Productivity Prompt: Setting a Temporary Focus

This is the fifth in a series of weekly Productivity Prompts - quick, simple tips or practices gleaned from productivity-related books or blogs that have helped me better manage my work, my time, or move things forward.


Last week I talked about setting a daily focus by identifying three Most Important Tasks (MITs) that would make you a happy camper if completed.

This week is kind of the same, but different.

Instead of identifying tasks for a day or a week, I suggest identifying areas of focus for a longer period of time. For example:

"For the next three months I will focus my energy on hearth & home, finances, and photography."

Or, you may want to make it a little more specific:

"For the next three months I will focus on setting up the family room, reining in the food budget, and revitalizing my Flickr account."

The time frame may vary; I tend to work well with one or three-month periods. I did this while on a work sabbatical and it helped give structure and guidance to my time while leaving things pleasantly flexible.

For someone who wants to do everything (ahem) setting a temporary focus area can help harness energy so something actually gets done. It also helps us I-want-to-do-everything-now people practice patience by delaying tasks to the next chosen time frame and letting that be OK.


Credits, references & inspiration:

  • Word for the Year - A close cousin, choosing a word or theme for the year is excellent for guidance, but not quite as effective to get specific things done.