The Happiness Connection  

Focus on your goals

Last week, I wrote about setting goals. Research has found a strong link between working to attain a goal and feelings of happiness, and satisfaction.

Once you get clear on what you want to achieve, you need to eliminate distractions, so you can concentrate on the important stuff – your targets.

You have probably been brain washed for years into believing that the ability to multi-task was important for your success.

I grew up being told that women were particularly good at this skill, but new research shows if you want to make big strides toward your chosen goals, multi-tasking is not your friend.

No one can actually do two things at the same time, unless one of them requires absolutely no brain power. Rather than doing several tasks simultaneously, multi-taskers switch their brain power from one task to another repeatedly.

You might read a few words, then listen to a few words, then read a few words.... You get the idea.

That may work for a short period of time, if luck is with you, but the minute both tasks need your attention at the same time, you are in trouble.

Regardless of how good you are at switching your brain from one task to another, research shows that you will be more efficient and have better quality work if you concentrate on one task at a time.

Believe me when I say, that pausing your task to take a phone call and resuming it when the call has been completed, will produce a much better phone call and completed task than trying to talk and type, or calculate, or help the kids with their homework, at the same time.

Some tips to help you focus:

Eliminate known distractions

  • Only check your email and social media posts at certain times of the day.
  • Turn off all your notifications so you don’t get distracted by pop ups and envelop icons.
  • Turn off your phone, and find a place to work where you won’t be distracted.
  • (Of course, this is not possible for anyone who is responsible for answering phones and other communications as soon as possible, such as receptionists and customer-care professionals.)

Write down and prioritize your tasks and then get your must-do tasks done first

  • This method of organizing what you have to accomplish will take pressure off your day. I know some of you love your time pressure, but give this method a try. You may be surprised at its efficiency.

Learn to think before you say yes

  • Is the request you are receiving going to move you closer to your end goals?
  • Is it something you are interested in, or feel would be a good experience for you to have?
  • Do you feel moved to get involved? If the answer to these questions is no, say no.
  • Being busy with tasks that are just distractions will slow you down more than anything else. Busyness is not a productive strategy for success.

If you get focused, your days will seem longer – in a good way – because you will get more done. Welcome to a world where there are enough hours in the day.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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