My word for 2018 is ‘focus’. I want to focus more and faff less. I always have so many ideas in my head and so many things to do that they all seem to merge into nothing. I get distracted by social media, emails, something on TV, an article on the internet. Living in the digital world is a wonderful thing but it is so damn distracting.
To help me focus, I wanted to do five things in the first few days of 2018 to help and even just those five simple things have already helped to make a space in my head and clear my thoughts. Here are those 5 things to help you focus for the year ahead.
Write down your goals
What do you want to achieve from this year? Are there lots of things, one big thing? Do you want to save up for something? Do you want to learn something? Is your goal career related? Someone told me that you have a much better chance of achieving your goals if you write them down. That is what I have done. I have designated a notebook to goals, I have written them down and I will add in smaller goals as the year goes by. Having them there in black and white is a good thing, something to remind you and keep looking at.
Does your email inbox stress you out? Mine certainly does. This time last year, I was receiving so many emails from shops, companies and different places that my inbox was constantly full of unread emails. The problem with buying anything online is that you often end up signing up for their newsletters or marketing emails too. I decided that enough was enough and I went through and unsubscribed from all of the ones I wasn’t interested in. Most are easy, you press the unsubscribe link, usually in tiny print at the bottom of the email and you are done. Others are more elusive but usually, you can sign in and update your email preferences. It can take a while but boy is it satisfying.
As the year has passed, more and more marketing emails have snuck back in but it has taken a shorter time this year to sort them out and both my inbox and I are happier as a result.
Delete your email account from your phone
It is too easy, isn’t it? You get your phone out to check the time or google something and before you know it, your email box is open. I know I do it without thinking. I dread to think how many times I check my email each day. But not anymore. I have deleted the app from my phone. I don’t need it on there and I am sure that all of those minutes that I was spending checking my emails, will be much better spent on other things. I can still access emails via the internet but I am not doing it very often and it is really quite liberating.
Set a timer on your social media
Social media is like a black hole. It sucks you in and before you know it, you have lost actual minutes, sometimes hours and what do you have to show for it?
This year, I am giving myself a time limit to spend on social media. Depending on how much time I have, whether I am on social media for work or play, I set a timer on my phone and when the timer goes off, game over and I move onto something else. So far, it is working really well and helping me to focus.
Do one thing at a time
How many tabs do you have open on your internet browser at the moment? I can have so many open that I can just see the first letter of each description. It is ridiculous. And pretty lazy. How can you juggle so many things without getting distracted?
What is it that you want to achieve from your session on the computer? Once you have that in mind, you really only need a small number of tabs open, preferably one but my new rule is that if I can’t see the description of the website on each tab, I have too many open and I need to close some down.
This applies to life outside of the computer too. I feel like the queen of multitasking and often have several jobs on the go at one time and then some never get finished. Focus on one thing at a time, it is more effective.
So those are my five quick fix focus tips. What would you add to the list?