Do you ever find yourself at your workspace, clicking your way into a project folder when WHOOSH, in comes the sudden urge to check in on a totally separate project? And then you keep doing it, chasing your tail for a good chunk of time?
Technology can’t always discipline a scattered focus, except if you know how to use it to your advantage. Here are some tricks and tips we use at the LiquidPlanner when we need to turn a fidgety attention span into a disciplined machine – and get some work done for heaven’s sake!
7 ways we use LiquidPlanner to focus our energy
1. If you don’t already have one, create a daily to-do task using Checklists. If your focus is acting like a 100-tentacled octopus, open your to-do task to ground your energy. Then, update your list and start with the item at the top.
2. Use the Favorite View to get quick access to your most important project folders or packages – or the ones that are always in play. Seeing the smaller parts of a bigger picture might help harness that flyaway energy and help you re-calibrate your focus. And don’t forget – start at the top of the list. Priorities, priorities, priorities.
3. Use the Filter tool (the person icon) on the Projects view to see all the work that’s assigned to you. Then, pick the first task that looks important and go for it.
4. Break down long tasks into smaller tasks or checklist items. Think bite-sized pieces.
5. Assign deadlines to tasks. Even if it’s not a hard deadline, it’s a way to prioritize work when everything is marked as Pri-0 or Urgent. (And some of us are still motivated by a date.)
6. If you’re looking at several projects with similar priority levels, you can use your LP tracking time features to see which project needs more attention.
7. Once you have a work target and your energy focused, use your LiquidPlanner timer as a way to motivate yourself to stay with a task for a set period. And then, give yourself a little reward when you get there.
And finally, here’s an easy common sense tip. Close every browser, document, and program you don’t need right now to complete a focus of work. If you have 10 browsers and 12 documents open, that’s going to scatter anyone’s energy whether you realize it or not.
What do you do to harness your scattered energy? Share your secrets in the Comments box – we want to hear from you!