These days, we’re all scattered in at least a few different directions. It seems we have more distractions, more responsibilities and more, in general, to just do. The challenge is focus. We can’t operate at a high level if we can’t focus. This has been a major issue for me in recent years, and especially since I quit the day job in 2012. I’m constantly doing work for clients or handling family responsibilities. Rarely do I find, or take, the time to focus on my own stuff.
I look around my office and see a giant, distracting mess. The mess itself doesn’t bother me from a visual perspective. It’s the fact that it’s unfinished business. Papers that need scanning and filing, computer equipment that needs to be repaired or recycled. Hard drives that need to be tagged and archived. Stuff everywhere, and each with an unfinished task item (or four) associated with it.
This happens in business and in life. I need to manage this better. I’ve gotten help from services like Shoeboxed, but I don’t even use them as often as I should. Part of my “Better Brian” experiment is to recognize these issues and take action to make them better, if not rid myself of them altogether.
How? Process. Strict times to process information. Not do any work, just processing. Friday afternoons are typically filled with last second work to meet a deadline, or just abandoned altogether because a cold beer is sitting right outside my office. Being more disciplined to stick to my scheduled planning/processing time on those days will certainly help. And, I can still enjoy that beer.
In addition to a shorter daily reflection and processing time, I need to stop working at noon on Fridays, and use those 3-4 hours to clean up, plan for the next week and process any outstanding documents, invoices, etc. that will bug me all weekend. This is clearing the mental clutter and giving me a sense of accomplishment at the same time. Plus beer!
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