Monday, April 03, 2006

April - Focus!

Inspirational quotes
· Give your full attention to one thing at a time. - Deb Koffman
· The best way to botch up a job is to rush through it because you can't take your mind off the other tasks you still have on your plate. Talk about counter-productive! So, in the interests of quality control, and for the sake of your own frazzled nerves, limit yourself to one thing at a time. Stayed focused and you’ll do good work. – Source unknown
· The first requisite for success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary. - Thomas Edison

People often ask me how I manage to get everything done. I am married, work a full-time job, run a part-time coaching and organising business, run a church ministry, go to gym, write this newsletter and all the weekly challenges, run workshops, and so on.

I do believe that a large part of the reason is my ability to focus on my priorities, especially when I really need to get something done. Now I’m not Superwoman so I do have my really lazy times but thank God, those don’t happen often. Here are just two of the many ways I manage to stay focussed:

Use a timer
It is generally so easy to get sidetracked. You go to the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. On your way, you see something on TV and stay to watch. It’s usually only when the ad break comes on that you realise you’ve wasted 20 minutes and you were on your way to do something else. When I do some chores in the kitchen like sorting out my pantry, packing dishes, etc., I use the oven timer to keep me on track. That ticking reminds me that I only have 10 minutes (or whatever) to do this so I make sure it gets done. While I’m cooking, I use the few minutes between adding ingredients to pack my lunch for the next day, or to weigh my cereals and other foods (I’m on Weigh Less, remember?)

Make a list
I love lists! I am always making lists of things to do. I have monthly lists, weekend lists, daily lists, things that can be done in 5 minutes, etc. Call me crazy but based on results, my system works for me! When you make a list, it focuses your attention like nothing else. And there’s no pressure – if you don’t finish, you just move it forward. The other weekend I had a list of 22 things I wanted to do on the Sunday – I did 20. I’m sure if I only had 5 things, 2 of them would have also been left undone! And before you all write to me telling me that I’m too busy or whatever, I do have fun things on my list like finish x book, or go look at y website, or paint toenails.

I hope that this helps you to get some ideas to focus this month. After all, you do want to achieve your goals!

Recommended reading: The power of focus – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Les Hewitt

(c) Marcia Francois
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Anne said...

Hello! I am wondering how much time you spend making lists. I can make lists all day long, but using them is another thing. I find that the only way I work through TO DO lists is to only have one at a time. Any suggestions on making lists work better? I do love writing them and I also love crossing things off when they are completed.

Marcia Francois said...

Hi Anne

I spend about 10 minutes planning every week on my business and another 10 - 15 mins on the household stuff (meals and grocery lists). Then daily I use my eat the frog list (about 2 minutes a day) which you can get for free at my website,

The other lists are usually ad-hoc.

Hope this helped :)