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The Importance of the F — Word

f word picThe word for the year is FOCUS. And if you’re thinking—Hey, that sounds like a New Years’ post and it’s June already—you’re right. It took me a while to figure it out because, frankly, I was NOT focused.

It happens. women are so good at multi-tasking that it’s easy to overdo. We answer email while making dinner and doing laundry. We write proposals, blog posts, and take calls while walking the dog.

In my first two years at the top of my company, Ester Mae Marketing, I became so good at multi-tasking that my work brain was hardly ever turned OFF.

And that’s not good. Even Superman’s younger cousin Supergirl couldn’t be in two places at once. (And she was just a teenager without bills to pay and a comic book character to boot.) So I’ve decided to stop dividing my time and energy every waking moment of every day.

Here are 4 ways I’m sharpening my focus in 2014:

  1. Create a reasonable to-do list: My friend Ivy has a unique way of doing this. She writes each job on a sticky note and posts them en-mass. Seeing all my tasks clustered that way is a fresh way to visualize my day and week at FULL vs OVERFULL. Plus, pulling each accomplished sticky task off the wall is great fun. Or try a new school tactic – Wunderlist app Make a list, share a list and complete list – all from your phone.
  2. Celebrate Single Tasking: If it feels weird, and it will at first, try setting a timer. Sit down and tell yourself, for the next 60 minutes I will focus only on____________. I was amazed by how much I actually get done.
  3. Unclutter my in-box: (and my life when possible): Clutter is overwhelming and when you work with social media as much as I do, there will always be clutter. I found dumping my in-box of old and unread messages incredibly freeing. Delete unread messages. No one can read all of it. Give yourself permission to pick and choose.
  4. Create some ME time: In my business fresh eyes are important and it’s hard to have them if you’re totally worn out. I had to realize that my energy is a valuable and finite resource and commit to time everyday for a recharge. Again the timer was my friend, and I started small–unwired, unplugged and focusing on my garden or a novel for 60 minutes at a time.

I’ve focused this way for several weeks now, and I’m glad to report that’s it not just good for the work, it’s good for the woman, too. I’m happier, healthier, and less vulnerable to fatigue (which has always been my own personal kryptonite).

So what do you do when you lose focus?  Comment below I’d love to hear some new tricks.

Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter over to your right.  I promise that I will send you ideas that will foster innovation.

Have a great week!

About the author

Melissa Kennedy

I am an innovative, practical problem-solver with an MBA. Pioneered one of the first social media strategic plans for a Fortune 100 company, including monthly online TV program viewed by 120,000 customers. Created a scalable channel marketing service model and established a new customer communication channel through partner web syndication. Developed marketing plan for start-up technology firm. Launched first comprehensive marketing campaign for major science and technology university's $1 Billion fund-raising effort. Award-winning performance for 15 years across functions, industries and organizations.

My passion for results goes beyond professional pursuits. I am a global facilitator and co-organizer of Startup Weekends and serve as an advocate and volunteer for many local charities including Food Bank of Central/Eastern NC, North Carolina International Affairs Council and Connected Women of North Carolina. Plus, I have served as the President for the Triangle Interactive Marketing Association,

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