WATCH: Brain Friendly Time Management : Helping your Brain to Focus (Ep4)
This is the next episode in the series about “Brain-Friendly Time Management”. ‘Five Principles to Improve your Productivity’. And this episode is all about ‘Focus’. How to maintain your attention and get the jobs that you need to do done.
So, the first thing to do is to ‘Protect Yourself’, protect yourself from distractions. Let people know that you’re taking time to focus on a particular thing. Maybe put an out-of-office message on for a particular time of the day when you know you can focus. Particular time on doing what you must do.
And while you’re doing that ‘Block Distractions’. Switch off all notifications on your phone. It’s now shown that when we have a distraction from our phone, be that a tiny ding for a text or a pop-up for this or a pop-up for that, it can actually take us as long as five to seven minutes to get our brain fully back in gear and on task. If you have a vast amounts of time, are wasting vast amounts of time.
And then ‘Avoid Procrastination’ and a great way to avoid procrastination is to think about that story by Brian Tracy in his book called “Eat that Frog”. Comes from a Chinese story, an ancient Chinese story, which is that have you to do two things, you have to eat two frogs. Which one should you eat first? And the story goes, well, you eat the ugliest one first because once that’s done, the rest of everything else is easy. And using that with regards to tasks that you need to do, do the most difficult ones first. Stack them up, get them done at the beginning of the day and the rest of the day is plain sailing because you’ve done the most difficult things. The things that take up the most focusing on time and attention.
Scheduling a Power Hour
And think about ‘Scheduling a Power Hour’. That can be an hour that you allocate or you could use the ‘pomodoro technique’ where you give yourself, perhaps 20 minutes to do a task. Say estimate, I’m going to take 20 minutes to do this task. The pomodoro technique comes from those kitchen timers, sometimes they’re like a tomato and you put it to the time it’s ticking away, you hear the ticking and you get that task done and you’re focused on that and avoid all distractions that can be really powerful.
And ultimately then also, ‘Avoid Multitasking’. There’s lots of research that now shows that the brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. There are some people who are an exception to the rule but most people need to just focus on one thing at a time, so do that. Give yourself the benefit of that focus because when it comes to Time Management…
With best regards,
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©David Klaasen – 2022