Are you in FOCUS? Top tips from a flat –out overwhelmed professional procrastinator.

  1. Plan! What is the most important thing to do right now that will take the most stress away. Sometimes this isn’t the most important ‘life giving’ thing but in this case it will help you to be in a calm state to be able to really focus!
  1. Can’t decide what to do first? – make a list of everything you want/need/love to do. This takes away the stress and worry about forgetting something, and you may find that your list isn’t as long as you imagined it to be.
  1. Choose to focus on the one thing that is going to make most of the other things irrelevant or not needed.
  1. Cut the crap. Are you doing high priority tasks or low priority bullshit? Keeping focus is about getting into the calm ‘eye of the cyclone’ quickly and ignoring the whirlwind around you.
  1. Limit distractions while you’re working on a task. Phone, email and people can all distract you from the task at hand. It’s ok to turn off your phone whilst you are engaged in something that needs to be done. Make set times for checking emails, maybe twice a day and stick to these times!
  1. Protect your time– time block while you are doing the ‘one thing’ at a time. No distractions – including Facebook, friends and colleagues. AND videos of cute puppies -we all do it- you are not the only one.
  1. Be fully present in the moment. Think about, and do one thing at once. Ever heard the saying ‘chase two rabbits- catch none’.
  1. Pick 5 things and 5 things only to get done today. Yes, I know your list is long and if you are like me, you do one thing cross it off and there comes three more things you thought of! That’s ok.
  1. Use the Pomodoro principle and get strict with your time for each of the 5 things you are focusing on today.
  1. Don’t give up- delegate! Yes, as a mild suffer of control freak-ness, I understand not everyone can do it as good as you but progression is better than perfection. Sometimes getting it done is better than not getting it done. It saves overwhelm and stress. How will it feel when you finish what you need to do in half the stress and half the time? By having two people working on your ‘to-do’s, you can double your productivity. There are many ways to do this. 1. ASK FOR HELP. Most people feel proud you asked them for help. 2. There are people who can do a better job at some things than you. I know, it was hard writing that!! I have found Fiverr, Elance and Freelancer are my favourites – not just for my businesses, but many of my ‘office bound’ friends use these guys too. Need something designed quickly? Invitation to a party, a card, you name it… Canva is the place for you. They have templates!! Templates I say. It’s already done for you!
  1. Get some fresh air – a 10 minute fast walk around the block can help you get back to the task at hand. (I like to go to boxing class. Punching the shi*t out of a bag is much better than the alternative!) Enter annoying person’s name here _______________
  1. Make it a challenge! If you’re having trouble getting started, set your timer for 20 minutes and give it your all. See how much of a dent you can make in that 1st thing out of your 5 things on your list today. That might be all you need to become fully involved and able to complete the task.
  1. Set a reward. At the end of the day reflect. What did I do really well today, where could I have improved? Was I focused on my one thing at once? Did I finish the 5 things? How close was I? Was it because I was distracted or because I simply needed to allocate more tomatoes to the task? You can only do your best, nothing more nothing less. If you have done your best, reward yourself with anything you like big or small.
  1. Work in a mess? Then your work will be messy. Take it from the MESSIEST tidy freak in the world! I make a lot of mess but I love being able to find everything I need and get everything all lined up ready to go so I can stay focused. Water with me, snacks, pens, books, computer, whatever it is you need. Work in a clean, uncluttered environment. Messy desks and rooms are messy minds and are distractions you don’t need, so keep your surroundings neat and tidy. – MY tip is to tidy BEFORE you start. As A professional procrastinator, I will look for things to tidy while I am working on my ‘to do’ list. Ahhhh habits
  1. Have two to do lists – whaaaaaatttt? Stay with me people…One helps you clear your head of thoughts that pop into your mind (put out the rubbish bins). This to-do list can be as long as you like, but keep it out of sight. I call it a POP – IN list. Things that pop into your mind. The second to-do list always contains only the 5 items you’re going to accomplish today. Nothing goes on the second list unless something else comes off.
  1. Never underestimate the value of a healthy diet and a good night’s sleep! Stay clean in both your environment workspace and your body. Eat little and often if that works for you or three meals a day, or even do a fasting style. Not sure what you should be eating? See a Naturopath or Nutritionist to get you on track.
  1. BREATHE! Yes I know it’s obvious we do it automatically but in times of stress, overwhelm, exhaustion, you need to take a minute to breathe. It helps. I’ve tried it and I am no meditation chanting guru. You don’t have to be, anyone can do this, anytime, anywhere! Anyone ever say to you count to ten before you say anything? Well, let’s do this together right now. Take a long slow inhale, hold it, 1-2-3-4 seconds, slowly quietly exhale, 2,3,4. Inhale, 2,3,4, – hold, 2,3,4, exhale 2,3,4. Repeat 5 times with your eyes closed or open – that’s up to you, depends on what you are looking at. Another secret I have is Salt Therapy. Breathe easy in the salt rooms. Try it and see if it helps you.
  1. Last but not least. Get some help. All this is all well and good to read but to actually put it into practice, you may need a little help to get this all sorted. Like learning how to drive, you needed a lot of practice and patience- so did the instructor! But now, you can drive ‘with your eyes closed’-Do not actually do this of course! Practice makes permanent. If you are open to changing consider a coach.