If you’re anything like me, you have an extensive list of goals you want to achieve. From your daily to-do list to the more ambitious projects you plan to complete over the next year or two, you know what you want to do with your time.
So why aren’t you doing it?
Perhaps you feel too busy. In today’s hectic world, we’re surrounded by technology, news, research and resources. Although we’re lucky to have virtually everything we need at our fingertips, we often find ourselves multitasking to manage multiple noisy distractions. And while we’re busily distracted by the many open tabs on the computer screen, we’re failing to prioritize our to-do lists and undermining our most valued goals.
To start achieving my goals, big and small, I had to do one thing differently.
Two years ago, I decided to write a cookbook. Although I was excited about the project, I quickly became overwhelmed by the daunting task. With a full schedule at work and at home with my family, I was just too busy to dedicate the time I needed to write the book. Instead of making this goal a priority, I set the incomplete task aside, hoping to find more time in the future.
Recently, I realized a lack of time and a busy schedule weren’t the problem. Rather, I simply needed to focus on writing the cookbook, and temporarily quiet the distractions. For two months, I made the cookbook my priority, committing a few hours each day to writing. I silenced my phone, stayed away from social media, and made no attempts to multitask. Now, we’re I have completed the writing, done a photoshoot for the cookbook. And I’m celebrating an accomplished goal that once felt overwhelming.
If you’re struggling to complete a big project, or if you’d like to finally accomplish an important goal, increase your focus.
Here are a few strategies to help you get started.
Write down your goals
First, carefully consider the goals you want to achieve. By assessing your current circumstances and where you’d like to be in the future, you’ll recognise the steps you need to take to get there.
Choose goals that are specific, measurable and achievable. Write the goals in a notebook, on your phone, or somewhere else that you can carry with you each day. This will help you maintain focus on what is most important to you. And according to T. Harv Eker, “what you focus on expands”.
Create smaller tasks
Next, think of your goals as a destination. If you were to make a roadmap to that destination, you would choose the locations to stop along the way.
Break your ultimate goal into smaller, achievable tasks that you can accomplish in one or two days. As you accomplish these smaller tasks, be sure to reward yourself along the way. While your destination remains in sight, allow yourself to enjoy the journey.
Each day that you work on your smaller tasks, you’ll need to create a working environment that helps you focus. Try working in a quiet room, or adding concentration music, if that is your preference. Turn off your phone and email notifications, and avoid all social media for the duration of your focused time. Work in this focused environment for a specific amount of time, whether it’s one or eight hours a day.
Without distractions, you will likely work faster and make fewer mistakes. You might also benefit from increased creativity and inspiration.
Create a routine
As you work on increasing your focus, create a routine that helps you avoid daily distractions. Meditation, music, exercise, healthy meal-planning, and other forms of self-discipline will help you stay on track. Eventually, these strategies will come naturally, and your productivity will soar.
When you set your goals, look forward to the moment of achievement, because this is the best part.
When I finished writing my cookbook, although it required more time than I expected, I celebrated the dedication and focus I put into the project. Because without that focus, and, of course, plenty of hard work, I couldn’t have achieved this important goal I set for myself.
You certainly can do the same.
Stay tuned for my next post. I’ll share proven tips to help you achieve any goal. Now, get to work!