Three Tips For Staying Focused On Your Priorities

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It would be a pretty substantial understatement to say that at present, the world is in flux and that it’s hard to keep up. For anyone who wants to keep their head above water, it has become almost essential to devote more time to self-care; while it would be ill-advised to start ignoring the news, it is equally important to find ways to cope with everything that is going on.

It’s not self-centred right now to seek to centre yourself. It is true that big things are happening, important changes taking place, and it’s hard not to become overwhelmed. It’s also true that the world is made up of people like you – just trying to get through each day and make the best of life. Amid such a chaotic world it can be easy to lose sight of your priorities. All of which makes it all the more important to find ways to keep your focus; hopefully, the following tips will be of some use to you.

Write everything down

Although it is a basic tip, it is also essential if you want to stay mentally organised in a time of upheaval. Writing lists allows you to declutter your mind, and whether you’re having difficulty making a decision or simply trying to work through a to-do list, getting things down on paper (or into a dedicated app) will stop you from getting too distracted. Not only do the words on paper serve as a reminder of what you have to do, simply writing them down has been shown to reinforce priorities in your mind.

Have visual prompts

If you are working towards a medium- or long-term project, it can be easy to get blown off-course and even discouraged in testing times. Giving yourself a pep-talk at such times won’t necessarily work, because you may be struggling to believe much of what you are saying. A simple visual prompt may be more persuasive; arrange photo mounts in relevant areas of your home to keep reminding you of what you’re working towards. Whether it’s a shot of the location in which you’re going to holiday once lockdown is over, or an artist’s impression of a new house you dream of having built, seeing it in glorious technicolour can make a big impact.

Don’t take on too much

There is a saying which goes “If you want a job done, give it to someone who is busy”. The implication of this is that someone who already has a lot to do will add another task to their list and focus on getting it done. The popularity of that old adage, however, should not distract from its cruelty: someone who already has a lot to do should not be saddled with additional tasks. This goes for self-imposed work, too. Don’t add more work to the pile when you are already busy; studies show that multitasking is not an efficient way to do things and that burnout has serious repercussions. Be kind to yourself and know when to take a break; this is the soundest way of making sure you meet all your priorities and goals on time and in full.

Staying focused on your priorities is not easy, especially in times of flux. But looking after yourself is the only way of making sure you’re able to be there for others, too.

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