January 16, 2012

Staying Focused!

Good morning beautiful people!

Does anyone else have an extraordinary amount of tasks to accomplish this week? 

Blah! It's finals week for me, all my projects are due, plus I'm starting a ton of side jobs. 

Sometimes in the heat of the moment I want to collapse. It's so easy for me to get overwhelmed, find another outlet to amuse myself, and procrastinate as much as possible until there is no other choice but to bust it out. 

This has worked for the most part, but if I want to be the successful entrepreneur I know I can be, there's a lot of habits I need to change when it comes to staying focused and getting things done. 

So today, I thought I would list some of the methods I'm going to try and use to stay focused this week:

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#1 Let go of fear. 
I think the real reason why I avoid staying focused is because part of me is still afraid of failure. Let go and go after your goals full force!
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#2 Motivation.
Figure out what is motivating you and keep it in sight. Is it a paycheck? Write down the dollar amount on a sticky note and put it on your computer. Is it a family member? Set up a picture of them on your desk. You can collect quotes, photos, goals, accomplishments and and pin them to an inspiration board; every time you look you will be reminded what you're working so hard for. 
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#3 Atmosphere.
Your working atmosphere should be comfortable and visually appealing. Seeing messes and stacks of paper can add to your stress, so clear the clutter and keep things organized. Add some of nature's energy by getting some bamboo or a green plant. Take pride in your work space; make it your own! 

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#4 Turn on some music!
Having some background noise not only helps you hear the time passing by, but gives your mind creative freedom to let go, get inspired, and connect with your soul (love my Katie Herzig Pandora station).
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#5 Shut it OFF.
Turn off the TV, log out of Facebook, silent your phone, avoid your new email messages, close the door, even turn off the lights (something about darker spaces with a hint of light from a lamp helps me zone in). Stop interrupting yourself.
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#6 Write lists.
Don't just write down whatever comes to mind in a never-ending list. Instead, divide your paper into 3 sections: Urgent, Today, This Week. This allows you to prioritize what tasks should be checked off first, and which ones you still have time to kill. Clean it up every day and keep adding to it (hmmm I sense a free printable coming soon...). Even better, write your lists at night before bed so you already know your game plan in the morning. 
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#7 One thing at a time. 
Zone in on one task and put all of your energy into that until it's done. Multitasking is exhausting. When you focus on one thing at a time you will find it usually doesn't take as long as you thought. Cross it off then move on to the next. 
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#8 Take breaks.
Every hour or two, step away and take a ten minute break. Do nothing. Let your mind stay still. It is during these silent moments that inspiration is free to flow. 
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#9 Eat!
Sometimes I forget to eat while I'm binging on tasks, and then all I can think about is how starving I am. There's nothing that will diminish my energy and break my focus faster than hunger, so bring little snacks to eat throughout the day like nuts, fruit, veggies and crackers. 
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#10 DRINK WATER (and coffee of course!)
I tend to drink my coffee in the morning and then forget to drink water. Before I know it, three hours have gone by and my throat is gasping for moisture only H20 can provide. Get in the habit of filling up a giant water bottle and keeping it by your side all day. 
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#11 Envision the goal
Sometimes the task you're working on can seem pointless and even irritating. When that happens, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and picture the ultimate goal in your mind. For me I envision my future business card, a portfolio full of fabulous designs, happy customers, and a happy me.
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...wish me luck! :)

 What tricks and tips do you do to stay focused?

18 comments:

  1. These are really good pointers. Especially the whole, get off Facebook thing. I feel like homework was so much easier back in the days of no internet. Not that I really remember those days too well, or that I had that much homework in elementary school, but you get the point!

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  2. Kristen,

    This is exactly what I needed to read!!! Brilliant advice. I'm bookmarking it -- I definitely need the kick in the pants. :)

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  3. All of the above, except unfortunately my partner (who comes in and out of the room, hovers over my shoulder, and asks me what I'm doing all day long) doesn't have an off switch lol. :P

    - Felicity. x

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  4. Yes on all the above~ especially drinking more water instead of my fave diet coke!
    ~All the best!

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  5. I love these! Sometimes for me the secret is going somewhere else -- the library, a coffee shop, etc. My house can be very distracting sometimes!!

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  6. I totally agree to the first quote! And it's so cool to see this today, since I have tons of things to do and can't seem to focus. Today, I also published photos of my inspiration board!

    Hope you meet all your goals! ;D

    Miki.

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  7. Kristen! i love this! especially breaking up to do lists into Urgent, Today, and This week. Seriously going to do that now.

    thanks for your welcome suggestions :)

    -Emma

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  8. Very much relate to this post. Good luck with the week ahead! I for sure need it! :)

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  9. Great post! Definitely some advice that I need right now in my life! Thanks!!!

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  10. I really REALLY like these, I am printing this out, thank you for sharing!

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  11. This is just what I needed today! I'm trying to get a lot done but I keep getting distracted!

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  12. Very good advice. I too am a self confessed list-aholic.

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  13. perfect timing of this post. I am totally feeling overwhelmed with my growing list of projects - that this advice was more than needed. I am going to bookmark it so I can refer back to it often.

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  14. If only you posted this two weeks ago, perhaps I wouldn't be so stressed and tired during my finals week. Haha! Good tips! I'll print them out in huge fonts and have them on my bedroom wall :)

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  15. I LOVE this post! Thanks miss!!

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  16. Oh god, stress BECOMES me oftentimes. It set in with fervour during my finals week with a new year post to wrap up,writing for iblog4me,upfatig my own blog,sponsor posts,try to make my new site take off (fail) and then I just focused on the scariest thing at hand - stacks andstacks of class notes that I had to go thorugh. I let go of my fear and didn't do as bad :)
    As for working - all of that helps, except I work like a moron and end with a bent back from the pain lol.
    Good luck love <3!
    xoxo
    Sweta

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  17. *updating omg me and the typos :/

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  18. Well, I shall be bookmarking this post and coming back to it every time I feel overwhelmed because it's absolutely spot on and I love the pictures you used for each point!

    Another amazing post :-)
    J

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Hey friends! Thank you for taking time out of your day to keep up with my ramblings :) Although I read every single comment I'm not always able to reply, so if you have any specific questions please feel free to send me an email. Thanks and have a lovely day! xo