Ahh, The Force. The metaphysical power of the Jedi. It requires focus. Determination. A certain level of skill. But with practice and patience, anyone can harness the power of The Force and use it for good against evil. Yes, even the evil distractions of your day-to-day, work-from-home, solopreneurial life.
If your home is at a code red, Star Wars galactic level of chaos — phones ringing, barking dogs, kids tugging at your shirt during new client conference calls, laundry buzzers, doorbells, and honking horns, you could use a little bit more of The Force in your life. While meditation can come in handy (and highly recommended), you could also put these seven practices in motion to attain that focus required by The Force to check more items off your long to-do list.
- Make a List — Grab a Post-It note and write the top three things you must do today. This could incite Sophie's Choice levels of anxiety here (as a solopreneur, you have tons to do, I know), but choose only three, and only the most important. This will keep you from getting pulled away and wasting time on smaller, less pressing tasks if you always have the top three in front of you.
- Set a Timer — For 20 minutes, do nothing but bang out one single task. Don't stop, don't pass go, don't collect $200 — just put your blinders and noise-canceling headphones on and work on one thing. Preferably the most important thing on your Post-It. Take a 10 minute break and start again. You'll be surprised at how much you can get done in these focused, concentrated bursts.
- Perform Certain Tasks at a Certain Time — Dive into social media everyday at 10:00, 1:00, and 4:00. Answer emails at 12:00 and 3:00. Market your latest piece of content from 11:00-12:00. Whatever it is, performing the same task every day at a certain time makes you accountable, keeps you on track, and helps you stay on top of daily to-do's like a boss.
- Go For a Marathon — And by marathon, I mean a writing marathon. Try creating an entire week's worth of content in one day. Not only will it free up time during the remainder of the week, but you'll be in a creative zone and might produce content that's a million times better than you would have if you sandwiched it between customer service emails and client check-ins.
- Block Out Distractions — Turn off the TV, your cell phone, even the radio, anything that could cause you to look away, turn the station, or glance over at a pop-up notification. This includes apps installed on your laptop or web browser. If you're not working in the cloud (or even if you are), turn your WiFi signal off, work offline, and update your cloud docs later.
- Clean Your Desk Daily — A clean desk invites productivity since you won't be shuffling piles around to find documents, putting cups in the dishwasher, or wiping down your sticky desk when you should be working.
- Work in Blocks — When Jack Dorsey was leading two companies, Square and Twitter, he would theme his weekdays to focus on one aspect of business at a time. Try this in your own life and see if it helps you stay organized and clear-headed.