Do you ever feel like you really don’t know where the day has gone? Or arrive home and think what exactly have I been doing all day?

I know from personal experience if you let the day lead you then it’s likely you’ll just end up firefighting, tackling incoming emails, responding to instant messenger, switching from one thing to another without really focusing on anything. When was the last time you stopped even for 1 minute to consider exactly how the task in hand will help you achieve your goals?

Focus and simplicity… once you get there you can move mountains - Steve Jobs

Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn greatly puts it this way “either run the day or the day runs you.” If you are falling victim to this then you need to flip things around.

Here are 5 ways to help you take the reins so you lead the day and take control of your time and focus:

1. Give Yourself 4 Minutes

Every morning set aside just 4 minutes, say before everyone else is awake and definitely before that morning rush gets going. Spend 1 minute on your own reminding yourself of your ultimate Vision. This could be a personal vision or a business vision. Repeat it over again a few times or write it down. Then consider your ‘To Do’ list and write down the 3 most important things you want to achieve that day that will directly influence your progress in achieving this vision.

2. Rid Yourself of Distractions

Everyone falls into the habit of opening their email inbox as soon as they start up their PC or jump on their mobile each morning. If you allow yourself dedicated times to check emails, for example from 9 am till 9.30 am, then 12.30 pm till 1 pm, then a similar slot at the end of the day this will free up the hours in-between that you can fill with focused work. Close your email inbox. Log out of slack or any other team messaging app and put your phone away. Doing this will really minimise distractions leaving you to get super focused. You can read more specifically on this here - 9 ways to stay focused, boost concentration and not be distracted.

3. Establish a Point of Reference

This is one we don’t want to close down. Having your OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) mapped out on one page will dramatically increase focus and help you allocate your time where it is most important. If you don’t have this already then we recommend creating a 1-3-5 Action Plan® Simply put this consists of 1 Vision, that is then split down into 3 Objectives and 5 Goals (per objective). You can find out more about the Reclaro 1-3-5 Action Plan® here. Once you’ve created this make sure you keep it open alongside your work as a point of reference and a reminder of the bigger picture you are working towards. As you do each task ask yourself “will this help me move the dial and move closer to my vision?”

4. One at a Time

It’s important to focus on one task at a time as trying to do too much at once will lead to confusion, disaster, or even burnout! Prioritise the most important task that you listed that morning even if it’s not the one you’d rather do and you can feel procrastination creeping in. Getting this done and off the list straight away will get things off to a great start. Remember whilst you want to be the best you can be, striving for absolute perfection in everything you do can drag you down and eat up your time.

5. Allow 5 Minutes of Reflection

At the end of the day take a few minutes to reflect on what you’ve achieved that day. Did you get those 3 most important tasks done? If so, great - you’ll be buzzing! If not, then ask yourself what happened? Reflect and take learnings from this day into tomorrow, you’ll be surprised what new positive habits you can adopt during this reflection process to carry forward. Find out more about forming positive habits and sticking to them here.

That feeling of having had a productive day and having achieved the goals you set out to do is amazing - make every minute count and end each day feeling fulfilled, not chasing your tail to get to a point where it’s acceptable to stop because you’ve run out of time!

It’s vitally important to focus on business, not busyness and stay focused on achieving those transformational results. Having a Reclaro 1-3-5 Action Plan® will drastically change the way you prioritise your tasks for the day. Furthermore, it will sharpen your focus on what’s important to achieve your goals, your objectives and your overall business vision. If you would like to find out more about this please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.