Who, Where, Why, What, How? When?.... Stop and FOCUS….
We all have those days where we need to stop and remind ourselves to focus. It’s so easy for us as assistants to be distracted and loose focus of what we’re working on. So when we do get the chance to really focus on what we’re doing, we become a force to be reckoned with. Imagine if we could be that force every day…
I think most EA/PAs will agree that being able to focus on one thing at a time is almost impossible. Unless you work in an office on your own that has no door (for people to actually use), you are constantly distracted and it’s tough!
So how do we stay focused? How do we say no to the distractions and just get sh!t done? I have a few tricks up my sleeve to keep me focused, and they are:
Have a clear to do list - If you can, the night before is always a good time to set yourself a list of things to do. That way you are prepared for what the next day brings.
Prioritise – once you have your list of things to do, prioritise those tasks so that you are focusing on what’s most important first. I find that if I have a lot of little things to do, its best to get them out of the way first because they’re on’t take long and you can focus on the big items much easier.
Take good breaks – EA/PAs know all to well that Lunch can sometimes be non existent OR its eastern at our desk so we don’t really get a ‘break’. But if the chance arises to leave your desk, I highly suggest you do. Get some Vitamin D, go for a walk around the block, go and sit somewhere you wouldn’t normally just for a change. You’ll feel much more refreshed when you return to your desk.
Work offline – there is a lot of research which suggests that most distractions come from alerts relating to the internet. New emails are the biggest distraction! So if you can manage to do so, take yourself offline by disconnecting from the internet for the hour or so that you need to focus on your task. You can even remove the ‘new email’ alerts so you don’t actually notice them. Something as little as this can really help you get more done.
Get some sleep – A good night’s sleep is super important for being able to function let alone focus. You should be getting between 6 and 8 hrs of sleep per night. I know… Saying it is easier than doing it. And although research tells us that we shouldn’t use anything with a back lit screen up to an hour before bed, I feel like for me, this actually helps me get to sleep. Reading a book before bed also puts me to sleep in minutes… maybe that’s why I’m no good at reading books…
They are just a few things that I do to help me stay focused. You could also try things like meditation, although I can never switch my mind off for long enough to meditate. Exercising and healthy eating are also important. Healthy mind, healthy body.
What do you do to keep yourself focused?