How to Focus Fast

Oct 07, 2021

“Who you are, what you see, feel and do, what you love - is the sum of what you focus on.” This is a quote by Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work. The book is a deep dive into the ability to focus without distractions.

 

Focus is a gift in our distracted society. It’s a skill that allows you to produce better work in a shorter amount of time.

 

I’ve written about focus before here and here.

 

Today I want to focus (HA) on the way to get into the focus zone FAST!

 

A surefire way to create laser focus when you need to get stuff done is to create a routine to ritualize deep work.  In other words, you will be performing a series of tasks to signal to your body it’s time to go into focus mode.

 

This will minimize your need to lean on willpower to increase concentration.

 

Let’s say for example you decide right after reading this sentence that you need to finish planning your social media posts for the remainder of...

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Transition Time is Not Just for Kindergarteners

Aug 05, 2021

“One, Two, Three, all eyes on me!”

When a kindergarten teacher calls out this chant to a rowdy group of five-year-olds, something magical happens. The kids chant back “One, Two, Three eyes on you,” and suddenly, the classroom has gone from chaos to focused attention.

We don’t have to leave this magic in grade school. Find a comfy place on the carpet because today’s story is all about the power of transitions.

Let’s brainstorm for a minute the transitions you come across in a day:

  • Getting out of bed
  • Heading off to work
  • Moving from one project (or errand) to the next
  • Ending your workday
  • Picking the kids up from school
  • Meeting with a coworker or friend
  • Going to bed

This list can go on and on, but you get the idea. I’m not talking about significant life changes here, just the small changes that happen in the course of your day.

Have you thought about those changes? What you do in the moments before you walk into the gym or sit down at...

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Reflection Prompts that Get Results

Jul 08, 2021

What will you keep, improve, start or stop doing?

 

I answer this question very early every Sunday morning.  I don’t always have all the answers but just spending time pondering that question has given me some amazing breakthroughs.

 

I’ll share one with ya.  I registered for an online summit a few weeks back but it fell on a weekend.  I wasn’t sure how I could attend but not take myself away from my family 100%. I decided to book a road trip that same weekend and planned our drive times around the zoom calls.

 

Did I get to attend every speaker I wanted to listen to? NO! 

 

But I did get to attend.  I made some amazing connections, picked up a ton of knowledge, and my kids were blissful when they hit the beach.

 

It was a hail mary effort I threw together at the last moment but when I reflected back, it was the perfect solution for a virtual weekend conference.



Are you ready to harness the power of reflection?...

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It's Time to Stop Waiting for the Right Moment

Jun 17, 2021

Why you should make a Life Plan instead.

Think back to the last time you took a big trip. You spent time planning what to do, how to get there, and who will be along for the journey. Most of us have limited vacation time. While you may want to travel the world, you narrow your trip to just a few places you can see during the time you have.

Now stop for a minute and think. Have you ever applied this planning to your life?

I remember meeting with a school counsellor in both high school and college to discuss my career path, but let’s be honest while you think you know everything at 18 years old it’s a far cry from reality.

If I could turn back time, I would spend time writing (or refining) a Life Plan at the start of each year instead of a New Year’s resolution I will toss out before February.

What’s a Life Plan?

It’s a concept I discovered thanks to the brilliant Michael Hyatt. A life plan starts with the end in mind. You think about how you...

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Stop the Small Talk, Gain Back Your Time

Jun 10, 2021

You know that sinking feeling when you realize you’re in a conversation with no end in sight?

Instead of focusing on what’s said, your mind is running through your To-Do list for the day.

I realized last week that I lost about 30 minutes of my most productive time chatting with our carpet cleaner. Working from home allows for lots of time saved, but contactors and home maintenance workers can sabotage your productivity.

Small Talk Within Reason

I tend to be the type to pretend that I’m not home when the doorbell rings (thank goodness for video doorbells). On the occasion when I need to let someone into the house, I’m always polite. Probably too polite, which is what gets me in trouble. However, I genuinely appreciate the value of good help, and I think a few minutes of niceties go a long way.

“How are you? Can I get you anything? OK, here’s where we need help.”

Sound the Alarms

When you’ve gone beyond the small talk, and the...

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On Discipline vs Motivation

May 06, 2021

Monday hit me like a ton of bricks. 

 

Motivation had been my friend when I read the book Miracle Mornings.  I was intrigued because I’ve always been a morning person.  After reading, I set my alarm even earlier.  Motivated to capture the day and “maximize my potential.”

 

I sprung out of bed for the first week (even on the weekends). Then the next Monday hit. I had spent the weekend as I usually would.  Spending time with family and friends.  Staying up later to enjoy more time, but then still bounding out of bed at 5am.

 

Seizing the day seemed like a much less worthy cause. Motivation ghosted me on that morning.

 

I realized if I wanted to continue with the morning routine I was loving, I was going to have to call on more than motivation to push me out of bed. 

 

Let’s look at the definitions:

MOTIVATION

(noun): the act or an instance of motivating, or providing with a reason to act in a...

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Why You Can't Focus and Legit Ways to Get it Back

Mar 25, 2021

You have a giant project due today and the time blocked to get the work done.  The problem is your brain is everywhere else but on the task in front of you.

 

The pressure feels like the walls of your office are closing in on you, but you can’t get focused to do the work.  What’s going on?

 

Here are the top three reasons you can’t focus and LEGIT ways to work through them:

 

Procrastination

Procrastination is not doing the things you know you need to do when you need to do it.

 

Know yourself to fight procrastination.

 

It’s the first step to reclaiming your focus. If you’re finding it hard to resist temptation, make a note of how procrastination is affecting your life.  

 

For example, did you rush through Sunday dinner so you could get back to the project that you put off until the last minute?  Next time you’re tempted to scroll social media, instead of hitting your word count, think...

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Yes, Mindset Work Will Help You Get More Done

Mar 18, 2021

I’ve just lost an hour and so have (most of) you because I’m writing this paragraph on the day after daylight savings.  Congratulations everyone!  You’ve survived the attack of the changing clocks.

 

A battle with the clocks is a true test of your mindset.  A mindset is a set of assumptions, methods, or notions.  Losing time will mess with all of those.

 

How did the battle play out for you and your household?

 

I was feeling pretty good until my ten year old lost his mind with the mention that we had math tutoring today.  An epic meltdown I’m going to chalk up to losing an hour of sleep.

 

Losing an hour, epic meltdowns, or any other setback will test you if you don’t have a clear vision of where you’re headed.  Let’s dive deeper.

 

Clear Those Dirty Windshields

Think of your life as a car.  You are driving along with a beautiful new ride.

 

My dream car is a Range Rover so...

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How Taking a Break Can Make Your Mom Game Strong

Mar 04, 2021

Your to-do list is missing the crucial thing for you to get the most done today.

 

What’s that thing you ask?  TAKE A BREAK!

 

It’s easy to spot when somebody else needs to take a break.  

 

  • Your best friend calls you in tears of exhaustion
  • Your toddler throws a tantrum after skipping naptime
  • Your husband disengages from work after his 10th zoom call

 

When’s the last time you took a break?  I’m going to guess, past the time it was too late.

 

Think of it like drinking water.  You need to do it throughout the day before you become dehydrated.  You need to take small breaks throughout the day before you burnout.

 

Why You Need a Break and How Often

Here’s the why: the clarity and energy you gain outweighs the time lost.

 

The temptation is to sit chained to your desk until you finish that project.  Getting up when only forced to by mother nature or some other interruption. I can see...

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40 Questions to Ask When Creating Your Ideal Office Setup

Feb 11, 2021

“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you towards your objective...Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?” W. Clement Stone

I keep repeating that you are a unique human. Pay attention to the factors that drive your unique productivity. 

Here are a few questions to figure out what works for you:

  1. Do you work better in a busy coffee shop or quiet office?
  2. What kind of light helps you focus?
  3. What do you like to look at while working? (art, nature, pictures of loved ones)
  4. What colors are prominent where you work?
  5. Do you have artwork around you?
  6. Do you have plants in your office?
  7. Are you driven to get things done or do you need someone holding you accountable?
  8. What time of day are you most alert?
  9. What type of equipment do you need?
  10. What are the limitations of that equipment?
  11. What type of software solutions do you need?
  12. What type of desk and chair do you need to feel...
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