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STING: The Easy Way to Sneak Focus Into Every Day – Ellen Goodwin

STING: The Easy Way to Sneak Focus Into Every Day – Ellen Goodwin, Productivity Consultant

How to Sneak Focus Into Every Day

  1. Select one thing
  2. Time yourself
  3. Ignore everything else
  4. No breaks
  5. Give yourself a reward

Watch the Full Interview with Ellen Goodwin

I’m Ellen Goodwin and this is my snackable solution which is the easy way to sneak focus into every day.

A lot of people think that when it comes to focusing you have to have lots of time with nothing to do in order to really focus. That’s not true. All you need is one acronym to follow and four simple tools you have sitting in front of you right now.

First the acronym. Anytime you are going to focus, and it doesn’t matter if you’re going to focus for 10 minutes or two hours, you need to follow a STING. The STING stands for select one thing, time yourself, ignore everything else, take no breaks, then give yourself a reward. Boom!

Let me go through that more detail. Now you’re going to use four tools when you do this sting. The first is you’re going to have a timer, and a kitchen timer of some sort is the best, because every time you touch your phone it’s a chance for you to just go down a rabbit hole which is the opposite of being focused. You have a timer, you have post-it notes, you have a card, index card, a notepad and a pen besides whatever it is you’re working on. Let’s see how they all work together.

Let’s go back to STING. STING, select one thing to do all right. You know what you need to focus on and maybe it is you need to get a proposal done. Maybe you need to get a certain section of a presentation done, whatever it is write it down on your notepad and the post-it note. This is what I’m going to do in my focus session. Now I think one of the other great things you can do is also add at the bottom, one or two other things, just in case you finish your one thing, and you’ve still got focus time you can immediately pop down to the next thing and take care of that without having to waste any time. Where you’re going, what should I do next. You know next you’re going to time yourself, kitchen timer here, and it doesn’t matter if you have seven minutes between meetings. Use those seven minutes. If you have a big stretch in the morning, set the timer for that don’t waste time. Just pick your timing session and away you go now you’re going to.

Ignore everything else. Now that’s where the pen and your extra piece of paper comes in. No matter what happens when you’re focusing there’s going to be this moment where your brain goes, you should be doing this. And it wants to take you off track from what you’re focusing on. Instead of letting that happen just grab your pen and your paper, write it down let’s say, oh something popped into your head that you have to remember, to call the dentist. Just write that down. Put that card and pen away and then turn back to what you were doing, that way you’ve taken care of that issue. You can deal with it later, but you’re not going to lose your focus time.

Let’s ignore everything, take no breaks. I mean that’s kind of logical right? I’m trying to focus. I’m not going to take a break until I am done or my dandy alarm goes off. Then give yourself a reward. When you’ve done a focus session and you’ve advanced yourself maybe you’ve succeeded and completed something maybe you have moved forward. Whatever it is give yourself a reward whether that’s a pat on the back or a little private dance party. Piece of chocolate. I’m not judging give yourself a reward if you have time reset the timer go back and do it again. The beauty of this, is that any time during the day when you have time, whether you schedule it ahead of time or it’s surprise time between meetings, someone cancels you can easily focus and get into a focused session. Set the timer. Know what you want to accomplish. Make sure you don’t get distracted by anythin. Use that time super effectively to focus in on one thing and get it done. I hope this helps you! Thanks for listening to this snackable solution!

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Dennis Consorte
Dennis Consorte

I work at Consorte Marketing as a fulltime content strategist, digital marketing and operations consultant for a handful of clients. I am also a digital marketing expert at Digital.com. I often build teams to execute on these strategies, and agile frameworks for workflows, inspired by Scrum. I work to improve my leadership and communication skills, including periodically re-centering myself, and helping others to find purpose in their work.

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