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If you have completed my Time Management course on lynda.com you're familiar with the concept of using a schedule to focus on your most valuable activities. When it comes to being invaluable, the principle of focus really is about time. It deals with how you choose to use your time on a weekly, daily, and even hourly basis, especially your work time. I encourage you to complete the entire Time Management course as a preparation to help you become focused, but there are two basics I can share with you right now that will give you some benefit.
The first deals with switching and multitasking. Many people feel they have too many things demanding their attention and too much to do. So they attempt to multitask to compensate for that. Yet however attractive the concept of multitasking is, it's ultimately false. When you attempt to do multiple things that require your attention at the same time, you switch back and forth between those activities. This is why I refer to multitasking as switchtasking.
Switches are the most common reason that people feel they don't have enough time. They have a lack of focus especially now in our fast-paced, information-saturated society. Every time you switch you lose attention, you lose time, you lose quality, and you increase your stress levels. The invaluable factor of focus encourages you to make as few switches as possible. This applies not only to your day-to- day activities but also in the bigger picture of your long-term career.
Every switch you may make from one job to another job, is a loss of productivity, a loss of time, and an increase in stress. The second basic principle of time and focus is something I call the truth of time. The truth of time is that we all have only 24 hours in a day and 60 minutes in an hour. Because multitasking is a false concept we need to make very wise choices about how we spend that limited time.
In this chapter I'll give you tools you can use to make clear, conscious decisions about where you're going to spend the time, and to make sure that you don't overspend it. Overspending time is like going into debt. It may give you something that you want in the moment, but in the long term it will cost you greatly. In order for you to be truly focused when it comes to your career, you'll actually want to underspend the time that you have.
This is the paradox of focus, that the less you do the more you get done. We'll begin helping you make some of those conscious choices in the next video where we'll establish your ideal schedule.
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