Discover more from And It's Up to You! by Antoine Martin
When did you last take a 'focus time' time?
Three reasons why taking focus time is more important than you think. What are you waiting for? Read on!
There’s way too much chaos out there, but focus time makes a huge difference.
Think productivity, positive routine and mental space clearing. Tempting, uh?
There’s one goal here: giving that big project of yours a damn big boost. And since you’re here, sign-up to get more tips👇 on how to do that!
“Erh, I wish I could… if only I had some time to focus on what matters I’d do it!”.
Rings a bell? Sounds like something you might have said recently?
I’m not surprised.
In fact, this sentence is one of the best bad excuses I’ve heard (and keep hearing) from people who struggle to explain why they don’t take the time to do this or that. Especially when ‘this’ or ‘that’ is important!
It’s a funny thing to say, though.
First, in most cases, finding the time to focus on what matters is mostly a question of personal organization and routine (which means you can do it). And second, modern tools give you ways to make it happen in a breeze (which means you really have no excuse).
At the end of the day, booking some personal focus time in your calendar is one of the easiest things to do, and it brings some major benefits you’d be silly to ignore.
Focus time boosts productivity.
The biggest benefit of blocking a recurring focus time calendar is that it gives you a productivity boost. We get interrupted constantly these days, whether that’s because of a phone call, because of an incoming email, or because we suddenly feel like coffee o’clock is just now.
What that means is simple, though: getting anything done is difficult.
That’s not surprising, really. If you consider that any interruption takes some of your time, plus breaks your focus, and then requires some extra time to focus again, it’s easy to understand how disruptive a poping email can be.
As far as ‘productivity’ is concerned, that also brings the question of what you feel is productive or not.
For many, being productive is a matter of doing as much stuff as possible in a day, but that’s - excuse my French - bullshit. Being productive is all about being smart and doing things because they matter, which is precisely why keeping focus time for yourself is so efficient.
Focus time builds a (comforting) routine.
Booking some focus time on a recurrent basis is also a way to build a routine that makes your life both more comfortable, and more enjoyable. When you know that important things need to be done and that you have a slot booked with yourself just to get them done, you build a sense of priority as you’ve never seen before.
Take this newsletter. Can you imagine writing it twice a week without having specific time slots dedicated to doing the job? Not possible.
Now, forget about this newsletter: what project of yours could you boost if you had some focus time allocated to it?
When something is important to you, building a routine around it makes it possible, enjoyable, and (nearly) impossible to miss. This is how you get the important things done.
That works for your important projects (personal and professional). That also works when it comes to getting your business organization to its next level. We call that working ON your business, and it makes a big difference. Think about it!
Focus time frees mental space.
Best of all? Booking some focus time with yourself gives you a “me” kind of time, and doing that can have a big impact in terms of mental space.
One of my favorite tricks to get some degree of control over a demanding routine is to deliberately cut Mondays off your work week, remember? Well, focus time is the second-best tip ever.
If you know you have three hours planned every Tuesday to get something done, then you’ll start filtering out everything else.
Excessive noise? Gone.
‘What on earth do I do next?” Gone.
You got my point.
Two tips to get yourself started.
Now, how to get yourself started with this? Here are two tips.
First tip: figure out what’s important to you, and what ‘project’ of yours you could boost dramatically if you had a couple of hours every week, or every other week to focus and get progress done.
Did you notice I didn’t define “what matters” and didn’t explain the meaning of “focus time”? Still, you got my point throughout, haven’t you? That tells me you must have an idea of what you could be focusing on…
Some people I work with use their focus time to learn a language, play music, read or write. Others use me as a sounding board to reflect on what’s going on in their life or to think ahead and get things moving faster.
I use my focus time to write and create content for our platform because these things require two to three hours of continuous concentration, but that’s just me. What’s important to you?
Second: use tools. There’s no way you’ll stick with your routine if you have to remember to do it. However, using your calendar to automatically book some focus time on a recurring basis means you’ll only miss your spot if you decide to…
Google (pro version) actually gives you a way to schedule that type of focus time. It even goes as far as showing you how you did afterward - there’s really no excuse.
Wrap-up time: don’t do it for me, do it for yourself.
Don’t trust me on that one though, give it a try and see for yourself.
Actually, here’s a challenge. Hit reply to this email and tell me when you’ve decided to book some focus time with yourself, and what to intend to do with that time. I promise to follow up and give you a boost a few weeks from now.
As always, though, that’s up to you!
Until next time,