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Calm the Noise

December 12, 2013


Some days it’s easy to keep our heads on straight.  During these times, we operate with clarity and focus.  We know just what to do and when.  We can make priority decisions and necessary trade-offs without second guessing ourselves.  Ahhh…those are the days!  Then, there are the other days.  The days where we have so much in front of us that we don’t know where to start.  The days where our wheels start spinning and we find ourselves incapable of sorting out our activities.  The days where the harder we try, the less progress we seem to make.  Yes…we’re still human.

Following are some reminders of ways you can regroup when you become overwhelmed with the volume and/or significance of the items on your to do list.

Forward Moving Tips:

1.  Breathe.  Sometimes, taking a few minutes to breath deeply is all we need to calm the noise and refocus our efforts.  It allows us to step back and look at what is before us with a different perspective.

2.  Make a list of the items you believe you have to complete.  Writing the items down helps to minimize them swirling around in your head.  The swirling, in and of itself, can be distracting enough to prevent progress.

3.  Review the items on your list to determine which ones can be done later, or by someone else.  Falling into the trap that everything has to be complete right now, by you, is a good way to bog yourself down with unproductive weight.

4.  Distinguish between wants and needs.  Check in with yourself, your manager, project sponsor, team, vendors, customers, parents, significant other, kids to gain distinction between what truly is a necessity and what is a luxury.

5.  Schedule specific time on your calendar to progress tasks.  Blocking out time to work on your priorities is essential.  Take it a step further by going to a place where you are less likely to be interrupted.  Oh…and silence your electronic devices so you can concentrate.

6. Plan your route.  Whether this entails steps to complete a task or literally the route you drive in your car to most efficiently complete errands, thinking in advance can create more time down the line.

7.  Exercise.  Physical movement frees endorphins that favorably impact our mindset and give us more energy.

8.  Allow yourself to accept ‘good enough.’  Many times, just letting go of the idea of perfection is enough to help us get back to business.  Once the pressure is off, you’re likely to produce a better work product.

9.  Reflect on the items you have already completed.  Acknowledging how far you’ve come can give you the boost to keep going.

10.  Put a reward in place.  Having an event or item to look forward to can be just the motivation you need to help increase efficiency on the tasks right in front of you.

What additional tip(s) do you utilize to regain focus?

© Viage Partners 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Viage Partners with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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