Welcome to the first Visual Tool for Focus!
I’m excited to share all these tools that I’ve picked up along my way. These are intended to be easy to use, and reuse regardless of which particular todo or note-taking tools you use.
For most, you can do these digitally or on paper. It’s up to you. I’d be super interested to hear from you if you put these into practice. And how they work for you (or not). Let me know!
The folks at Make Time
use a technique called the Daily Highlight. The authors of The One Thing
use a similar concept. I’ve also heard this as “eating the frog
” as well.
The concept is simple but may not always be easy. It’s really about planning. The goal is to find the single most important thing you need to do that day. Be it the evening before, or first thing that day.
In Make Time the authors suggest planning your day as such:
We want you to begin each day by thinking about what you hope will be the bright spot. If, at the end of the day, someone asks you, “What was the highlight of your day?” what do you want your answer to be? When you look back on your day, what activity or accomplishment or moment do you want to savor? That’s your Highlight.
More details in their blog post here
In The One Thing Gary Keller and Jay Papasan expresses the idea as such:
What’s the ONE Thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
If the biggest thing you need to do today is unpleasant, folks call this Eating the Frog
If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”
Whatever you choose to call it, here’s how to focus on the single biggest/most important task you need to do.
Make it visible
You have options. Put it on a post-it and attach it to your monitor. Write it in your notebook, make it a task in your task management system, tweet and tell folks your intention for the day.
Whatever it takes for you to see and think about the single most important thing you can do.
If you’re struggling with overwhelm, try to break down the concept into its smallest components, and make one of them your Highlight.
Once you complete your Highlight, celebrate! Is it something you enjoyed or struggled with you still want to feel the value in your body.
Behavior change experts say a small physical celebration helps you wire a new behavior into your mind. My favorite mini-celebration? A self-five.