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Achieve More In Just One Day - Have A Focus Day

Aug 17, 2007
You know how even the most organised of us find there's always something we can put off and there are things on our 'To-Do' list that never quite make it to the top. Well, how about having a Focus Day? One day in a week or a month when you give yourself the chance to clear these things out once and for all?

Sometimes we just need a chunk of time to clear the decks or just really to get to grips with those things that we've been putting off, all the little things that we never quite have time for.

What happens on a Focus Day is that you get together with a group of people over the phone, on a specific day and check in on a central number at regular intervals throughout the day.

Start putting together your tasks for the Focus Day a few days before. It can be one big task or lots of small ones. You might want to clear a specific work project, declutter a room, clean the house, catch up on admin or filing.

List out your tasks and if possible think about how long they're going to take or the maximum amount of time you're going to spend on them. Make this fun and put them into whatever format works best for you. A simple list to be ticked add some smiley faces, colours, pictures etc. Get together everything you need for the day.

Here are just a few ideas.

Catch up on Emails (30 mins)
Make phone calls (45 mins)
Clear desk (1 hr)
Organise the office.
Complete outstanding report (2 hrs)
Tidy bathroom/kitchen ... (30 mins each)
Update client files (30 mins)
Clear backlog of filing (2 hours)
Write newsletter (3 hours)
Clear washing pile (1 hr)
Wash the windows (1 hr)
Do ironing (no - you really don't have to!) ... but you get the idea.

The day starts anytime from 9.am onwards. Call in on the hour, every hour. Each call will last between 5-10 minutes (max), sometimes just a couple of minutes, depending on how many people are on the call. You need all the time you have to work on those tasks. When you join the call you just state your name and share what you've achieved in the last hour and what you're going to get done in the next hour.

Once everyone's had a chance to talk, hang up and go do it.

Call back an hour later, report how you've done and what you're going to do next. Don't forget to keep it brief! If you're finished for the day just let us know or if you're going to take a couple of hours to do something just say.

The day continues until 6pm or sometimes later or as long as you want - depending on how much time you have available and how much you want to get done. It's even worth doing for just half a day. You'll be amazed at how much you get done and how much energy it creates being part of a group.

Yes, you're allowed breaks - if you're going to take the next hour to have lunch or have a coffee break - that's fine. Just let us know.

At the end of the day, give yourself a huge pat on the back, prepare a treat for yourself for all your effort, put your feet up and relax for a well earned rest!

Tip - get yourself a kitchen timer or alarm if you want to restrict your time on a task. That way you won't overrun and you get more done in the time - it's called the end effect.

Copyright 2006: Clare Evans
About the Author
Clare writes on several topics to help busy, stressed individuals and small business owners organise their lives more effectively.

Get her free monthly newsletter at www.clareevans.co.uk and receive free Weekly Time Tips on managing your time.

Join the next Focus Day - http://www.clareevans.co.uk/services.htm
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