A taskmaster is someone who has the ability to focus and stay on task. Mastering anything requires self-development. The path to task mastery is one that takes you from just getting by in life to living a life purposely.
Your journey to becoming a taskmaster depends on many factors including:
- Your personality
- Your skills, talents, and abilities
- Your energy level at that moment
- The number of distractions present
- Your ability to focus
- Your general attitude
Personal Effectiveness & Your Personality
Your personality is the major driver of your effectiveness. If you are an orderly person by nature, you will have a much easier time getting things done through organization. If you are a more organic person, your ability to be effective will have more to do with your ability to adapt and improvise.
Leveraging your skills, talents, and abilities
Your skills, talents, and abilities are the second major factor in task mastery. If you are a musician, you make music wherever you go. It is those unique talents that you will instinctively draw upon to be effective. The same holds true for someone who is a mathematical genius, or a visionary with excellent interpersonal skills. If you are strong in these areas, you will use them to get things done and do so very effectively.
For example, you might shine in a situation that calls for a sparkling, witty personality. You know how to use your people skills to inspire and motivate others to action. Any talent can be useful. Leveraging your unique talents is what makes your journey perfectly tailored to you.
The cornerstone of task mastery is the ability to block out distractions and remain focused on the task at hand. First, it’s important to find a place to work that is free from distractions. This may mean working in a quiet room, with no television or music playing. If you live or work in an open space, you may have to “virtually” create your quiet place with headphones and a line of sight with nothing distracting.
With the environment set, the next step is to identify what triggers your brain to enter hyper-focus. The best way to discover this is by trial and error.
You might find that a cold shower puts you in the headspace to concentrate. Tony Robbins swears by them. Every morning he plunges into a 57-degree Fahrenheit / 13.9-degree Celcius pool. He finds it helps him build willpower and his nervous system handle stress.
If that’s not your thing, listening to soft music or an energizing playlist can set the mood. Once you’ve identified what triggers your hyper-focus, lean in and practice it consistently to help you concentrate on the task at hand.
Setting your attitude
Upping your self-confidence game is the last piece of the puzzle. Developing self-confidence is all about self-exploration. The good news is you developed a good understanding of yourself and your capabilities in an earlier step. This step is about internalizing the belief until it becomes second nature.
Drink the Kool-Aid, as they say. Believe that you’re taking the right actions to achieve the right goals for your success.
Outsource low-yield tasks.
If the thing you’re doing must be done yet stands in your way of completing high-yield activities, then farm it out to someone else.
Live in balance.
Build in downtime along with work time. Take a day off. Practice mindfulness. Savor the small moments.
Just say no… sometimes. Delegate any skills that won’t make the best use of your time or talent. Turn down projects that don’t align with your own goals.
Communicate with intent.
Communication is key. Learn to listen correctly. In conversation, listen to others without thinking about what you’ll say next. When talking or responding, whether it’s in person, via email, or on social media, be clear. Deliver a message that is concise and well thought-out.
Learn new things. Staying mentally alert, flexible, and receptive to new information means you’ll be better able to pivot as needed when the situation calls for a change or adjustment.
Ditch fears, doubts, stagnating and negative thoughts. Our thoughts and feelings influence how we view life. You always have a choice in how you think.
Focus on the thoughts and ideas that will move you forward: excitement, possibility, learning something new, mastering a skill, meeting a new person, stepping out of your comfort zone, finding a new solution to an old problem, making a friend, getting healthier, increasing enjoyment, growing stronger, doing things that feel good and make you happy.
If a task you’re involved in calls for exceptional planning abilities, but you lack in this area, don’t despair. You can become strong in areas where you’re currently weak if that’s what you want to do.
And you can also find workarounds that enable you to set and achieve the goals even when you’re not particularly skilled at whatever needs to be done. If you truly want to increase your personal effectiveness, then give some serious thought to how you’re going about things in your current life, career, and relationships.
Assess what needs to change in order for you to be more effective. What areas do you need to work on? Each day, become more aware of these areas and make the necessary changes.
You might also consider talking with a coach to get clear on where you’d like to become more efficient and effective in your life. Together, you can set goals and monitor progress.