It sounds ridiculously simple, but it’s easy to miss. When you want to get anything substantial done for you or your business, you need to start with what you want to happen. You can’t possibly know what you tasks are most important if you don’t know how each one will impact the bigger picture.
I’m reading a book at the moment called Deep Work, by Cal Newport, and loving it. It’s got the old brain juices flowing about how I can create better work and be more productive. I’m beginning to instigate a ‘closing down’ ritual at the end of my work day and I’m planning in deep work time into my day. One of the things he talks about is knowing what is most important. If, for example, you were a lecturer at a university and one of the things that really impacts your career is writing papers, with successful professors publishing 4 or more conference papers per year. So, the most important thing for them to do their best work, is to write those papers. They should therefore structure their week around being able to fit proper writing time into their schedule.
- What is most important for you?
- What, if you did it regularly and well, would impact your career most?
- What, if you did it regularly and well, would impact your life most?
Why don’t you write that down so you can work out how you can do more of that later 🙂
I found this particular nugget particularly interesting and I’m currently playing around with ideas around this, to find my best way of working so I can deliver my best work and actually looking at it from a life perspective too, as in what do I need to do to create the life I want to have lived when I’m 80?
Another reason why finding your focus is important is because unless you do this, you simply won’t get as much done.
I know, life is busy, life is full, it’s not all about doing the work… but I’m not just talking about work here. Most of us need to work to earn money, which then enables us to do fun stuff, have a nice home etc.
So, if you could do the same work in less time, earn the same (or more) money and so free up more time to do stuff you love, doesn’t that make more sense?
Take today for example. I have a huuuuge list of things I want to get done so I can enjoy tomorrow off work without panicking about what I haven’t done yet. I knew I needed to seriously FOCUS today and get the maximum amount of stuff done. So I have been working in 10 minute chunks, with a timer. I’ve also been doing this with my BFF Ruby and we’ve been checking in with each other every 10-15 minutes to keep us on track.
Needless to say, I’ve done more productive work in the last 4 hours than I have the last few days!
This weeks task is to find your main focus and write it down.
- What is your career focus?
- What is your life focus?
Also, each day I’d encourage you to write down your key focus points for the day ahead and set aside some time to do some deep work of your own. Switch off the distractions, set that timer and get that work done.
Let me know how you get on : )