13 Steps To Narrowing Your Focus by Steph Beth Nickel

With the end of the year fast approaching—Can you believe it?—it’s time to narrow my focus. Below is some advice I’m giving myself.

 

  1. “Hello, my name is Stephanie and I am a Facebook addict.” I must, must, must severely limit my time on this and other social networks.

 

  1. I should complete each day’s tasks in order of importance. Too often I don’t expend the most energy on the tasks I would say have the highest priority—thereby, revealing my true priorities. Ouch!

 

  1. Because I’m eclectically interested, it’s easy to get distracted by other items on my To Do list. As much as possible, I must stick with one project until it’s complete, at least set a timer and work until it goes off.

 

  1. I must minimize distractions: close Internet windows, clear off my desk, refuse to walk away until the task is done or the timer goes off.

 

  1. Listening to upbeat, motivating music—without lyrics—keeps me motoring along. It helps me focus on the task at hand.

 

  1. I keep a pen and notebook handy to record what I need to do later. That way I won’t forget to do it, but I won’t be tempted to switch gears and do it when it crosses my mind.

 

  1. I will write or get busy editing in a more disciplined way. I won’t simply wait for inspiration to hit me upside the head.

 

  1. I am considering devoting each day to one or two projects rather than flitting from one thing to the next to the next.

 

  1. I will systematically get things done that have been on my Procrastination List for far too long.

 

  1. I will stop adding more writing how-to books to my Kindle and will actually start reading the dozens of physical and ebooks I already have.

 

  1. I will practice the art of being still and quiet. I don’t always have to be doing something—mentally or physically. This time does not, however, include watching TV, something I can waste far too many hours on.

 

  1. I must also exercise regularly. “I don’t wanna” followed by “do it anyway” is soon followed by “hey, why don’t I do that every day?”

 

  1. I think it would be best to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. This will eliminate the temptation to oversleep when I’m feeling bummed and help me develop a regular routine.

 

What steps would you find helpful? Any other suggestions?

~*~

Steph Beth Nickel

9 comments

  1. These are great. I recently uninstalled Facebook off my phone and tablet (to the great bafflement of those around me) and I have an add-on in my browser which blocks it and other procrastination-y sites for certain periods of time. It’s great!

  2. Businesses want someone who can “multi-task.” Remember when that word came into general use? After 15 in secretarial work, I can honestly say multitasking is overrated. I have found that when you try to do two, three, five, ten things at once you end up not getting anything done, really. Your list sounds like something I would write, because I have these same problems.

    I have made a daily schedule for my time, but give myself flexibility at the same time. I schedule writing work (500 new words) between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.. That gives me time for small projects or tasks (like reading or writing blogs) after breakfast, and other things like Spanish lesson and exercise/meditation before dinner. I can do this and that and the other thing that needs to get done, but for three hours my butt is in the chair and the Scrivener is open.

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