Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day? You’re not alone, but you’re wishing for the wrong thing! We don’t need to work more hours, we need to use our time more effectively. That’s why one of my favorite time management strategies is daily, dedicated Focus Time.
Focus Time is a block of time you devote to maximum productivity. During this time, you commit to an ultra-focused frame of mind, concentrating on getting tasks accomplished.
What you’re really doing during your focus time is giving your best effort to completing a single task as thoroughly as possible—with no distractions.
Focus time is so important because we face constant interruptions throughout the day. We’re in the middle of doing something when the phone rings with a call from a client, our boss, or our kid’s teacher—and we think, “Oh, I’d better pick that up.”
When that interruption happens, our brains stop operating in the “deep work” mode, and it can take minutes (or hours) to get back to that optimal focus!
Schedule One Hour Of Focus Time Every Day
When I’m helping clients create their ideal week, I recommend scheduling one hour of dedicated focus time every day. During this hour, your goal is to give 100% of your effort to the task at hand.
The time of day you choose is up to you—whenever you’ll be most effective and able to concentrate. When scheduling your focus time, you can also take into account the type of work you’ll be doing.
For example, if you’re going to use your focus time for prospecting, remember that most of your prospects are likely to answer the phone from 9:00-10:00 AM and 2:00-3:00 PM. So schedule your focus time when your prospects are more likely to be available.
This hour of time is blocked off in your calendar. You’re unavailable for any calls or meetings, your door is shut, and you’re dedicated to doing one thing. This may be working on prospect lists, writing sales proposals, or doing client research—but it is not “all of the above!”
Stay in the flow!
The most efficient way to use your focus time is to group similar tasks, so you’re focusing on one type of work.
- If you’re creating a prospects list, you’ll focus on researching prospects, ensuring they’re a qualified lead, and figuring out what you might talk to them about—but not calling them!
- If you’re prospecting during your focus time, you are smiling & dialing—you dial, you hang up, you dial again. You stay in the moment and keep dialing. If you reach a prospect, great! Have a conversation, set up a meeting, but work on the proposal or follow-up after your focus time is over. Hang up, and keep dialing!
If you spend your focus time on research or sales proposals, that’s fine too. The key is to avoid switching from writing a sales proposal, to calling a prospect, to researching, to some other task. Every time you switch to a new type of task, your brain has to change gears—making you slower and more likely to be distracted.
It’s all about staying in the flow!
Commit To Your Focus Time
If you want to really be in the zone, turn your notifications off and switch your phone to airplane mode. Anything you can do to eliminate distractions will make sure you stay in a truly focused frame of mind.
Remember—you can call someone back or read emails in just one hour, when your focus time is over!
Try working focus time into your schedule. If you commit to an hour of uninterrupted, deep work every day, you’ll start coming out ahead—and stop feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!