It’s very important to focus on chores that need you to pay full attention. Details often do matter; think of writing a sales letter, bookkeeping, coding software, or Photoshop design, to name just a few.
You can keep your focus by committing yourself to work on a specific chore for a while before moving to something else. You use a schedule!
You can keep a timer to guard the time frame you allocated to do the job.
Another prerequisite to focus is to avoid distractions; distractions in your environment (noise, sounds, movement, heat, etcetera), and clutter or distractions running through your head.
If you experience thoughts that distract you, briefly jot them down and continue with the job at hand. If you are working at a computer, be sure to turn off your internet or at least social media like Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Pinterest, or Google. You will soon realize you’ll be delivering better quality on your job in less time.
Focus On Your Strengths
Another commonality among people who successfully manage their time is focusing on their strong traits. How often do well-intentioned friends, colleagues, managers, and others tell you to labor on your shortcomings? Often, trying to work on your weak spots might be the worst action you can take!
Now I’m not speaking about picking up specific knowledge or skills you lack at the moment. It is paramount that you get that knowledge or skill if you need it to reach an important goal. But what if you prove consistently to be “lousy” at something, or find it hard to master, regardless of how much effort you put into it – like learning a foreign language, or understanding maths? Someone musically inept should probably not strive to be the next James Taylor.
Good news: You can’t excel at everything, and quite certainly, you never will. So you can quit wasting time trying. You are unique, with your own specific set of talents and abilities. You have character strengths; are you upbeat, optimistic, kind, devoted, determined?
You also have ability strengths (natural abilities); are you a strong competitor, creative, innovative, a logistical thinker, a problem solver, a singer, an athlete, a musician?
You have talents (learned abilities); are you a gardener, a pilot, a writer, a chef, a computer programmer, a craftsman, an artist? Enjoy yourself for who you are.
So will you nonetheless go on squandering your valuable time bending over backward to get a little bit better at that one thing that doesn’t, and probably never will, come naturally – or do you plan to develop your true talents?
The truth is, you’ll achieve far more value, regardless of how you calculate that term (income, outcomes, accomplishments, or another measurement), not to mention happiness, by focusing and improving on your strengths.
Go to a place where you will not be disturbed. Take some time to focus on your strengths. List your character strengths, ability strengths, and talents. List as many as you can think of – don’t be humble, don’t be modest. Celebrate the uniqueness of you.
Which of these strengths will benefit you as you move toward the achievement of your goals? Struggling to excel at traits that are just not you is a waste of time. Forget about them. Instead, work to excel at your strengths.