The first of my should vs. must list is “Focus on one thing at a time”. This seems so obvious, and even simple, but is one of the hardest things that I try to do to simplify my life and what’s going on inside my head.
At work, I am constantly distracted by coworkers, emails, and instant messages, not to mention non-work-related things like Facebook and Pinterest. During meetings, I often find myself browsing online or catching up with email instead of focusing on the meeting itself. (Note: I work remotely so call into meetings, therefore I am always in front of my computer, never in a conference room.)
Home isn’t much better. With two small kids, laundry to do, meals to cook, rooms to clean, etc., it can be really tough to focus on any one thing. It’s not uncommon for me to sit down to play with one of my kids only to hear the dryer beep and next thing you know, I’m running off to fold clothes, asking my child to wait “just one more minute” (<- always a lie).
There’s no doubt in my mind that in order to clear up physical and mental clutter, I have to learn to focus on one thing at a time. I’ve come up with a few strategies that I’ll
try to implement over the next week.
- Use my to-do lists: Select the one thing that needs to be done at any given time and do only that one thing. Cross it off when done!
- When I think of something else I need to be doing (oh, Old Navy is having a sale and I wonder if they have any cute trench coats!!!), write it down immediately and add it to my to-do list once I’m done with what I’m doing.
- Schedule time during the day to accomplish certain tasks.
- Select one to-do to accomplish each morning with no distractions.
- Close laptop during meetings to reduce temptation.
- No iPhone/iPad at the kitchen table. Meals are for eating and talking.
- No iPhone/iPad while playing with kids. Focus just on playing with them. (unless we are playing on the iPad, haha!)
- Use routines lists to make sure I’m getting things done.
Well, my children are awake and ready to start their day, so let me go focus on them now. 😉