The Importance of Focus

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It’s arguably far easier to get distracted in your day-to-day life in 2019 than it was say, 30 years ago. Our fast-moving, instant gratification culture presents us with opportunities to get drawn away from what we’re currently doing at every turn. This is especially true in the legal executive search industry, where we may have a number of projects that we are currently working on at any given time.

Clearly, however, if we are to deliver on our promises to our clients and candidates, then focussing on the task at hand should be an integral part of this. What can we do to help ourselves focus more and ultimately get more done during the day?

One paramount foundation for building focus is understanding where your focus should lie, be that for the day, week, month or year. Multitasking and working simultaneously on different projects doesn’t work, and ultimately leads to a poorer quality end product. Dedicating set portions of your day to completing one task alone without doing anything else is a highly effective way of being more productive.

Having a to-do-list is for many the mainstay of organisational capabilities. However, a practical way of utilising your to-do-list is to keep two of them, suggests educational author Dr. Joseph Cardillo. The first, he suggests, is for the mundane and everyday tasks we have to complete (think “clean the car” or “pick up dry-cleaning”) and can be as long as you like. The second, however, is for tasks which require your immediate attention, and contains just 3 things that you are going to do next. This will help focus your brain and keep your mind on the immediate tasks at hand.

If keeping to-do-lists is a staple of maintaining focus, phones are the enemy. Constant notifications from social media or emails diverts our attention away from the task at hand and means relatively simple tasks take longer than they should. That isn’t to say if an urgent email comes through you shouldn’t reply to it; the skill is learning how to prioritise and deciding when to react to an incoming email or alert.

Ultimately, learning to focus and directing your attention to the things that matter will significantly enhance your productivity and increase your overall prospects within a firm. If you’d like to have a confidential chat about your career and how you can increase your focus, feel free to give me a call on 0161 507 0094.