One of the most frustrating things for me is being interrupted, in fact – I don’t know anyone that likes it. Especially as moms who are running businesses, we have to be visionary-thinkers and creators but… the space for that and the reality of our lives can make it feel impossible.
I don’t know a mom who hasn’t dreamt of a solo hotel room with nothing but time to create and think big without distraction. (Sidenote: You should totally book it and do this!)
Between kids schedules, emails coming in and notifications from Slack – we are set up to multi-task and not be as efficient as we want to be. This is the juggling act we know so well, and even if we’ve created separation between work and home (so we think) we are still interrupted by team issues and other problems we have to solve quickly.
The never-ending team questions, emails, and messages can make it feel like we're living in a perpetual whirlwind, right? So, let’s dive into some practical tips on how to stay focused, cut through the chaos, and supercharge your efficiency so life doesn’t feel so chaotic.
The Toll of Constant Distractions
When you have people, things and problems constantly competing for our attention as you are trying to stay focused, it's like trying to meditate in the middle of a mall during Christmas week. The issue is, focus is your secret weapon to reclaiming your time.
As stressed, overworked and overwhelmed women – we would give anything for a day where nobody asks us for anything and logically we know that multi-tasking isn’t going to produce the best results. It’s easy to feel like focus isn’t possible with your reality, but like anything else – you have to make focus a priority. Here’s why…
Interruptions are a complete time suck, they add up, day after day, and what seems small in the moment is much bigger. It takes you mcu more time to complete something and then try to get back into the flow of what you were doing, if you even can, than to wait until you finish what you are working on and move to the next thing.
When you are switching from task to task, there is mental residue that stays from the task before, it’s impossible to completely separate tasks and multi-tasking or trying to overlap too many things significantly reduces the quality of work you produce. It may feel like you are getting more done, but more doesn’t = better.
As mothers we are tired enough, the mental gymnastics and stress that is put on your brain running from one thing to the next and then back around is likely contributing to your mental (and physical) fatigue.
If you’ve ever wondered why you get to the end of your work day and feel like you didn’t do as much as you’d like but also feel constantly exhausted, there’s a good chance you're not prioritizing your focus.
So, how do we ensure focus is a priority and become more efficient to give us our time back?
Practical Tips for More Efficiency
That feeling of being “always on” is exhausting, and it's time to learn how to turn chaos into calm and boost your efficiency.
Here’s what my clients are doing to have more freedom, flexibility and focus:
Build Your CEO Schedule: Having a clear primary focus for each work day along with a day of no meetings or calls gives you thes space and time you need. You can learn how to build your schedule for free here.
Strategic Communication: Set clear communication expectations with your team. Designate specific times for updates or questions, keeping the rest of your time interruption-free. Utilize ‘Do Not Disturb’ and set your away message on messaging platforms so the team knows you are unavailable.
Inbox Triage: Your inbox can easily become a black hole of distractions. Schedule specific times to check and respond to emails. Consider using labels or folders to organize and prioritize messages.
Digital Detox Breaks: Embrace short digital detox breaks. Disconnect from emails and messages for 15-30 minutes to recharge. Take a walk, grab a coffee, or just breathe – whatever helps you reset. And make sure you plan this into your schedule!
The Power of 'No': It's okay to say 'no' strategically. Assess whether a meeting or task aligns with your priorities and decline if it doesn't. Your time is precious, and every 'no' is a 'yes' to something more valuable.
Batching Tasks: Group similar tasks together to create efficiency. Whether it's answering emails, making calls, or tackling creative work, batching helps streamline your focus. This is where a primary focus for the day comes in. For example - I have 2 client call focused days, 1 “in” the business and 1 “on” the business day each week.
Mindful Mornings: Start your day with a mindful routine that promotes putting YOU first. This could include meditation, journaling, savoring a cup of coffee and moving your body. A centered morning sets the tone for a focused day.
Remember that mastering focus is a journey, not a destination. Experiment with these things, and with a bit of consistency, you'll find yourself navigating the chaos much easier.
Efficiency isn't about doing more; it's about doing the right things in less time. So, here's to effortlessly reclaiming your time, staying focused, and achieving those big goals without losing your sanity.
If you’re ready to move away from being out of balance, reactive, and living in a state of urgency to feeling connected in your relationships, having more control of your life, and lighter overcall – book a call with me today.