Wouldn’t be nice if all you had to say was “Focus” and everything just fell into place for the rest of the day? Do you feel that your day spins out of control as you get randomized? If you stray from a normal routine, do you frequently feel that something was missed? I have seen that great focus leads to great results.
Short Term Focus
Yesterday was a totally randomizing day, constant interruptions combined with a lack of resolve to “start” anything that wouldn’t result in completion. I know that if I had 30 uninterrupted minutes to work on 1 task, it would have been knocked out and there would be a sense of accomplishment. This type of short term focus is very intense. It requires no distractions.
- Make sure that you know the end goal of the short term task.
- Make sure that you have everything you need to accomplish the task at hand before starting.
- Allocate time to get “into the zone” and “reflect”. Jumping right into a focused task can sometimes lead to disaster because you are still thinking about the previous work.
- I have used a Pomodoro timer to help me out. My son sets the timer on the microwave for his reading and I have seen great focus in that realm. It is OK to continue on if you are staying focused.
When I do development, my most enjoyable work is when the goal is known and the task is fully completed. There will be times when I tune out the world around me and just focus on that.
Long Term Focus
I had the opportunity to work with some very smart people who were envisioning what Space would look like in 25 years. They developed a long range plan that would act as that guide. I have to say that when I look back, it is amazing how accurate that plan was. That was because the focus was on the plan. We often hear in the workplace a concept of focusing on the North Star. As you probably know, sailor’s used the North Star as a way to navigate. Having long term focus is the ability to navigate to complete a goal that is out of reach at that particular time.
- First you must have a goal to focus on.
- Focus takes prioritization. You will have to make hard choices in order to meet that goal.
- When you go off track and you will, how do you get realigned? Make short term focus points to get back to the direction you want to go.
- Pick your head up from the short term once in a while. Try walking 100 yards with your head down. Most likely you will miss your end destination.