I’m frustrated. I’m personally off track on some tasks I need to do. I also have colleagues who are off track on their work, and stuff is getting “pushed” further down the path.
Maybe you experience this as well. There are times during the year when I feel like I’m really “on it,” and I’m meeting my deadlines, focused, and the work production is excellent. Then there are other times during the year where I get distracted because there seems to be so much going on at one time. I lose my focus, and it’s hard to feel productive.
I’m kind of in one of those times right now. A lot is happening all at once. I’m guessing that you may be in a similar situation. As a major gift fundraiser, this time of year is crazy. The pressure you have to make your year-end goals is tough, let alone all you have planned with donors and the rest of your life right now.
Even if you have a revenue goal and plan for every donor, you’ve tiered them, and you’ve adopted The Veritus Way of major gifts – it’s still possible to get distracted at times.
Here are some ideas I got from LifeHack.org on How to Not Get Distracted: 10 Practical Tips to Sharpen Your Focus. I’ll give a few that I find really helpful:
- Keep your vision and goals in mind. Remind yourself why you need to focus in the first place. Because you have a strategic plan and revenue goal for every donor, you can go back to that plan time and again, to help you stay focused.
- Reduce the chaos of your day by focusing on two to three important tasks. This one is good for me. It really does help me focus. If I can write the three most important things to get done and I can actually cross them off, it’s easier for me to focus. Richard has a good system for this. He always writes down on paper his list of things to do, then he prioritizes them.
- Do tasks as soon as possible. This is another good one for me. If I can concentrate on those two to three tasks right away in the morning, I get them done.
- Control your internal and external distractions. If I can prepare the space I’m working in and prepare my mind for work – I’ll be able to complete tasks. Otherwise, I’m floundering around.
- Skip what you don’t know. This is a good one. I often let something I don’t know stall me. Instead of moving on to another part of my work, I’ll keep trying to figure out the thing I don’t know. And it leads me down a path of actually not getting anything done.
- Have someone hold you accountable. This one’s not actually in the article, but I know this helps me. Whether it’s Richard, another colleague, or my wife, having someone holding me accountable for a task or my plan is extremely helpful for me to regain my focus.
Hey, I actually feel more focused as I write about being distracted. If you’re feeling distracted during this time of year, pause, think about what you’re doing, go back to the plans you made, and refocus your time and energy. You’ll feel better at the end of the year when you’ve been able to complete those plans. I know I will.