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Focus Series - Find Your Willpower
Even if you get easily distracted and you have bottom-up focus, there are steps that you can take to limit the effect of this. If you are tired of having your time eaten up by looking on social media or checking your phone each time it dings, and you do not want to work overtime in order to get the work done, then there are steps that you can take. This will not always be easy, but finding your willpower and what motivates you can make a difference.
Before we dive into some of the specifics on how to manage your focus, we need to look at how to find your willpower.
Understanding the Pareto Principle, and learning how to set clear goals for yourself can help make this happen.
The Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle specifies that about 80% of the consequences in any situation will come from about 20% of the causes. This shows that there is an unequal relationship between the inputs and outputs. It often referred to as the 80/20 principle.
While this principle was originally applied to the relationship between wealth and population, it can be applied to many other areas including human resources, management, and manufacturing. It can also be applied on a more personal level.
Time management is a common use of the Pareto Principle.
Many people tend to spread out their time rather than focusing on the tasks that are the most important. In this case, about 80% of your work-related output may come from 20% of your time at work.
Goal Setting and Objectives
To help you get more out of your time at work, you should set goals. This helps you to stay focused better and gives you something more to work towards. Your goal should not be, get more done. It needs to be more focused and specific to help you get results.
The best way to set a goal is to have. SMART Goal. These stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. These can give you the specifics that you need for goals that will get you ahead. They can also be motivational, so you keep working on them rather than giving up halfway.
You can set goals based on what works the best for you. Do you want to make it a goal to stop getting distracted at work? Then decide how much time you will allow yourself to check emails and phone calls and set that as the goal. If you have a big project at work, then use the SMART Goals idea to help you stay on track.
Let’s say you have a major project to get done at work and you are often getting things done at the last minute. This time we are going to use SMART goals. List out exactly what you want to get done in the goal. For this one, we want to get the project completely done by the deadline.
Then we will split it up into more manageable parts that are measurable, giving each part a due date that is attainable for our needs. The way that you split this up will depend on the exact project that you need to get done but having it in smaller and more manageable chunks can make life easier and gives you something to check off as you go. This along can be motivational for many people.
Always remember to put a time-limit on any of the goals that you would like to reach. It is easy to just list out the items that you want to finish and then do nothing else with them. This is the fastest way for to get in trouble because you will keep putting them off. Set the goal with a time limit that is reasonable for that part of the project and stick with it, so you no longer need to leave the work until the last minute.
Goal setting can help you use the Pareto Principle to its full advantage. When you are organized and can keep on track, it is amazing how quickly you can get work done and move on to something more important. No more wasting time at work or home, no more waiting until the last minute to get things done; you have clear goals that will help you succeed.