As The Holiday Season Begins, Don't Lose Focus
It’s the day after Halloween and that could mean a variety of different things depending on what type of person you are:
- You are either experiencing a sugar crash from eating too many treats yesterday or you are currently on a sugar high courtesy of your new candy stockpile.
- You’re in panic mode because seeing the date “November 1” has sent you into a reality shock as you realize you only have 54 shopping days left until Dec. 25.
- You plan to eat, drink and breathe politics until the election next week or
conversely, you’ll expend all your energy avoiding political talk until after Nov. 6.
- You recognize it’s a Thursday and treat it like any other workday except for your concern over the needs of our countrymen back east that are recovering from hurricane Sandy.
Regardless of the viewpoint you’re coming from, you’re likely in need of the same thing as everyone else: Focus.
We’re now two months away from the end of the year and there is a lot to be done to conclude the 4th quarter on a positive note. The question is how to maintain your concentration through the various distractions that punctuate this time of year.
Here are some tips for improving focus:
- Put It In Writing: Commit to a system of recording your to-do list, whether it’s handwritten or digitally imputed, get it down and clear your mind to concentrate on the task at hand.
- Plant Yourself Where You Thrive: If you work better around the buzz of activity, go to a coffee shop or turn your desk to face the busiest scene, whether it’s the street outside or the interior office. Do the reverse if quiet is what you seek.
- Prioritize, Set a Timer, Then GO! Repeat. Make small goals and check them off frequently as you break work into manageable pieces. Even if you have to commit yourself to a no-distraction, one-hour work stretch with a reward at the end (like checking your email, or walking to get some fresh air) you’ll get a good feeling of accomplishment which will serve to inspire you for your next sprint.
- Remember That Junk In, Is Junk Out: Just because there are extra goodies lying around this season, don’t fall into the trap of eating “quick” food. Your body and mind will be able to last longer and perform better when it has proper nutrition and rest.
- Don’t Be A Hero (Or A Martyr): Delegate the work, cheer other’s achievements, and if you’re going to the trouble to hire amazing people, don’t hover, but let them do the work you hired them to do and get on with your responsibilities.
- Keep Your Personal Life Out: This is especially relevant for those who work from home. Avoid the temptation to multi-task when the season gets hectic. Keep your attention on the work at hand, get it completed, and only thenworry about the items on your personal to-do list.
I love this upcoming season of festivities, food and family gatherings, but it’s also my most stressful time and I don’t have the luxury to slack off. I know that ultimately I will be happier if I approach my limited time in an organized and dedicated fashion so that I can accomplish everything that I value in my professional and personal life.
Do you have to fight against the desire to play through this upcoming holiday season as well?