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Focus is The Key To Getting Things Done!

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When we start getting organised with our lives and looking into all the parts that make up our existence, we can want to pounce on getting everything right IMMEDIATELY.

We begin with the right intention – to want to streamline things, to finally get that done, to feel purposeful and organised – but when we try to tackle everything at once it can lead to overwhelm and ultimately nothing changes.

Which is why I am such a champion for focussing on ONE major thing at a time. I’ve totally learned this the hard way. When I start getting my  ‘let’s do this’ vibe on and looking at goals and projects I have a tendency to  do everything at once.

Yup, I’ll start an exercise regime and a healthy diet and while I’m at it I’m also carrying out project house to haven, and decluttering every room in the house, plus designing new products and finishing my craft projects, and starting on that new cross stitch pattern. I want to dive into writing the book and doing that new skin care routine. Well, I’m on a roll now, so I’m going to start reading 7 of the books on my to read list, recommence my morning pages, only shop organic, start a new spirituality practice, join my local toastmasters, do a course on baking and continue my plans for world domination with love.

Yes, these are all good things. All things I want to experience and accomplish but this is just not going to work this way is it?

I honour my desires by writing them down somewhere so I can capture them in a place that won’t forget them (thank god for my master to do list!).

F A5 LP Master to do

Flourish A5 Master To Do List Page

I want to set myself up for success, not failure right off the bat (NB: failure is your friend, but that is for another post!).

When you focus on one main thing at a time (or at a stretch 2 or 3) and you make steady improvements, it has a way of bringing up the other areas of life.

A coaching client of mine was focussing on her new business as her main goal. She has a busy life – studying at University and raising a little girl as well, plus her partner just moved in. Unsurprisingly she was feeling overwhelmed and was beating herself up because she wasn’t doing anything well. We worked on time management and working out her schedule, we created inspiring goals and manageable action lists, we dove into the ‘Why’ behind her reasons for starting her business. Things started to change for her.

She really saw that starting her business was connected with her own needs of self-accomplishment and for being a role model and provider for her child. Because we created a flexible schedule for her activities, she could feel productive during the day, hitting her goals and then be able to switch off and spend real quality time with her daughter and partner (instead of physically being with them but thinking of all the things she hadn’t done because she wasn’t clear). She also realised she needed to look after herself and her energy to be able to work on her business, so she almost automatically started exercising more frequently and eating better. Because she was better organised with her time and focussed on her business, she saw how she could link her uni studies to supporting her biz.

A goal without a plan is just a wish

Other things happen in life, you have social commitments, you still have to eat and clean the house, these things will happen. But by having one clear goal – one main focus – you see progress, your confidence improves, your momentum builds and this certainly spreads.

I now create 1-3 main things each day, week, month and quarter to focus on. Yes, I occasionally get tempted to tackle everything at once, but I’ve now experienced the joys of focus and man, it is way better than constant overwhelm!

So, how can you get started with this?

1. Write down everything you want to do now.

2. Give yourself permission to NOT have to do everything immediately.

3. See which area of life/goal/project, that if you put most of your attention there will have the greatest positive impact on your life.

4. Make a note of the other things in a place that you can easily refer back to. You will create time for these when you are ready. Make sure you refer back to this list on a regular basis to see when you might be ready.

5. Write an inspiring, motivating, specific, measurable, attainable, reaching and time-framed goal for the thing you have chosen.

A5 Goal Planning Page

Dotty A5 Goal Planning Page

6. Allow whatever else has to happen in your life come up – consciously choose to do it or say thank you, but no or not now.

7. Do the work and celebrate each milestone. Don’t forget to pat yourself on the back!

37 Ideas for Your Routine and Regularly Scheduled Activities List

Routines

I’ve been asked a bit about routines and regularly schedule activities (especially because I have a routines and weekly routine overview page in the Starter Pack and List & Planning inserts). Here are a few ideas that may inspire your own list and I would love to hear what you have on yours!

A few things that I think are important with these routines…

Make sure you schedule things in that are making you get closer to where you want to go. Leave room for flexibility and spontaneity but having regularly scheduled activities build momentum and provide check-ins and milestones to stay on course.

It is easy to get carried away with all the little things that seem important at the time but don’t really enhance your life or work. This is why it is so great to consciously schedule things in that allow you to grow towards your goals, are necessary self care activities or keep you on track and focused.

If you don’t always cross them all off, don’t beat yourself up. They are only a guide and you can always reschedule, tweak, start a fresh again or throw them all out the window.

Strive for progress

Remember, this is your life! You choose what you do with it. Enjoy :)

DAILY SCHEDULE
Most of your daily tasks will be dictated by your main role.

Here is a list of some of the things I have on my daily schedule and some of them are general ideas. I don’t always do them all, but if I’m able to do it most of the time I know my life is the better for it!

may you wake with gratitude

  • Gratitude list – 5 things you are grateful for
  • Journalling – write at least one page of life-changing or mundane thoughts (or do your insight-inducing Morning Pages)
  • Start the day with your WHY. What is your high level, soul-burning, heart-lifting reason for you to do what you do? What keeps you going in the face of challenges? Write it out in a paragraph or two and read it before you start your work everyday.
  • Read your goals
  • Plan your day including your 3 MITs (most important things to do today) and launch into them.
  • One-minute of silence (or more if you can!)
  • Fresh green juice
  • Write 500 words
  • 10-minutes minimum of heart-pumping activity
  • 5-15 minutes of decluttering home
  • Tracking things for the day (minutes exercised, water drank, weather, mood etc)
  • Review the day and check in with the next few days
  • Clear desk ready for a fresh day tomorrow!

20 things to start doing

WEEKLY SCHEDULE
I ended up moving a lot of my weekly activities to the fortnightly list as it felt very restrictive to do them every week.

  • Week in review
  • Weekly plan with the week’s 3 MITs
  • Books to read
  • File paperwork
  • Do admin activities
  • Close off all unfinished business for week
  • Go through notes, scribbles, ideas etc and move them to appropriate places
  • Love check in connection (Jack Canfield presents an idea in his Success Principles book to nurture your relationships. No matter how well things are going, put some time aside each week with your partner to see how thing are going. It is a non-aggressive way to bring up any small niggles and address them before one of you explodes and blows it out of proportion!)
  • Chores and cleaning

cleaning room

FORTNIGHTLY ACTIVITIES

  • Date night with The Man
  • Artist Date – solo excursion to refill your creative well
  • Planning with partner – appointments, schedules and ideas so you’re on the same page with what is upcoming
  • Family Time – since all my family live on the other side of the country or opposite end of the world, I try to schedule in time to Skype or call them regularly. While I probably speak to them more often, it is easy for time to fly by and realise you haven’t spoken to your Dad in a month (or is that only me?!)
  • Creative time – I love to paint and cross-stitch, but it is hard to find the time normally, so I’m scheduling in time with myself to do something I love, but is not necessarily ‘important’
  • Video time – I have an intention to do more videos and once again am creating the time for it.
date night

All our dates nights are like this…right…

MONTHLY SCHEDULE

  • Month in review
  • Monthly dreams including 3 MITs for month and transferring all dates and plans into your pages
  • Beauty/Pamper session (yay!)
pamper

And The Man totally, always does this…

  • Process all info from previous month and put them in their places
  • Life Planning session – review and add to your life vision
  • Check in with goals, master to dos and projects
  • Catch up with friends
  • Do finances – receipts, budgets, tracking income
  • Tidy up car

You may then also have 6 week, bi-monthly, quarterly, 6 months, annual and ad hoc schedules and routines.

What else do you have on your regular list? Share with us below and inspire others to craft routines they love!

Life is crafted, craft yours,
Arienne