Multitasking, splitting your focus, and wearing five hats at once. If this sounds familiar to you, chances are you’re an entrepreneur, freelancer, or business owner.. You have big goals, and lots of them. Your lofty aspirations are good, but there are so many things to focus on.
To get work done on schedule, we often find ourselves chasing multiple goals at once – and even thinking about more things to do at the same time. The workload isn’t the problem, necessarily. The problem is the idea we have to do it all at once to be successful.
Stop and breathe. Focus on one thing at a time until you complete it. After that, move onto the next thing. I know – it’s easier said than done. Let’s delve into the psychology behind the mindset of multitasking so we don’t miss out, and discuss how to effectively focus.
JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out – Why it Matters for Faster Success
At first glance, you may think our acronym is off by a letter. We often hear about the fear of missing out, or FOMO, when we start talking about getting things done. It’s the feeling that says while you’re doing this, you’re missing out on that. And for all the good technology has done, studies have shown that social media and our modern digital landscape exacerbates this fear in many.
FOMO isn’t just a modern trend because even 5 years ago, over half of social networkers suffered from FOMO. But there’s actually a good side to missing out on things. When we think of success, we think of all the accomplishments we’d like to rack up. But this can often leave us in a cluttered state of mind, where our body is in one place and our mind in another.
Missing out on things can actually be good. It helps us focus on the task at hand – which is the key to faster success. Multitasking has its place, but getting big goals accomplished is easier when you focus on one at a time.
If you’re the type of person who is pursuing a personal and/or professional goal, don’t worry about missing out on other things when you’re focusing your time on a single objective. Clearing the worry from your mind can help jumpstart your productivity and put you on track to success.
“FOMO (fear of missing out) is the enemy of valuing your own time.” – Andrew Yang
Even with the stats and science backing the JOMO approach, distractions come in many forms. Some people are almost unnaturally compelled to scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feed, even on tight deadlines, because who knows what great post (or funny meme) they may miss out on?
The fewer distractions, the better – even in the workplace. One study showed reducing workplace distractions resulted in a large percentage of employees being more productive (75%), enjoying more motivation (45%), and being overall happier on the job (49%).
No matter where you’re spending your time or what project you’re working on, try these three tips for staying focused on your goals:
1. Tame Those Electronic Distractions
Are your tech toys taking your attention? You may need to take an extreme approach. Sometimes this can mean turning your phone off, or even putting it in another room. It works in classrooms and offices, so try it out wherever you’re working.
What about the gateway to distractions that is that second tab, or that second monitor on your computer? Try having separate computers – one optimized with programs and logins for work, and one without. It helps you subtly separate work from play, and focus from fun – though that’s not to say getting work done can’t be fun.
“I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions.” – Derek Jeter
2. Change Your Work Location
Sometimes being at home, or even at the office, just isn’t conducive to staying focused. If your mind is on too many things at once, try a change of scenery if your situation allows for it.
Pack up your laptop (the work one) and head down to the local coffee shop. Knowing you came to a different location specifically to get work done is a great way to motivate yourself, and get yourself in the mood to tackle the task at hand.
3. Remember to Relax Your Mind
Who says meditation can’t be handy for the busy worker with big goals to accomplish?
If you’re trying to focus, taking a few minutes to relax is a great way to prepare yourself. Breathe deep, be mindful, and center your focus on the project you’re currently working on. Don’t forget to schedule some relaxation time, because a good work/life balance matters.
The (Not So) Secret Formula to Success
We all know that success is a product of hard work in the vast majority of cases. It’s no different when you have many things to accomplish and focus on. Nonetheless, the key to accomplishing all of your goals faster is to put your focus on one objective at a time. Put your focus at the front of the line and give it your all.