Prioritize Your Attention Better in 4 Steps

Greetings, fellow procrastinators.

How easy is it to get caught up in the day, caught up in busyness, and get to the end, only to realize you haven’t actually accomplished anything?

You may be looking at your phone right this second, procrastinating another task you might need to accomplish. Irony aside, let’s get to a simple way to keep you on track with your real priorities, get you off “the twitter”, and keep you focused in 2018.

On the top of my white board at the office, I keep a quote.

“Discipline is remembering what you want” ~ Unknown

But you don’t have to rely on your memory alone.

Here’s how I remember what I want.

Step 1: Get organized for the week.

I prefer Sunday mornings, when it is quiet and I can focus.

  • Gather and review my annual / monthly written goals (I use this MasterMind journal).
  • Gather and review both my personal and professional to-do lists (I use Trello).

Step 2: Plan your week.

  • Understand and sort my priorities into the following buckets as you see in this matrix…
stagen 2x2 prioritization matrix productivity

Example of a 2×2 prioritization analysis (Credit: Stagen)

Step 3: Schedule meetings, tasks, intentions, and goals with some serious discrimination.

Ask yourself – and take notes! – on the following…

  • “Will this move me closer to my objectives?”
  • Am I doing this just to be busy?
  • What outcome do I intend from this task / meeting/ goal? (Write this down!)
  • Write in the affirmative, what you intend for each bucket of activities / meeting / task.  What outcomes are you intending?  
  • What priority is this task/ meeting/ goal?

Now, eat the frog: tackle the hardest thing first. Next, schedule time for Deep Work, and focus your time.

Step 4: Set a time to review each day and cross things off the list.  

It’ll reinforce your abilities to perform better and better, and help you drop the activities “you don’t have time for” or make time for the ones that are really important.

I have to thank my friend Rand Stagen at the Stagen Institute for helping me with the general framework of this simple and very effective system.

I’d love to hear yours. What’s your “attention framework”? What routines and systems have helped you focus effectively?

Comment on this post… or join our discussion on LinkedIn.

Cole Harmonson is the CEO of Far West Capital, a company that funds the goals of high-growth entrepreneurs. Know a great company in need of capital to unleash their potential? Send them here and we’ll give them a call.


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