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Ways To Focus And Manage Time More Effectively

This is an excellent article aimed at students, but applicable to anyone.  The author outlines some original ways to focus and manage time more effectively, as well as some that you would have already come across.  I’ve excerpted some of my favourite points, but be sure to read the entire article for full effect.

Ways To Focus And Manage Time More Effectively

Time wasted is existence, time used is life.

Giving structure to your day and following a study technique is a great way to be focussed on the task at hand and be efficient. However, we can still find ourselves struggling with our concentration form time to time. There are some techniques we can follow to directly improve our concentration.

Take breaks: It is prudent to divide your study schedule into small chunks of half an hour each especially when you are struggling to concentrate! Take a break after every half an hour of studying and don’t forget to pat yourself on your back for staying focused for this long. However, don’t leave the place, but sit back in your chair, relax, deep breathe and keep your focus. Take longer breaks every hour when you can get up from your seat and stretch your legs.

Worry time: For those of us who tend to worry about things incessantly, set aside a worry time. Whenever your mind slips into worrying remind yourself that you have a special time devoted to worrying and you can worry then!

The ‘five more’ mantra: This is something I came across and I felt it’s a great way to build sustained attention and build frustration tolerance. If you’re in the middle of a task and tempted to give up- just do FIVE MORE. Read FIVE MORE pages. Finish FIVE MORE math problems. Work FIVE MORE minutes”. By implementing this strategy, you are building mental stamina and exercising your brain muscles and endurance just like athletes built their muscles and stamina.

Mind and Body exercises: Keep aside all tasks, select a thought and keep it in your mind for as long as you can. It can be thought like, how to keep fit. Now stay focused on this idea and develop it for as long as you can. Be aware of times when your mind wavers off and then bring it back to the topic.

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Do you set aside ‘worry time’? When researching ways to focus and manage time more effectively, it’s rare that you come across tips like taking ‘worry time’ and the ‘five more’ mantra.  This is why I particularly appreciated this article.  Visualisation was another great, original, tip;

Visualisation is an extremely effective technique to prepare the mind to concentrate. Before starting your studies, close your eyes and imagine yourself in a situation when you experienced deep concentration. It could have been playing a sport, a musical instrument or gazing at a bird sitting in a pond. Try to picture this state of total concentration in your mind’s eye and stay with it for about five minutes. Then open your eyes, take a few deep breaths and start studying.

I’ll be setting aside worry time from now on and using visualisation as a new method of focusing.  And I absolutely loved the closing line;

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you have always got.


6 Time Management Tips For Entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, managing your time efficiently and focusing can be one of the hardest challenges, particularly if you used to work for someone else. Without a boss breathing down your neck, it is up to you prioritise the most important tasks and to not allow yourself to work all hours of the day. Here are 6 time management tips for entrepreneurs including advice from Y Combinator, Techstars, Founder Institute, Excelerate Labs, and Seedcamp.

Techstars chief executive David Cohen tells entrepreneurs to focus on one big goal each week. “This mental exercise makes you figure out what really matters, and focus time and energy on it at the cost of other, less important things,” he says. “Focusing on the right priorities can help you do more faster. I remember when Isaac Saldana of SendGrid decided he wanted to bring in an outside CEO. He focused on this until it was finished as his number one priority, and it accelerated the company more than anything else he could have done. Now SendGrid is on fire, and Isaac contributes as the technical leader, which is further propelling the company. It’s all because he focused on the biggest and most important thing through to completion.

I find email to be the biggest time waster so I entirely agree with number 1 of these 6 time management tips for entrepreneurs. I actually read a number of these in Tim Ferris’ ‘The Four Hour Work Week’. Additionally he advises that you should only read emails once a day and not first thing in the morning. If you open your emails first thing in the morning, you can find yourself completely distracted for hours. Some other advice I’ve read, particularly for online marketers, is to focus on income-generating tasks first thing in the day and to set yourself goals, write them down in a diary, and do everything in your power to stick to them!

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Stay Focused And Avoid Daily Distractions

We’re in a world surrounded by interruptions; people, texts, emails, phone calls and more recently social media. If these distractions aren’t enough, then something else around the corner will better occupy our mind than the task in hand. Here, Deirde Woollard explains how to stay focused and avoid daily distractions.

Switch Focus: The ability to switch focus takes practice, and sometimes, a little help. The trick is to stop multitasking. Don’t try to handle more than one thing at once; rather, train your focus in one direction, and switch tracks only when the first task or objective is completed.

I think it’s all about planning. If you start the day with an objective, then you can write it down and focus on that objective or, say 3 objectives. I particulalry like the point about using a timer so you allocate yourself a specific time period to complete a certain task. Stay focused and avoid daily distractions by planning; get focused, stay focused and switch focus.

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