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4 Tips for maintaining focus while in ‘crisis mode’

I am not sure about you; but for me, it always seems that when I need to concentrate on a task, the easier it is to become distracted. If I am looking for an unproductive day, all I need to do is mark a final payment for a group on the calendar.  So, how do you overcome the distractions to focus on the task at hand?  I am sure everyone has their own secrets—and I hope you will share them in a comment; but for me there are four distinct actions I take.

  1. Make A List
    It’s impossible to focus when you’re constantly worrying about  your “to do” list. The solution is simple—write it down!  Write down everything that needs to get done today. The list does not have to be detailed or even sorted (at this point). But, if something’s on your mind, make sure you write it down. Even the mundane “get gas on the way to the market” can drag you down. So, write it down. As an added bonus, a page full of crossed out tasks always brings a smile to my face.
  2. Prioritize
    Once you’ve got your list, sort it. Look for things that can legitimately be postponed or delegated and postpone or delegate.  Next, prioritize. I usually will go with the most pressing or urgent tasks first, but I know others that go for some smaller tasks up front to get the momentum going.
  3. Multi-tasking Is For Windows-Not You
    However tempted you may be to have tabs or windows opened for email, your newsletter, the TRO Community, etc. Don’t. You can’t focus on many things all at once, and you’ll likely end up making more mistakes and missing critical components of whatever task you are trying to complete. But you likely can’t ignore the “other” stuff. Here’s what I do.
    • Set chunks of time to work on a task. I will post deposits for 30 minutes.
    • Close out email and social media programs and schedule time to work on them
    • Schedule some fun time. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
  4. Work Steadily, Take Breaks No one can focus for 8 or more hours — but when we’re swamped, we always try. This just leads to slowed progress, mistakes, and procrastination. Have you ever been on hold with a cruise line and even after the call found yourself 30 minutes into a Facebook session? Plan your breaks Take 5 or 10 minutes each hour to stretch, rehydrate, and play. But then it is back to work.

Hopefully these crisis days are few and far between. But if you find these days are the norm, you might want to talk to some of your colleagues and see how they handle it. A change in your methods may be in order. So now it’s your turn. What do you do to remain focused when operating in crisis mode?

  2 thoughts on “4 Tips for maintaining focus while in ‘crisis mode’

  1. Cindy Rake says:

    I use the same method I use to motivate me to exercise, the reward system. It’s simple–finish item #1 on the To Do List (always the main priority) and get _________. For me it is often food, lol! A similiar but more threatening approach is “no lunch until item #1 on the To Do List is completed”.
    This may seem silly but it works for me!

  2. John Frenaye says:

    I think some of my suggestions are silly, but they work for me as well. There is no right or wrong answer, but I hope to hear what others do to see if there might be a better answer for me (and everyone)

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