How Do You Stay Focused?

We are all juggling lots of things so I want to know what you do to make it all happen.

I remember when I was pregnant one of my girlfriends, Kim Killgore, told me that I might get forgetful so to put everything down in a list and then put all of my energy into remembering where the list was!  Well, I will say that advice has served me well over the years and is still something I live by today.

One thing I have figured out is that I am not a good multi tasker.  Doing multiple things at a time is not something I excel at and whenever I do try it, I come away feeling frustrated that I didn’t enjoy what I was doing or didn’t do it very well.  This is where the lists come in, because inevitably when I am home playing with the boys I have an infinite number of work things pop into my head.  People to call, things to follow up on, etc.  I keep a note pad by my phone and just continuously jot the thoughts down as they come up.  It allows me to get back to what I was doing without worrying about forgetting anything and then serves as my to do list when I get into the office in the morning.

Admittedly organization is not my strong suit, but I have found that systems really do make a huge difference for me in terms of how effective I am with accomplishing my goals and staying on track.  Each Monday I sit down and plan my week.

  • Who do I want to connect with
  • Who do I want to follow up with from last week
  • Who do I want to connect with and have lunch, coffee, etc
  • Who has a real estate need and what can I do this week to connect with them and add value and help them with their real estate needs
  • What are our family commitments for the week
  • When are Gary and I going to get time to spend together
  • What am I going to do for myself this week

I do resist doing these things at times, but I find that the weeks I spend time on Monday morning to do this, the impact on my week is huge.  Not only that, but by focusing on one thing at a time I find that I can accomplish things much faster which frees up time in the end.

I have lots of different systems that I use to stay focused that are color coded and keep me excited.  If you are struggling with things send me an email at Nicole@theninjamoms and I am happy to send you samples for you to use as you choose.


  1. Shawna on November 4, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    Thank you, Thank you Nicole for setting up this site as a resource for Ninja Mom’s. It’s so refreshing to hear the voices of others that share in the trials and triumphs that come with owning your own business, supporting a family, raising children and trying to live an authentic life.

    FOCUS, wow…it’s amazing how much more more focused I feel after my second cup of coffee in the morning. But seriously after coming out of the morning haze or chaos of changing diapers, packing lunches, listening to the latest downward spiral of the market (and on and on), I have found that lists and scheduling my tasks in blocks of time is invaluable. It may seem simplistic, but jotting down that list of the 10 (or 80) tasks that I need to get done, makes me do it, the refreshing feeling of crossing off those tasks, and even the little game that I play with myself to see if I can get everything crossed off and as efficiently as possible works. Also, if I feel myself becoming less efficient and more distracted, I step away from my desk, go play with my 20 month old and come back to it when I’ve had some play time. That always seems to work. It’s amazing how re-focusing on something else even momentarily can bring you back around to a fresh perspective.

    The most recent book I’ve decided to re-read is “Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh…solitude is something that she brings up, taking 10 minutes for yourself…(not with a radio, tv, computer, etc.), can be an amazing introspective break, it refreshes your mind and allows you to think again.

    Good luck out there Ladies…and THANK YOU Nicole for putting this into play for us.


  2. Nicole Happel on November 14, 2008 at 10:46 pm

    Staying focused for me is about starting out my day right. A good start for me includes conditioning my mind and my body.

    Every morning, the first thing I do is walk my dogs. While walking I say my gratitudes out loud. (Sometimes I think my neighbors must laugh…there goes the dog lady who talks to herself). My gratitudes may be lofty like “I’m grateful for my health, my family, my business, etc.” or they may be light like “I’m grateful for that really good salad dressing I just bought.” But doing this every day forces me to get my mind in the right place, and to be positive. This technique has often lifted me out of a funk or the beginning of a bad mood.

    After my walk, it’s mommy mode for an hour, while I get my six year old daughter fed, bathed, dressed and ready for school. Once she is out the door, I exercise. My workout varies according to my work load, but I try to do something for my body each day.

    I have found that conditioning my mind AND my body are key to my success.

  3. Diane Ginthner on January 30, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Staying focused is always a challenge. What I find works best for me is to turn off the radio and put my Ninja CD’s in. Also associating with like minded agents who push me to be better. I also find taking classes or workshops keep me on track if I find I need a little kick in the butt.

  4. Nicole Mangina on January 30, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Shawna, thanks so much for your comments!

    Your note about taking time to be quiet is so true. It has an amazing effect on focus.

    I also stopped watching TV for the most part. I’ll watch a movie ever now and then, but I was noticing that watching TV was making me really anxious. Taking time to read a book or write in my gratitude journal always makes me feel so much better.

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