By Gwen Kuebler, CTC
Do you wonder why most days you struggle to accomplish your work? You leave the office – perhaps very late – but don’t even know what you’ve done for the day? Lack of focus may be your problem. Apply these five tips to accomplish your goals and reach your full potential each day.
1. Avoid multi-tasking! Dr. Clifford Nass, Stanford professor, was quoted in Women’s Health: “The brain does better when performing tasks in sequence.” Multi-tasking is highly overrated. Unless you’re waiting for an urgent message, turn off the e-mail notification pop up on your screen and silence your phone automatic ding for text and e-mail. If you’re working on a project which requires intense concentration, let your calls go to voice mail and close your door to avoid employee interruptions. While we cannot control every aspect of our day, it’s critical we manage what we can control.
2. Reduce your stress with task lists! Task lists are stress reducers. Planning your activities the day before keeps your mind from worrying about forgetting an important deadline, meeting or task. Once the item is on your list, you can forget about it till it pops up for your attention. When you arrive at work, you know you must begin at Item #1. This avoids time wasting as you decide what to do next.
3. Keep yourself organized! Having a task list is essential in focusing daily activities. It aligns your priorities. Consult your list for the first item to accomplish. Exert all of your energies on finishing that priority goal, then move to the next item. Without a list, it’s easy to lose focus and grab at the urgent request at hand. Even when you must interrupt your work to handle a true emergency, a list brings your focus back to the priorities you’ve established for your day.
4. Be intentional! No matter how much you think you’ve “arrived,” think again. Growth in your career or personal life does not come by osmosis. You must study and apply yourself in order to learn and grow. Use your spare time wisely. While waiting at a doctor’s office, on the train, commuting to work – read or listen to inspiring books. Learn from past great leaders by reading biographies. Take up a foreign language – whatever interests you, keep your mind active.
5. Set measureable goals! Having clear targets help you set priorities for each day, week, month and year. Create goals for each category – such as career, family, friends, fitness, nutrition, service, spiritual, etc. Focus your energy on achieving goals in each of these areas by carving out regular time to work on them.
Gun warfare in the American Revolutionary War was crude compared to our sophisticated computerized weapon systems. However, the generals were constantly exploring new methods for improvement. Musket balls needed a close-in range of about 50 yards to hit a man-sized target. In contrast, rifles enabled a good marksman to hit his target several hundred yards away. The musket’s rate of fire was quicker than the rifle, but it was not nearly as accurate. The rifle took longer to load, but hitting your target was much more likely. Set your priorities, plan your tasks, make lists and follow through. You will accomplish more in less time!
“No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.” – Harry Emerson Fosdick
Gwen Kuebler, CTC, has worked in travel all of her adult life, beginning as travel manager with a nonprofit organization who sent workers to Africa and South America. Serving in a mid-sized travel agency, her various managerial positions included marketing, sales, operations and account management. She is currently employed at Travisa Passport and Visa Service in New York City, where she serves as account manager. Gwen earned her Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) certification and has been a member of The Travel Institute since 1993.
Contact Gwen today with questions.