Most of us have an over-inflated sense of what we can accomplish. But when we are faced with the task, it seems too big, and we procrastinate. Today we’ll look at how narrowing your focus can boost productivity.
I’ve been putting off writing almost all of the articles I had planned for this month. And I couldn't’t figure out why every time I sat down at the computer I couldn't’t put two words together. So I started watching a video series on book writing, and the presenter said, “A well-defined small topic will outperform a broad topic every time.” Voila! I had an answer.
Why Smaller Works To Boost Productivity
Smaller means that it seems like less work. Smaller means that you’ll be done faster. Smaller means you can wrap your head around the task easier. Smaller means a faster means to an end.
I find that when I am resisting something, it is because it is too big. If I reduce the scope of it, even a little bit, I can more easily find a way through the task. If it is too big, I become paralyzed with all of the aspects of the task that needs to be done.
In the case of my blog articles, the outlines were huge. I knew I couldn't’t do justice to the topic in less than a novella-length article, and I knew I didn't’t want to spend all that time on a single article.
How To Get Smaller
You can narrow your focus by constraining your time. Parkinson’s Law says that “Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Limit the amount of time, and you will limit the amount of work. For example, I could tell myself that I am going to write for five minutes; when the time is up, I am focused and on task and generally don’t want to stop.
You can also narrow your focus by cutting down the scope of what you are trying to do. In my case, it’s limiting my topic to something smaller.
You may also choose to only work on a single aspect of the task. For instance, I could tell myself that I am going to write the topic sentences for each of the points in my outline.
Instead of being limiting, narrowing the scope of what you are doing can be freeing and boost your productivity.
Article by LJ Earnest, WholelifeProductivity