When you’re staring at your computer screen, wondering why you can’t just make yourself do the work you need to do, it’s easy to blame your focus. If you’re unorganised and don’t really have a plan, maybe you have a bigger problem.
Photo by Mark Hunter.
As business site Harvard Business Review points out, one of the quickest ways to kill your focus is to try working when you only have a loose idea of what you need to do anyway. If you sit down to your desk with the plan to “finish that project”, that’s vague and unhelpful. Planning to “finalise the TPS report” is more specific. If you don’t have specifics, you need a plan. Once you have a plan, you can organise each task to the most productive time of the day to do them:
Instead of struggling to accomplish what matters, you can take advantage of your body’s natural rhythms. Focus on complex, creative tasks in the morning; these things will tend to be ones you accomplish individually or with 2 — 3 other people. Push all other meetings to the afternoon. These simpler, execution-focused meetings with larger groups are easier to handle.
Sometimes all you really need to get moving is an understanding of where you’re going. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily make a big project no longer overwhelming, but at least you can stop staring at a blank page wondering why a finished project hasn’t materialised out of nowhere. Get organised first, then you can worry about your focus.
The Two Things Killing Your Ability to Focus [Harvard Business Review]