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Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Focus Really Does Help Productivity

I’m sure you’ve heard (or read) the advice that focusing on one thing at a time leads to productivity, time management, quality work, etc.  The reason this advice is everywhere is because it’s true (shocker, I know).

I’ve read this advice countless times.  If anyone asked me, I would probably have regurgitated it – but I didn’t follow it.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to follow it, I just had so much to do that I tried to do everything at once (often not realising that that’s what I was doing). 

It wasn’t until my laptop stopped functioning all the time, that I realised just how true this ‘focus on one thing at a time’ advice is.  I used to spend most of the day on my laptop with many, many tabs and windows open that I would flick between.  Reading a blog post here, an email there, writing a paragraph in between.  When my time on my laptop became limited it didn’t take me long to realise that continuing to do this would mean that I wouldn’t even finish reading my emails (and I don’t really get that many) before my time was up.  And so I adjusted to putting all my focus on one place at a time.  While I do still have many tabs open, I try and finish reading/doing whatever is on that page before moving on to the next.  I put all my focus on what I am doing and I end up doing a lot more than if I am trying to take in information from many different things at once. 

Putting your focus on one thing at a time really does make a difference to your productivity, which I feel is particularly helpful for me as I have limited energy in a day so need to use that energy and time wisely, rather than not doing anything and yet feeling exhausted because I’ve tried to do everything.

Now that I know that focusing on one thing at a time really does work, I am beginning to put it into action in my life.  I finish what I’m doing (or do something for a set time) before moving on to the next thing.  And I focus on what I’m doing rather than thinking about a hundred other things at the same time; or at least I’m trying to.

Do you try and do a million things at once or are you a master of productivity – let me know in the comments (and if you’re a master, feel free to share your tips).

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