Hey, it’s Nancy and welcome to my channel. Today, I am going to discuss “What is The Focus Time Technique and How To Use It”. In today’s day and age everyone wants to be as productive as possible. High-quality productivity output at a very fast pace can lead to burnout. Especially if you do not have an effective time management technique.
That is where the “Focus Time Technique” comes into play. It is a very simple technique that could change your life completely. No more long, uninterrupted working session that leave you exhausted and bored. With the Focus Time technique, you will work in several, clearly defined, short intervals.
Please stay till the end of the video as I will tell you how well this process worked for me.
What Does the Focus Time Technique Look Like?
The first thing that you will need is a timer of some sort. This could be an app on your phone or a stopwatch. Set the stopwatch for 30 minutes. This is the length of time for a single working session. Then start working. When the timer goes off 30 minutes later, set it for another 5 minutes. I found one from Thermoworks that has three settings. This timer allows you to set one for 30 minutes, one for 5 minutes and an extra one if needed. I originally bought this for brewing beer. I love the thing. It also has a magnet that allows me to attach it to magnetic board.
Once the 30 minutes have expired you set the alarm for 5 minutes. This 5 minute is your dedicated break time. The goal of these breaks is to allow your brain and body to recharge and improve your overall endurance. This allows you to work longer than you usually do. The idea is that you know you only have to work for 30 minutes so your mind will focus on the task at hand.
In Practice Focus Time Technique Steps
As you start your day you will do the following steps:
- Write Down Your Daily Tasks
- Split any tasks into steps
- Assign each step to one Focus Time working session
- Set your Timer for 30 minutes
- Work on the task until you hear the alarm go off.
- Hit the timer for your 5 minute break.
- That’s it you have completed your first Focus Time Session!
- You can take a longer break every four or five Focus Time sessions.
- Then Repeat the process.
How To Implement The Focus Time Technique Into Your Productivity
If you want to use this system, you definitely will need a timer that has two time presets. That way you can setup for the 30 minutes and 5 minutes without taking time to reset the timer. It really does not matter what time of timer as long as it works for you.
The biggest problem I had with this system is that the short intervals seemed unnatural at first. Since you are forming a new habit, you will have to push yourself to stay consistent and committed.
Now you will not just need a timer you will also need “The Productivity Planner”.
Why You Need The Productivity Planner?
Yes, the Focus Time technique itself is very simple to implement. The challenging part is dividing your tasks into steps and organizing them through days and weeks. I have found it best to take an hour or so on Friday to outline what needs to be accomplished the next week. Then I take those tasks and divided them (if needed) into sub-tasks. If possible, I can outline each day for the next week. If I am unsure of how long a task with sub-tasks is going to take, I just outline the weeks tasks.
Here is an extract from my week:
Monday – Finish editing video for Saturday release. Upload video, podcast and blog article
Tuesday – Work on client’s business plan
Wednesday -Finalize clients business plan
Thursday – Write 2nd article for YouTube and blog
Friday – Record two videos.
As you can tell these tasks are not broken down into sub-tasks yet. They are just a general outline for the week. Then I take these tasks and further divide them. Dividing the tasks into sub-tasks is for me the more difficult part of this system. For instance, editing a video involves more than just the editing part. I need to get captions created once the audio part has been finalized and that can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours as I sub-contract that part of the process out. Then there is the thumbnail creation and upload process. All of these things take time which may mean they may get delayed until later in the week when I have time.
This is where the Productivity Planner shines.
This simple and elegant notebook can change the way you organize your tasks forever. It is based on proper time management, which the Focus Time technique is one of them. The Productivity Planner uses a MIT technique. MIT stands for the Most Important Task of the day. This task is the critical task that must be done! It brings the most significant results to your day. Think about it as the task with the tightest deadline or the one that is most important to achieve your goal.
It is important to prioritize your tasks. If you have difficulty prioritizing your tasks just let me know in the comments and I will do a video on it. Now let’s go back to the MIT technique.
Successfully picking your MIT is one of the crucial steps for improving your productivity and implementing the Focus time technique properly. This means that you will dedicate the majority of your efforts into completing this task. All other tasks can be bundled into secondary and additional tasks.
Alright, another part of the Focus Time session is that once a session is completed you take a pen and color one of the four circles. This provides you with a visual representation of how well you are doing. Also, it helps boost your motivation and keeps you going.
When you end the day or week you need to fill out a short reflection section. This helps you figure out what went well and areas for improvement. Then you can rate your productivity on a scale of 1 to 10.
What is included in a Productivity Planner
I really did not go into great detail about the productivity planner. I thought I would take a minute now to tell you how it works. When you start your week, you list the 5 most critical tasks for the week. Then you will list the secondary tasks and finally any additional tasks.
On the other side of the page contains a daily motivation quote for inspiration. You have a place to list your MIT or most important task and then a spot for your secondary tasks in order of importance. Finally, you can list your additional tasks towards the bottom of the page.
It also has space for any notes or ideas that pop into your head. Lastly you can rate your productivity for the day on a scale of 1 to 5.
I know that there are apps out there that will do this as well, but I have found that for me it is best to write it down. When I write things down, I tend to remember them better and have a better chance of completing them. That is why I don’t use an app as my to-do list.
What to do with Your Break Time?
I am sure that when you found out about these 5-minute breaks you were excited. Yeah, I can scroll my social media account! I get 5 minutes to water my plants or play with my pets. However, what you do with your break time is just as important! Reviewing your social media or watching YouTube videos will make you tired and less likely to continue working. I should know I tried it!
Exercise or Stand Up and Stretch
I know it seems crazy to exercise for 5 minutes but it is not. Do 20 squats, push ups or stretches. You can achieve a lot in a matter of 5 minutes. I will go outside and walk around for 5 minutes and also on my longer breaks. I find it refreshing and I don’t feel tied down to the office as much. For instance, today, I pulled a few weeds on my break. Which will save me time later in the evening.
Meditation is a great way to spend your 5-minute breaks. As it keeps you mindful, present in the moment, improves your focus, gives you energy and reduces stress and anxiety.
Once you have completed four 30-minute sessions then you are free to go to lunch. I sometimes will go another session or two before lunch. Especially, if I am in the writing mood. Anyway, 30 minutes is long enough to order, make and eat a healthy lunch.
Read a Chapter in a Book
When I am on a long break, I will read a chapter in a book. This is a great way to relax and forget about those tasks that you have been working on. Reading is a great for improving your memory or focus.
Write in Your 5 Minute Journal
When I ordered my Productivity Planner, I also ordered “The 5-Minute Journal”. Writing in your journal is great for creating a positive attitude. Why? Because you spend 5-minutes writing what you are grateful for today. You may want to reaffirm your mindset and remind yourself how amazing, productive and loveable you are.
Do a Chore
Do you work from home? If so, you may want to do a chore during your 5-minute break. For example, wash a few dishes, take out the trash or put a load of wash in the washer. That way you have more free time after work hours.
What Makes The Focus Time Technique So Effective?
It is Very easy to start
One of the best things about the Focus Time Technique is how easy it is to implement it. After all, it does not cost a thing and best of all it is not complicated to get started with.
This technique is great for someone who struggles with procrastination. There are a number of reasons that we procrastinate. For instance, distractibility, impulsivity, lack of perseverance, fear of failure, low self-control, lack of energy or lack of motivation. With the Focus Time technique, the simplicity of the system addresses all of these problems. This technique helps you break the avoidance cycle by forcing you to start with the smallest step possible. That is one Focus.
The Productivity Planner is an excellent tool to help you implement the Focus time technique in your life. You are not left alone to figure out what to do. The Productivity Planner helps you do it properly.
No More Distractions
We all know that the top distraction in your office is your cellphone. If someone asked you not to use your phone for 8 hours, would you be able to do it? Most people would not be able to do it.
Now if you were asked not to use your phone for 30 minutes would you be able to do that. Well, most people would say yes.
The most common misbelief about productivity is that multitasking makes you more productive. It can at first but very soon you will realize that you waste more time trying to work on multiple projects at the same time. That is why it is best to spend your time concentrating on one task before moving on to the next.
Remember that it is best to take small steps. Watching this video is the first step the second step is making time for Focus Time action. If you want to get the Productivity Planner and the 5-Minute Journal you can search online and get a bundle that includes both books.
Leave me a comment if you use “The Focus Time Technique” and how well it works for you. Until next time please be safe.
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