How To Find Time to Focus, Think, and Work

Future_plan_Strategy_telescope It is hard to find it hard to find time to focus, think, and work on important projects.  We are constantly interrupted and distracted.  The immediate crowds out the important. 

In his excellent article Who Else Needs More Mental Focus?, Michael Hyatt, Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, the world's largest Christian publisher, offers very helpful tips for improving one’s focus. (see a short excerpt and link to his article below)

I have used many of the same practices for years.  In addition to Mr. Hyatt’s recommendations, I also do the following to carve out time for focus, thinking, and working on critical projects.

  • I schedule several hours every Friday morning off campus to focus and think.  I do not come into the office.  I can be reached by cell phone in an emergency but my administrative assistant has been instructed that I am not to be interrupted.  This is some of the most productive time in my week.
  • Each year I take several days for a “Think Week.”  I got this idea from Bill Gates who pulled away each year for an extended time of research, reading, and reflection.  I have adopted this practice.  I spend these days praying, reading, reflecting, and writing.  I take a substantial amount of reading material with me.  Because I use my iPad exclusively for reading I am able to carry an entire library of books and research articles with me.  I read and reflect from morning to evening only interrupting my reading for eating, running, and showering.  It is usually during Think Week that I come up with long-range initiative such as our BCS SMART SCHOOL program.

Click here to read Mr. Hyatt’s article, Who Else Needs More Mental Focus?

A few weeks ago, I had to prepare for a board meeting. I really needed an extended period of time to review the material and prepare my presentation. In doing this, I realized that I go through a similar pattern whenever I need to increase my mental focus and get a lot of work done in a short period of time.  Here are ten tactics I use that may help you…

What do you do to improve your focus and creativity as you lead your school?