Occasionally we need to stop and reboot. To determine if we need to FOCUS or RE-FOCUS how we spend our time and prioritize what we should be doing.
1. Focus on important things early in the day. When we’re rested, those big and multiple tasks don’t feel as overwhelming as if we wait until 4:00pm. Keep your calendar open early in the morning and dedicate your energy to that one primary thing. If you have time to get to other things, terrific.
2. Opt out of meetings. For two weeks, opt out as many meetings as possible. Ask a colleague to provide you with an update from those meetings. After those two weeks review whether or not you should attend that meeting(s) the next time. It’s amazing how much time you add back to your week by not trying to attend every meeting and be in the know on everything. Your calendar doesn’t lie. Review your last 4-8 weeks of your calendar to see where you are spending your time. There is a good chance you will shift and change where you need to spend your time versus where you have been spending your time.
3. Create an energy shift every 90 minutes. Research indicates that our bodies need a break every 90 minutes to refuel and recharge. Keep it short, like a three minute walk or a quick climb up a stairway. Find a colleague and have a creative, non-task or agenda-focused discussion.
4. Unplug from gadgets at least one hour before bedtime. Research shows that quality of sleep matters and that being in bed but still awake reduces daytime alertness significantly. Utilize those moments to decompress when you shift from your work life to your personal life and when you call it a day.
5. Stop or start doing list. The best any time of year resolution is to create a stop or start doing list which forces you to allocate the most precious resource of all: time. This will help you find the time to think about what really matters to you in the coming week, month or year. Again, your calendar doesn’t lie. Print out your calendar from the last several months. Where are you spending your time? Categorize and rank where you are spending your time to determine what you need to change.
Most of all, take care of yourself. Put yourself in a position to be more focused so you can be present and attentive when you are with your family, friends and colleagues.