Do you ever feel like you can never stay focused?
That you have too many things, you have to do, and the ability to stay focused on completing any of them seems impossible?
If this is you, you are so definitely not alone. We have become a world where saying you are a multi-talker is a badge of honor. Especially for us women, to have a bunch of plates spinning at one time, like the famous plate spinner performer you may have seen on tv, is a sign you are 'Awesome.'
(If you haven't seen this renowned video, click on the youtube video below!)
However, no matter how cool it looks to be running around spinning a bunch of plates at one time, the truth is this could be negatively impacting your ability to stay focused and move forward quickly towards getting any of your goals done.
But, you might say I have to multitask, with the kids, work, running a business, getting errands done, making dinner, etc....the list goes on and on.
I get it, there are going to be times where your to-do list is larger than a skyscraper, and it all has to get miraculously done at the same time.
If you find yourself in this type of scenario. Here is a great way I often share with my clients on how to help empower them to stay focused when they must multi-task:
Step 1) Write Out Your List
It starts with writing down on paper all the things you have to do. We have a lot on our plates, and often these tasks are spinning around inside our heads. ;)
To begin empowering your focus, get it down on paper to give you back control of your focus vs. any of the spinning stuff controlling your attention instead. Don't leave anything out when you do this. Write down everything from washing the dog, planning the menu for the mother's day brunch your hosting, hair appointments, etc.
Step 2) Define Your Top 3 Priorities
Now you have the list of all the things you gotta get done. It is time to start to prioritize them. A great way to do this is to determine the top three things you are to focus on first. To do this, look at the time each item is due vs. the amount of time you need to get them done. Rate each from high to low priority. High = it's must be done ASAP & might take a while to do, to Low = you don't need to do immediately & it will take a short amount of time to do.
Step 3) Delegate The Low Priorities
After you have determined the priority level of high to low of each of your to-do items. What you considered a low priority are great candidates for delegating to others. Because things you think low on your to-do list are unusually likely ones you don't need to be 100% responsible for, thus take it off your list and immediately delegate to someone to do instead of you. I like to use my Lady Boss Delegation Checklist to help me do this quickly. Feel free to download here a free copy of the Lady Boss Delegation Checklist I use to help determine how to take your high to low priorities of each of your to-do list items to delegate easily. Download Here -> https://www.empoweredstarboss.com/LadyBossDelegationChecklist
When you take the low priority stuff off your plate, this will empower you to focus more on the things that are a higher priority to you. Your ability and power to get more done will increase when you can bring in others to do the tasks, especially the ones, you don't like to do. You could delegate it to your Virtual Assistant, hubby, kids, friends, or anyone who you think would be able to complete this task for you. For example, kids have to get a haircut, send the hubby to take the kids to the salon to get their hair cut.
Step 4) Set A Timer To Work On Each
Now once you know what is on your priority list, and delegated the rest. Set a timer to work on each task for a specific time. When you put a timer for one particular item, it will allow you to focus 100% on getting this task done. When your time is up, you then move onto the other one, set the timer again and spend 100% of your focus on this next task.
For example, your top three priorities are: brunch menu shopping list, check RSVPs for brunch attendees, & check flights for booking the summer family vacation. Put on a timer for 30 minutes and focus on writing all the shopping list items. Once time's up, move onto the next thing on your list for an unerupted 30 minutes straight. You choose the time which works best for you, but I recommend at least 10 minutes if you get it done before time is up Congrats! You can then move onto the next time and feel free to add the extra time to the next task. Make sure you set the timer, as it will keep you on focus for this task to get done.
Step 5) Set A Reward To Motivate Task Completion
An excellent way to add in helping you motivate yourself to stay on track and get your high priority items done is to Reward yourself when it gets completed. Doing this, sets up a bonus of self-accountability, for being rewarded when you get things done. It could be anything from splurge watching your favorite series that evening to purchasing a new pair of shoes.
If rewarding yourself doesn't float your boat, try the opposite approach and not allow yourself to have or do something if you don't get it to do. For example, if you don't do it, you restrict yourself from getting to eat the double chocolate crunch ice cream treat you were thinking of trying out at the local ice cream place. Also, if rewarding or not rewarding yourself is a challenge to do on your own. Feel free to bring in others to help you stay accountable who will make sure you either get or not get a reward you if you do or don't get your task done.
Try these simple steps today to help you stay focused while multitasking. Allowing you to get so much more done and feel fabulous afterward.
Livia Jenvey is Business Coach, entrepreneur, speaker, and author. She helps women holistically get past the challenges they face as entrepreneurs to become successful businesswomen.