Is Your Focus Sharp Like a Knife or Do You Suffer From Spray and Pray Syndrome?

Posted on 25. Nov, 2011 by in General

Focus was one of the early life lessons I remember my dear dad teaching me in my teenage years, apart from lots of other great ones of course.  One nugget of advice that he gave me then that has remained with me to this day is “one job plus one thought equals 100% accomplishment”.  How cool is that? Yep, awesome! – try doing it!

I’m as guilty as the next person as I go about my day flitting from one task to the other, barely touching anything on my to do list, apart from adding to it.  It’s true, we seem to think that by doing three things at one time we are accomplishing things in record time when often we never really carry out anything to the best of our ability or finish a job completely.  Sometimes, it’s hard enough to stay on top, to keep your head above water without the thought of getting ahead. I get it.  I’m exactly like you, often I’m overwhelmed by the amount of things to be done and find myself running around in circles. But guess what? I have found a solution that works for me. Maybe it will help you too.

I’ve recalled my dad’s wise words and recently started to put them into practice. Has it made a difference to my to do list? Am I getting more done?  Oh yeah!  So, what am I doing differently? I’ve started:

1. Focusing on only task at a time. I allocate 60 minutes first thing in the morning (when I am at my brightest and most energetic), set a timer and focus on the job that is the biggest, toughest task – y’know, the one you keep putting off day after day. I work intensely on the job for the allocated time, never leaving my desk not even to go to the washroom. It’s tiring maintaining focus on one task when my brain is so used to flitting, but the feeling of satisfaction when I accomplish the job is awesome.  If it’s a particularly big task, I will take a 5-10 minute break to re-energize and then reset the timer for a further 30 minutes.

2. Planning my workload for the next day the night before. I’ve started to schedule in the important things I need to do and block out segments of the day to concentrate on getting the jobs done – and then stick to it.

3. Blocking time in the morning to check email and voice mail and only responding to anything urgent. Social media is the biggest time sucker for me.  I could waste a whole morning reading other people’s tweets, facebook status and not accomplish a thing. I set a timer for half hour in the morning to update my status, send out relevant tweets and read what’s going on in the real estate world.  When my timer goes off, time’s up. It’s no easy task, especially for me. But rather than continually feeling swamped, I now feel in control of my workload and life.

The secret to success in life is productivity – and really the secret to productivity is focusing on thoughts and tasks you should be doing – and finishing them 100%.

There is immense power in learning to focus. Stop making excuses and go tackle those jobs you’ve put off- today! So, I’m going to finish this blog and cross off the next job on my list!

To your investing and productivity success!


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