Are you having trouble focusing? Use These 6 Time Management Tips to Get Back on Track
Right now a lot of us are feeling uncertain about the future, which is normal following any big change. You may be trying to sort out what recent changes in the U.S. mean for your business, family, country or the world. Unsettling events like a job loss, death of a loved one or even a contentious Presidential Election can knock us off balance and make it difficult to focus. Changes to life’s expectations can lead to shock and uncertainty about our future. The abrupt presence of uncertainty in our lives can impact our attention span and motivation, and can cause us to become stuck in a rut resulting in lower productivity and an inability to reach our goals.
Being Unfocused is Your Worst Enemy: 6 Time Management Tips to Defeat it
When things don’t go the way we plan, it can cause us to feel like we have fewer choices, to react with anger or fear, to grieve for the loss, dread the future, or simply wait for the confusion to go away until things settle down. Uncertainty can lead to procrastination about our next steps and cause us to stop moving forward. In short, managing uncertainty is difficult because most of us prefer to keep things familiar and safe, within a personal comfort zone.
While staying within our comfort zone might give us some sense of security, it reduces our ability to think outside the box and can also cause us to repeat the same mistakes over again. Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. That’s the way most of us deal with uncertainty. Situations suddenly change but we choose to continue to do things the same way, think the same way or react in the same way because we’re hoping for different results.
The simple truth is nothing ever really stays the same and the only thing we can be certain of is that things will change. How we navigate the change and uncertainty in our lives is one of the keys to staying focused and on track to reach our goals.
Master the Art of Staying Focused During Uncertain Times with these Time Management Tips
The good news? Change doesn’t have to lead to uncertainty. You have the power to steer your own course. If you’re having difficulty staying focused during times of uncertainty, use these 6 time management tips to get back on track so you can move forward and get the best results with your time:
1. Take care of yourself. One of the symptoms of not knowing how to deal with uncertainty is lack of motivation. You may feel less productive than normal, less motivated because you don’t know what the future holds or even a little depressed. Maybe you can’t sleep or suddenly you feel exhausted and want to sleep all the time. Remember, life will move forward but you’re no use to yourself or anyone else if you’re not physically, spiritually, emotionally and mentally healthy. Get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, reduce your exposure to social media and take a little extra care of yourself while you sort through how to move forward and get back on track.
2. Know what you can change. If you’re feeling stuck, unable to focus and off balance ask: “Do I have the power to change this situation?” If the answer is yes, then figure out what you can do to make things better. What is the highest action you can take that will benefit everyone? Apply these Time Management Tips to take action, make a change and get back on track.
3. Stop worrying about what might happen. If events are beyond your control and you can’t change the situation, then worrying about what might happen is a waste of precious mental real estate, energy and time. Author Nishan Panwar writes, “If you live in fear of the future because of something that happened in the past, you will end up losing what you have in the present.”
Instead, focus on what you can do to make a difference; what you can do to contribute to the growth of your company, business unit or team; what you can do to improve your life or the lives of those you care about and serve. Focus on the elements within your sphere of influence and let the rest go… You may not control events going on around you but you still control what you think, say, feel and do. You also have influence within your personal sphere, so use your influence where it can make a positive difference.
4. Change your mindset. Notice your thoughts. Your thoughts dictate your actions and the results you achieve. You can’t reach your goals if you’re not focused on your goals. So when you notice your thoughts are getting off track and becoming unproductive or negative, or you find yourself giving in to worry, fear or anger, just reach for a better thought. A good thought will create a better feeling and that will help you make better choices, which will lead you to better responses, actions and outcomes. Reach for a thought that makes you feel better, is related to your goals and to the things you want to accomplish in the moment, during the hour or by the end of the day.
A wise person once said: “Negative thoughts are like birds in a tree. They come and go. You can let them rest on your branches. Just don’t let them make a nest there.”
5. Restate your goals. What do you want to accomplish this minute, hour, day, week and year? What job needs to be done, what people need to be served? Can you find a better direction for yourself? What’s the downside of staying stuck, doing nothing and not reaching your goals? And what’s the upside if you take some steps to move the needle forward and reach your goals?
6. Focus on solutions, not problems. A skillful leader knows that instead of over-reacting or focusing on things beyond one’s control, it’s the result that counts. Commit to the goals you want to accomplish and the life you want to create. Decide how you will act in the world, and whom you will support. Focus on finding solutions to problems you are uniquely qualified to solve.
Take Action Today with These 6 Time Management Tips
The next time something happens that causes you to feel uncertain about your future, that causes you to get off balance or lose your focus, use these Time Management Tips to put your life in perspective, reframe what’s most important to you and increase your motivation to get back on track and regain your focus. Wherever you are during times of uncertainty, you can become your best self. You can think, listen, change, and make a difference. By simply committing to these Time Management Tips, you can become a more powerful, focused person and an inspiration to others.
Share these time management tips!