Focus on One Thing at a Time to Get the Job Done
All too often we can feel overwhelmed by the amount of work that we have to do and it is easy to get caught in the trap of trying to accomplish too many things at once and never completing any to your own satisfaction. Often there is a push to accomplish more and more, especially if you are focussed on your career and want to impress.
However, if you want to be really productive, and actually get more done the answer is to actually do one thing at a time. This can sound counter-intuitive and there has been a push over the past few years for people to take on more and more and to fill the 'empty' periods of their day so that they are constantly doing something.
In reality 'do more' is not the same as 'accomplish more' and top performers the world over aim to do one thing at a time. For those of you who remember him Daley Thompson (perhaps the worlds top decathlon athlete) was interviewed on how he became so successful, his answer was to focus totally on the current event and to complete that, the other events just didn't exist in his mind during that time.
People who perform well in business follow the same strategy. Focus on one task at a time, concentrate and complete that one thing and then move on.
This doesn't mean that their waiting time is 'wasted', if they are waiting for something to happen with a particular piece of work they concentrate all of their energy on 'optioning' and 'optimising'.
On those occasions where they do move on to something else while they wait for a resolution they do several things:
(a) Take a Break ? The take a physical break from their desk. They get up, go for a 5 minute walk, get a coffee, anything that will take their mind off the previous task.
(b) Put it in their Schedule ? They plan in time in their schedule for the new task and set this time aside. If the first task comes back to them they finish the new task (or work on it for their allotted time) and only then do they return to the first task. They always go through (a) to change their current mental state.
(c) Schedule a re-visit ? They put into their schedule a time when they will re-visit the first task.
They never jump from task to task, everything is planned and measured. They plan to 'accomplish' rather than to 'work' on a task and the top performers never feel 'overwhelmed' or as if they are 'drowning' and they consistently achieve more than those around them by doing one thing at a time.
Give each task your total, complete and utmost focus and watch your productivity fly.
More information regarding Organisational Change, Coaching and Performance Development can be found at http://www.achievinggreatness.co.uk
2005 © Achieving Greatness Ltd. All rights reserved.
PERMISSION TO REPUBLISH: This article may be republished provided attribution is provided to the author, and it appears with the included copyright, resource box and live web site link.
L Stuart Avery is the Managing Director of Achieving Greatness Ltd, an organisation dedicated to raising awareness around personal and management behaviours. Achieving Greatness specialises in offering advice and support to organisations going through change intitiatives and looking to enhance the performance of their staff. It provides training courses, facilitiation services and coaching to business leaders on Leadership, Management and Strategy.
Stuart has over 20 years of experience across a wide range of industries including Government, Charities, Retail, Travel, Insurance, IT Services and Logistics.
For more information visit http://www.achievinggreatness.co.uk
Four Simple Ways To Take Control Of Your Time And Your Life
It's been said, "That no one has enough time yet, everyone has all that there is." Simple concept - except when you're living your life in the multi-tasking lane.
Controlling Family Chaos - Time Management for the Family
Balancing a family's varying schedules can be near impossible. Soccer, hockey, dance, skating, Brownies, Scouts, skiing, swimming, school activities, homework, not to mention play and sleep time, fill our children's lives. Now add in the parental activities, including work, fitness, volunteering, and home maintenance and well, 24 hours just doesn't seem to be enough.
How Can I Get Some Time to Myself?
"I never seem to have any time for myself. What can I do?"
Make Procrastination Wait
Reflect on the rewards of kicking the procrastination habit. They are quite clear: -- Daily feeling of accomplishment. -- Long-term sense of achievement. -- Better performance. -- Satisfaction with a job efficiently done. -- Freedom from the tyranny of imposed tasks-more confidence about mastering future assignments. -- Better professional image. -- Higher self-esteem-belief that you can and will make decisions and take effective action. -- More control of your job and career.
Sharpen The Saw
Sometime ago, my lovely wife woke me up in the middle of the night and said, 'Dayo, you know what? I feel neglected.' I was speechless. She then went on to say that for sometime now I have been spending more time on my work to the detriment of the family. She further explained that I put all my energies into a high drive for achievement and career success. To be honest she was right.
Time Well Spent
It is common knowledge that creating and living according to a financial budget is a requisite for fiscal health and well-being. Budgets enable allocation of resources according to priorities. $x for shelter, $x for food, $x for clothing, $x for education, $x for savings, $x for transportation, $x for entertainment, etc.
Time and Life, Bit by Bit
Looking out through my picture window during a recent winter storm, I felt like I was in a giant snow globe. Big, fluffy snowflakes were falling, covering everything with a nice wintry blanket. Ah, how nice. I love snow... all two feet of it in my driveway!!
Tips to Manage Your Time
Time and money are both very important in business. Yet, like me, many business people tend to give a lot more specific thought as to how to spend their money. Too often, how we spend our time is only thought of in terms of "What am I going to do today?" or "What should I do next?"
Self Improvement and Prioritising
The ability to be able to set priorities and deal with our most important tasks first is an essential skill for self improvement and achieving results. We are all busy and there are many demands on our time and it is very easy to be distracted by other people and events. We may feel we have so many things to do that we don't know even where to start.
How Do You Start Your Day
"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." --John Ruskin
Biggest Time Management Mistake
The biggest time management mistake you can ever make isforgetting your closest partner in life. The one who stayswith you all the way from cradle to grave. Theone who drives you through your daily and nightly routines,who runs all your habits. You want it or not, this partnerof yours is the real manager of most of your time. His nameis Your Subconscious Mind.
Decrease Your Sleep, Increase Your Energy! And Have More Time In Your Day!
Many of the world's most driven and successful people sleep only 4 to 5 hours per day. Do you really need to sleep 8 or more hours? No, you don't. No one does. Reduce sleep and increase your energy? Have you ever thought of reprogramming your inner sleep clock as a time management tool? Imagine what you'd do with an extra 21 hours in your week!
Make Time Work For You
Any habit of mind or body that interferes with taking decisive action contributes to your tendency to procrastinate. Think about your good habits and the environment that leads you to be most productive. Consider your preferred working hours, your optimum concentration periods, and the ways you have been successful in the past. You can begin to build on your good points first by recognizing them and giving yourself credit for them. Then, enhance the skills and techniques you already have with those presented here and beat the specter of procrastination once and for all.
When is the Best Time to Plan Your Day?
When is the best time to plan your day? Well, everyone is different. Let's take a quick look at some of the different possible times:
Time Management Tips - How to Have a Filing System That Works
Recently I was working with a new client who had invested hundreds of dollars for a records management organisation to set up a filing system for his business.
Peace Of Mind At The Workplace
Work brings together people of different characters and behavior, and this often causes friction, resentment and stress. Sometimes the boss is too demanding, colleagues may be unpleasant, there might be too much work or the working conditions may not be comfortable. The job may be boring, there might be competition or envy between the workers or the customers may be uncongenial or unfriendly. No wonder there is tension and stress.
Do You Put a Value on Your Time?
As a small business owner, does the following paragraph sound familiar to you??
What is ?Life Balance? and How Can You Attain It?
We all face decisions that involve doing things that affect competing priorities. We all have three different lives or worlds that compete for our attention, energy and activity. These are our personal lives, our work related lives and our family lives. Our personal lives consist of our health, our inner private likes and dislikes, our inner beliefs, and our spiritual feelings. Our work related lives consist of what we do to earn an income to provide resources to live and prosper. Our family lives consist of our relatives and friends and our relationships with each person.
Just Remind Yourself
This is one more article on "Organizing and Enjoying Your Life". Much has already been written about this in magazines, books and on Internet. In this article, I am summing up the important points; some of which are from my practical experiences and remaining I have read.
Time Is Everything
Time is wealth;
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