Staying Focused And Motivated
It’s not easy to remain focused and motivated at work. There are many distractions and comforts that call to you. But if you can resist them, the benefits are many. You’ll get your work done during the hours you planned to work, and you’ll have time off with friends and family afterwards. This improved work plan may also bring a better balance between work and home.
Did you know that the tone of each day is set in the first hour? When you set your goals in advance you will have a more productive start to each day. Write up today’s work plan the night before. Break the next day down into manageable steps and work your plan step by step.
E-mail usually offers us new priorities and other peoples’ urgent requests. It’s a good idea to aim to get one priority task done before checking your e-mail, and you will start the day more on track.
The second step to better focus is to identify what your particular distractions are – so that you can catch yourself when you start to procrastinate. Once you identify your own distractions, you can use them as rewards to motivate you to remain focused on your work. It can help move you forward, even through distasteful tasks.
The third step is to structure your time to allow you to indulge yourself, after you’ve worked in a focused manner. We benefit by knowing that a reward is coming. These pleasures can help us to stay motivated.
If others are working for you and they finish a task on schedule, you may encourage them to take some time off. You might even treat them out to lunch. We deserve the same rewards. We must plan time for our own rewards.
What is your favorite distraction? Mine is reading in the sunshine. There is a spot in my garden, that allows even pale sunshine to warm me. I can stay there for hours. Which is why I’ll take a timer with me when I decide to read for an hour. This can be my reward for finishing a project.
When you want to work in a focused manner, it’s a good idea to turn off your phones. You may want to decide in advance how long you will work on this project, and re-tape your outgoing voice mail to let people know when you plan to return calls. You’ll also want to write a note to remind yourself to turn the phones on when you finish. Have a buffer time afterwards, to indulge yourself for staying focused. Make yourself a special tea, or take a short walk.