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Stop Multi-Tasking – Focus Is Key To Productivity

Managing any business is a juggling act, but [tag]home-based businesses[/tag] present a unique challenge. In addition to the deluge of phone calls, e-mails, IMs and appointments associated with running any business, there is the added dimension for the home-based business owner of a household to manage the home and family needs simultaneously.

This balancing act can take a toll on an entrepreneur’s productivity.

The “Small Business Guru” has an action plan to help you to increase your productivity by focusing on one task at a time, while eliminating the distractions created by the technological – and personal – influences in our lives. Here’s how, in brief:

1) Close Off The Outside World – Unplug yourself. Turn off all phones, shut down your e-mail and IM, turn off the fax machine, and close the door of your office. Display a note that lets others know you are unavailable until noon.

2) Choose Your Focus – Take your time to identify the most important task on your “to do” list to which you can devote an hour or two towards its successful completion.

3) Set Your Target – What is your goal? What “milestone” would be satisfying to reach by noon?

4) Plan Your Work - Create an outline of the steps you will take toward your goal.

5) Budget Your Time – How long will each step in your plan take?

6) Dig In! - Start working, and think about ONLY what you are now working on.

7) Wrap It Up – stop at about 11:50 and assess your progress. Plan what you will do next time you pick up this project, and schedule your next “focus session.”

The author advises that once you have taken a task successfully to completion, it is done. The ancients apparently agreed with the philosophy of doing one task well, rather than multi-tasking. The author quotes an ancient Latin writer, Pubilius Syrus, who said, “To do two things at once is to do neither.”

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