Staying focused is achievable for the single, married or married with children. Granted their might be different strategies to use at these different points in your life, but the concept is pretty much the same.
Time management is a huge key no matter what stage you are at. If you can break your day up into blocks then it frees your mind from wandering from what you are doing at the moment. That’s the biggest reason our minds wonder. There’s always so much to be done and so little time. Some people will get so overwhelmed they just sit and veg out instead of doing anything.
Example: If the kids are saying they want to play, read or do something with you, but you have other things you need to accomplish first like fix the refrigerator, start lunch, balance the check book but they keep asking. Your overwhelmed meter starts to hit the peak point before it explodes or deflates. If you are single and have a 9-5 job, but still have to cook, clean, do laundry, homework and anything else extra that comes along. Regardless again, time management is key.
People know when you are not focused on them. A child can see if you are distracted and crabby as can a spouse or family member. To prevent this we are going to talk about giving quality time to those you care about that they can look forward to. At the same time accomplishing daily tasks that need to get done.
I am going to give you a scenario as to how this might look.
“Sweetheart I would love to spend quality time with you, but I need to accomplish some things first. After that, you will have all of my attention.”
If you are talking to kids and they are really young without any concept of time you can make a clock out of a paper plate or purchase a clock from the store which the hands will move on. Now that you have a clock. Set the time on theirs, point to the time on the real one and then say something like this.
“When these two hands match up it will be your special time.”
This method can also be used with your spouse minus the clock (that might get you slapped.) The idea is to make time, confirm it with whomever is involved and then you are free to accomplish and focus on the things or items that need to be done.
One VERY, VERY important rule. Follow through on what you’ve said and be on time!!!!!!! Building trust with those you care about the most is worth more than anything else on your day’s schedule. You respect them and in return they respect you. Do not give that up by going 5 min. over saying “I’m almost done, I’m almost done.” Not cool.
To keep track of your time each day I have made a Weekly time Management Schedule which has a space for day, start and end time, person or item and any notes you might need. This is a weekly chart you can download and print as many times as you like. You of course have the option of making your own or use a daily planner. I like to use this one so I can hang it on the fridge where everyone can see. By doing that it helps me to keep on track and also other family members can see it too. Sometimes I print a second copy and keep it by my desk and phone. That way I am reminded when I am working when to move onto the next thing and also any phone calls that come in I can look at my schedule.
This brings me to another point. There is only so many hours in the day. If your schedule is full don’t be afraid to tell someone NO. It is not harsh or unfeeling to simply say you can not at this time. It just means you can stay focused on what you already have scheduled.
Let’s recap on what we’ve talk about:
- Schedule your time.
- Build trust with those you have scheduled by keeping your word.
- Be on time.
- Don’t be afraid to say NO
If you follow these steps above, I promise you will be more focused, less frustrated, you will not feel guilty and everything that needs to be accomplished will be (sickness and illness not included.)
Wishing you much focus and success – Heather Earles