengths and weaknesses. Know your speed and do
a precise estimation of the work and plan accordingly.
Shorten your to-do list
It’s a good habit to make a to-do list. But don’t include every small task
in it. It’ll only increase your stress and distract your mind every time
you see it.
Instead, make a small list with just 2-3 most crucial things to do in a day
and assign sufficient time for each of these activities.
Keep your list short and succinct. Don’t overburden it with things that
aren’t going to add to your productivity.
Make a schedule for petty but important things
There are a lot of things which don’t add to your productivity but are
Checking comments on your social media posts or wishing people on their
birthdays and anniversaries is not productive but required.
Watching or reading news, taking a coffee break, attending meetings, or
answering phone calls or emails are other things that consume a lot of
But, you can’t avoid such activities. They don’t add to your output, but
you’ve to do them anyway.
Allocate time for them and make them a part of your schedule. What’s more
important is to stick to the schedule.
Take your two coffee breaks at the same time each day. Answer emails once
or twice a day.
For instance, I have fixed a schedule for all meetings, interviews,
responding to emails and queries, etc. between 12-2pm. For the rest of the
time, I focus on things that delivers output.
Do the hardest thing first
Do the most difficult or the worst thing upfront.
Mark Twain coined the term “eating the frog.”
If you’ve to eat a frog and you have the entire day to do it, when is the
The answer is first thing in the morning. Why? Because it’s the worst thing
If you keep avoiding it, it’ll linger in your mind breaking your focus.
Instead, get it done first.
Have a tough client to deal with? Meet him at the earliest. Have to
complete a complicated project that’s paying you well? Do it now.
Doing the toughest thing first will boost your confidence and also take the
thing out of your mind enabling you to focus on other things for the rest
of the day.
With these four clever hacks, you can improve your focus manifold.
By eliminating things that aren’t productive or those which are stressful,
you can focus better.
While doing so, aim at your long term goals but focus on the task at hand
in a manner that there’s no tomorrow.
This way, you’ll strive to achieve more, ultimately increasing your
productivity and chances of success.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.