1. Pick ONE electronic device at a time! It's easy these days to have a tablet, a desktop, a laptop, a phone, and more, all running at the same time! If you're editing, hit the power button on everything else. If you're returning client phone calls, step away from tablet and laptop. If you're shooting, please for love of art, don't take out your phone and check your messages...or your Facebook! ;-)
2. Make a list, but not just a list. Write down the things you need to do, but you can't do them all first, so make sure your list has due dates, priority notes, and notes about whether each task needs to have input from others because if you need input of others, those items must be handled in the time frame of their availability. Knowing WHEN things need to be done will help you decide where to focus first.
3. Turn off your phone! More importantly, turn off your email notifications! You may think that you can't be "unavailable"... like...ever, but I promise you can! Though we may believe that we are doing our customers a favor with our perpetual availability, if you can't focus 100% of your attention on their needs at a given time, you aren't giving them what they deserve. Respond when you can do so with focus. If you need to set hours for email and phone calls, do so and make them known.
4. Finish what you start! Do you know the hardest part of any task? The beginning! And every time you stop, you will have to begin again, so when you start it, finish it, or at the least don't stop until you get to a point that is an easy beginning when you can return.
5. Make a schedule that works for YOU! Only you know what your most productive hours. Only you know when you are most alert or when you are most capable of handling detailed tasks versus creative tasks, or when you are best able to truly listen and communicate with your customers. Plan your regular schedule to take best advantage of the time that you are most successful at certain tasks.Doing LESS at any given time may go against your nature. Too often, being able to call ourselves "multi-taskers" is a source of pride, but I promise, that if you shift your mindset so that you can honestly say "I am not going to do that right now because I choose to do it RIGHT when I can focus on it," you will be surprised how much you can do in a day. You will be even more surprised at how much you no longer have to REDO. Do YOU have any good tips and tricks for prioritizing and maintaining YOUR focus?? Share them with us in the comments or pop over to our Facebook page and tell us about them! There is no such thing as too much good advice. :-)
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