On a particular busy day recently I was reminded of a quote by James Redfield. “Where Attention goes Energy flows; Where Intention goes Energy flows!”
Things were so busy on many different vectors, I had lost focus. Emails, IM, calls, deadlines, people dropping by, deadlines looming, unfinished vacation plans swirling in my head…
Can you relate? Truth be told, my head was spinning and as a result nothing was getting done quickly or well.
You know that state. Days that turn into a tornado of unfinished stuff. Not a good feeling if this happens now and again, but definitely stress inducing, if not anxiety proving if it becomes the norm. After realizing my chaotic state of being, I went outside at the earliest opportunity to breathe and center myself. After a few minutes of deep breathing I felt clear again.
In short order I determined what absolutely needed to get done that day to meet commitments I made and what I had to deliver to people who were dependent on information from me. I set a clear intention that those would get done before the end of my day. After eliminating all distractions, I powered through my list.
Everything flowed from there. I was focused and in the zone. Not surprisingly, I finished with time to spare, when just a few hours earlier the day appeared as though nothing would get done.
Since then I set intentions daily for what I need to get done in conjunction with other productivity habits. It makes my days a lot easier. I am firm about saying no to distractions and items of lower priority.
Depending on your calendar and to-do-list, this might require some practice to become a permanent habit and success. Here are a few tips:
- Prepare your to-do-list for tomorrow at the end of today.
- Set clear intentions on what you need to complete at the start of your day.
- Shut out distractions. Do a pulse check on the team and email now and then, but don’t fall into the trap of answering everything.
- Revisit your intentions after email or other distractions that may have caused you to lose focus.
- Take productivity breaks, meaning after 50 min of effort, take 10 min for anything other than work! Alternatively use the Pomodoro Technique (25 min on, 5 min off).
- Celebrate your victory. The feeling of accomplishment will end your day on a positive note.