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You may have heard of the 80/20 rule. This rule states that eighty percent of your income will be generated by twenty percent of your actions. For most business owners that means they’re filling their days with tasks that aren’t truly valuable.
The best way to deal with this problem is to find the twenty percent of tasks that are the most important. When you know what these tasks are, you’ll be able to make smarter business decisions. That is what I share in today’s episode. Find out how you can identify your most valuable tasks and what you can delegate.
Make sure you are working with the 20% of your tasks and not the other way around.
- Ask yourself “Can this task be done by someone else?”
- Ask yourself “Does this task make me money?”
- Ask yourself “Am I energized by this task?”
These questions and the answers are critical to you making sure that you aren’t wasting your time on busy work and tasks that don’t contribute to your bottom line. You want to be working on tasks that only you can do and that contribute to your bottom line.
Every day, there are dozens of tasks that are calling your name, both at work and at home. With life being so busy it’s easy to lose focus on the big picture.
How many times have you gone to bed wondering what you actually accomplished that day? Or have you ever felt like your day was somehow wasted? I have and I bet you have too.
To avoid these feelings, you can try these methods to get yourself back on track.
There’s a famous quote about focus by the great philosopher Confucius: “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.” True, there might be people who are able to multitask and do it relatively well; but more often than not, people who split their attention between two different tasks do so with more difficulty and without completing both tasks well.
Here Are 5 Ways to Regain Your Focus and Get Back on Task:
- Eliminate the distractions. Get rid of the barriers that are causing you to avoid getting things done; it’s that simple! Forget about checking email every five minutes; those emails will still be there when you complete your task. Make a list of distractions and eliminate them!
• Turn off the phone and let the voice mail take over.
• Close the door and blinds in your office.
• Turn on music that is conducive to working. If you find yourself singing more than working find another station.
- Prioritize your work. Rather than working on projects simultaneously, take one project at a time, focus on it, and worry about all the other projects later. Ultimately, you’ll get a lot more done and you’ll finish it more quickly and of better quality.
• Find a way to prioritize that works best for you. Choose either the project that has the earliest deadline or the one with the least tasks so you can finish it quickly and get it out of the way.
- Set boundaries. There are many nice and respectful ways to tell people to back off. If you’re finding yourself in a time crunch and can’t seem to get away from others, consider letting them know that you need time to finish some important tasks. There are a lot of different ways to do it just make sure you do! A great article I read recently gives great suggestions on how to say NO politely in any situation.
• Set times that you’ll accept phone calls and even visitors. Tell them to contact you by email and then set a regular time to check your email. I like to check mine twice a day.
• Set business hours during which people can expect you to return their calls or emails. You are not an emergency room doctor (unless of course you are ☺). So people should not expect you to answer them 24/7. Stick to your business hours!
- Set limitations on internet access. The internet is wonderful but it can be a huge time waster, especially if you work at a computer all day long. How many times have you gone to Facebook to respond to something and the next thing you know 30 minutes have passed with you browsing your news feed? Yeah, me too! But you can regain your focus with some self-imposed rules.
• First, close all those windows you’re not using. I know this is a hard one because I currently have 10 windows open as I type this. But never the less it’s for our own good. Avoid Facebook and Twitter, quit searching on Pinterest, and leave Instagram alone!
• Establish certain times each day to use these fun things and just focus on what you have to do. You’ll find yourself accomplishing more! And you will be motivated by having something to look forward to after your tasks are completed.
- Have confidence in your abilities. This may seem like a really small thing when it comes to focusing and getting back on task, but believing that you can get everything done that you set out to do puts you in a positive frame of mind and you’ll be less distracted with stress and worry.
• Have confidence that you can complete each task with ease and believe in your ability to deliver. If you’ll just have the confidence, you’re sure to have the focus!
So don’t waste time bemoaning your wasted time, instead resolve to regain your focus and get back on task. It’s up to you to take action and learn how to focus your thoughts. If you’ve got to get stuff done then follow these steps so you can put yourself and your goals first!
This week is National Procrastination Week. I thought in honor we should purpose to do one thing this week that we have been procrastinating on. It doesn’t matter what it is. It could be a project around the house that you have been putting off. It could be that junk drawer that you have been meaning to get to. It may be something at work that you have put off.
Whatever it may be pick one. Sit down and on a sheet of paper write down what it is and then list the steps or tasks that you need to do to finish it. If you need help from others write that down (who you need). Once you have mapped out a plan either get started now or schedule it on your calendar for this week.
You will feel so much better once you have completed this thing you have been putting off. You may even be motivated to do other things that you have been putting off.
The point is to get started NOW! Don’t let National Procrastination Week pass you by without getting anything done. Until next time…
Image credit: kgtoh / 123RF Stock Photo