How to sharpen your focus
Staying focused when you are being bombarded by emails, telephone calls and co-workers can be challenging. In this podcast, Elise Stevens speaks with Barbara Clifford, about how to sharpen your focus and improve delivery of your projects.
Barbara has spent more than 20 years in time-precious industries such as film, hospitality and marketing, assisting professional business people to find clarity in their working environment, take control of their time and alleviate stress.
Her unique insights can help project managers focus on the tasks that matter, get more organised and deliver projects more efficiently.
Barbara provides project management consultancy, time management and productivity coaching and stress management. As a student of the Stress Management Institute she can also provide coaching solutions to help stressed individuals identify the causes of stress.
Points raised in this podcast:
- Project managers should take a bird’s eye view of the project and be clear about what they’re setting out to achieve.
- Ease and Impact Mapping can help project managers lay out what is most and least important to the project.
- It is easy to get distracted by tasks you enjoy, rather than focusing on those that are most important.
- Email is a challenging portal, because important project communication is thrown in together with personal and otherwise unrelated correspondence.
- The key to de-cluttering your project is separating the types of information you receive into what things are actionable, what things are reference, what things are awaiting feedback from other people, and what things should be put on the backburner but not completely forgotten.
- Nine times out of ten we should be working with actionable information, and not distracted by the rest.
- Multi-tasking is not necessarily a good thing. The more you switch between tasks, the longer it takes you to perform each task.
- Recording how long it takes you to do certain tasks can help you manage your time in future.
- Don’t forget to set aside specific time in your week for menial tasks, they take time too.
Listen to the Podcast:
30 Day Challenge
As mentioned in the Podcast, Barbara is setting you a 30 Day (1 month) Challenge to sharpen your focus.
At the beginning of each week in the challenge, allocate time in your diary during the forthcoming week, to do one task that you dislike intensely. You must stick to this time slot and not allow yourself to be distracted by other tasks (such as answering emails). If you stick to the challenge you will find yourself having more time to do the tasks you really enjoy. Please let me know how you get on with this challenge.