9 strategies to improve focus and time management

Have you ever thought to yourself that there aren’t enough hours in the day, or felt overwhelmed by the tasks facing you? If you have, this article can help you. If you want help organising, getting momentum, getting more done, and knowing where to focus and who to focus on, these steps might help!


1. Clarify your goals and strategy

Be very clear about your aims and ambitions, both short and long-term. Write them down. Once you know what you really want to achieve (and why), it’s easier to make decisions about what needs doing, and to plan accordingly. This can take some time to do but once you're clear it can really help you stay focussed. Re-assess regularly.

2. Focus on your top priorities

You’ll be more productive and profitable if you identify and focus on the areas most important to your business. Work on the fundamentals first. The Latin word ‘fundamentum’ means foundation – so take action, build strong foundations and the rest should follow. I try and do anything that's a priority for the week at the beginning of the day and the beginning of the week. It makes everything else feel easier!

3. Schedule time

Literally write an appointment in your work planner to set aside a realistic block of time for your priority actions. This reduces anxiety over not having enough time and keeps you focused. I try and do this on a weekly basis. Some use a physical calendar, others one on their computer, others might use a to-do list. I like to plan mine out every week during the weekend of the week prior using paper and felt tips. I like to make it fun!

4. Say no

Consider Jim Rohn’s suggestion, “Learn how to say no. Don't let your mouth overload your back.” Always check your schedule before committing to anything new. Don’t allow others to divert you from your objectives. This requires you to know how to say no in a way that works for you and for you to know what your priorities are both day-to-day but also over the medium and long term. Coaching sessions can help you determine this. 

5. Create systems

This includes systems for filing, management information and communication. These can take a while to set up but they can be helpful if you have ADHD or trouble focusing and prioritising. A coach can help you design, set up and maintain systems that work for you. This can be one of the most valuable things about coaching.

6. Take a reality check

Will your current activity have a positive outcome, or are you doing it to avoid something else? Ask yourself – will doing this take me towards my goal? As Peter F Drucker observed, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” I often try and split my tasks down into things that are important and things which are urgent. I only focus on the urgent and important things and then I focus on the important things. I might ask for help with the urgent but not that important things. 

7. Delegate and ask for help

So many of my clients feel uncomfortable asking for help. Yet, it's possible to ask for help from a place of confidence and power. While it can also be tempting to think we can do something by ourselves faster and better. We can't do everything faster and better. But consider the long term – delegation now will save time in the future, and if done appropriately can motivate those around you. Whether that's colleagues, family or friends. Those who do the helping get a boost too!

8. Prioritise all areas of life

Formally schedule personal activities too so you make time for family, friends, your health and fun because having a balanced life reduces stress and increases energy levels. Time management is really about life management. In fact, this is the first thing I encourage my coaching clients to do.

9. Set a specific time every day to intentionally stop work

At the end of the working day, tidy your desk, make notes about what needs doing tomorrow and prioritise those tasks. You’ll worry less that evening and be prepared and focused the next morning.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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London SW1V & NW1
Written by Rebecca Cockayne, BA. (Oxon), MSc, GDL | Delphi Coaching
London SW1V & NW1

Bex is a coach who loves journeys. She's done a lot and has been on many internal and external ones. She loves to help people long their path too.


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