What do you picture in your mind's eye when you hear the word success? Many of us have an image in our minds of a dedicated, driven person who is constantly on the go, and moving from activity to activity. After all, to be successful, one must be hardworking and constantly busy, right?
Concentration More Important than Business
While it's true that it does take a lot of effort to be successful at achieving our goals, being busy just for the sake of being busy really doesn't make it any easier to succeed. In fact, taking on so much work that we are forced to divide our focus and multi-task actually makes it more difficult to achieve our key goals and objectives in life.
Research indicates that the more that we multi-task, the more easy it is to become distracted and get less work done on either task. When tasks are completed, being distracted from our key objective increases the likelihood that our work will take longer to complete as well as be less accurate.
Limit the Work and Number of Tasks You Take on Each Day
If we want to be more productive each day, we must begin to reestablish our boundaries and learn that it's okay to say no sometimes and not take on more than we can handle. You are only one person, and it really is okay to allow others to help you, and to not try to do everything all at once and all on your own.
If you want to improve your accuracy and efficiency and get more actual work done each day, it's important to be able to narrow your focus so that you can concentrate on single tasks, and complete them one at a time. Focus on completing no more than three key goals for the day.
Minimize Distractions and Follow Up After Key Goals Are Completed
Look for ways to minimize distractions such as phone calls and emails when you are focusing on your key goals for the day. As you are concentrating on the key tasks at hand, if an interruption does occur, go on ahead and write the details down so that you can follow up after you've completed your main tasks. By writing down whatever it is that has distracted your focus, you are able to clear your mind and bring your attention back to your primary goal.
Get Some Rest - Leave Work at Work
Once you've completed your main goals for the day, review the items that you've listed for follow up. If you don't have time to finish them before leaving work, go on ahead and add the most important of these tasks to your key goals for the following day.
By prioritising these tasks to the following day you are more able to leave your work "at work," and enjoy your free time outside of the office. This will allow you to relax and recharge, so that you can come back to work well rested with the energy reserves that you need to complete new key goals each day!
Sophie Andrews is the author of The Creative Collection, Director of the Australian Bookkeepers Association and CEO of The Accounts Studio, a bookkeeping and cash flow consulting agency specializing in working with creatives and entrepreneurs.
Follow Sophie Andrews on Twitter: www.twitter.com/accountsstudio or visit the website www.accountsstudio.com.au