We’ve all heard the term “work smarter not harder,” but how many of us adjust our schedule to allow for “smarter” work?
We are all facing huge adjustments to our regular schedules.
There's more time at home and little to no commute, but you do still feel like you don't have enough time to do everything you want? That's because it's not about having more hours in the day. No matter what we’re all stuck with the same 24.
But you don't have to use them the same way.
The most successful people have taken those 24 hours and made them work better for them. This comes down to understanding the importance of focus. Regiment your time. Cut down on distractions and master single-tasking.
Make more out of 24.
Know Your “Peaks” and “Valleys”
There are night owls and early birds, but there’s a whole group in-between.
When you are trying to work with intention and impact listen to your body. Be mindful of your natural rhythm. For a majority of people, there is a dip in the afternoon. I call this a post-lunch "fog." No matter our intentions we’re not going to get anything done feeling that zapped. My suggestion? Don’t even fake it, get out from behind your desk. Take a walk, do jumping jacks, take a quick rest. Do anything that will give your mind the break it needs.
That "fog" or sense of grogginess is a "valley" or low productivity point.
When we try to push through a valley we end up wasting time zoning out or scrolling through social media. But we don't have to waste that time. When we use that “dead” time to do something physical that invigorates us and improves our health we bring that time “back to life” and allow it to enrich our day.
"Task distancing” or taking a break shouldn’t be limited to just an afternoon funk.
Anytime you’re working on a project and your attention seems to wander, stop working on that task immediately.
Be willing to give your mind a break.
That break can be 5 mins, 10 or even an hour. Make sure whatever you do it’s something that will charge you. After you honor this need for a break you will return to your task using your maximum focus and ability. That will make all the difference when it comes to actually finishing something and giving an important task the attention it deserves.
Your "peak" is the time (or times) when you feel on top of the world (and your work).
Whether it's straight away in the morning or late at night pay attention to when you feel most attentive.
Plan to do your most demanding work during these periods of heightened focus. When you work with your natural rhythm you won't have to abandon a task to re-center your focus.
If you're struggling to determine when this "peak" is, try a simple focus test at different times during the day. Set a timer and try to work without distraction. When you can go the full time (or close to the full time) without distraction or the temptation to walk away from the task, you've found your peak time.
Plan Your Week the Steve Job’s Way
Steve Jobs avoided decision making fatigue by wearing a similar outfit every day: a black turtle neck and jeans.
So what is “decision making fatigue” and why did he avoid it?
Behavioral scientists say that every decision has a similar impact on our brain. That means choosing between ice cream flavors and a career path caused equal exertion on your brain—even if one felt way more important. Steve Jobs recognized that he needed to conserve his brain power and eliminate unnecessary decisions so he could focus on more important tasks.
What does that mean for your week?
Think of the days of week like Jobs's outfit. They should require as little decisions as possible and remain relatively uniform. I know it’s not entirely possible to eliminate every choice you need to make, but if you plan ahead you can cut down on a majority of them. Before your week begins sit down and make note of all the things you need to do. Break them down hour by hour. I like to do this Sunday afternoons.
It may sound like overkill, but trust me, plotting an hourly schedule will spare you the mental gymnastics of determining what to do and when. It will also help you conserve and use your energy for tasks according to their importance.
Example: If you know you’re a morning person, stack your important tasks at the beginning of each day when you are at your best, save low-impact tasks or admin work for the afternoon.
Make time for important maintenance tasks in your life.
Plan for self-care, socialization, and maintenance (we all have to eat!) Make an accurate and varied schedule. It should reflect all the necessary actions and functions you'll need to perform in a week. Doing this allows you to accurately account for time spent on your goals, daily operations and all your basic needs.
Do you want to make your own unique "Aligned Action Plan"? We can give you the tools to make a schedule that sets you up for a week of success. It's geared uniquely to your business's needs and goals!
Focus Your Attention: All Your Attention
This one is especially hard for a lot of my clients to learn. We are living in an age where there seems to be a lot of things competing for our attention.
So many people think multitasking is the answer.
And here’s why.
When we multitask our attention is divided. There are no exceptions. When our attention is divided we can’t give any of the multiple tasks we’re attempting to complete our full focus and effort. This leads to errors. We have to correct or re-work things. We spend more time going back fixing our mistakes than the time we "saved" working on multiple things. Work efficiently by working on one thing until it's completed and then move onto the next thing.
When you use your focus to complete one task at a time you won’t leave behind a bunch of half-done projects. And in the case where one project’s beginning depends on the completion of a previous task, you will make more noticeable progress.
How to Achieve Your Personal Genius Zone
I work with each of my clients accessing areas of strength and weakness.
Then we consider their current perceived problems and target areas of improvement with direct planning.
I know that there’s no one solution for everyone.
The most important part of beginning to work within your genius zone is to identify potential solutions and dissect those, too. I want my clients to explore every angle when addressing their problems. The more methods they try and experiments they conduct in their personal schedule, the closer they get to unlocking that specific and individualized “smart” work zone.
Now more than ever business owners are facing many challenges that may have them feeling defeated or overwhelmed. I want my clients to take this as an opportunity to adapt.
I am challenging all my clients to work in their genius zone and rise to the occasion.
I know they can succeed.
You can succeed.
But you have to want it. Things are incredibly difficult now, but now is the time to fight or flight. The more you can plan and prepare now, the better the chance your business will thrive in the coming months.
Are you a fighter?
Are you willing to adapt, overcome, and most importantly put in the work for your business?
If you are ready to adapt, contact us! Now is the time to work and prepare so your business has the tools to thrive.
Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.