With a million distractions around you, keeping your mind on your work can be tough, especially for small business owners. How do you maintain focus on a daily basis, and how do you focus on your long-term goals?
- Unplug. It’s really hard to concentrate when the cell phone is ringing, emails are pinging into the inbox and the internet and TV are calling. It’s especially difficult for entrepreneurs because we often work from home where there are more distractions – and people, sometimes even very young ones – to interrupt our work flow. However, concentration is key to getting a job well done. If your heart starts to palpitate at the mere thought of unplugging from all electronics, try unplugging for only an hour at a time. I can attest that this actually works. Other people use computer programs (google it to find some) that will shut down their social media for allotted periods of time. Use whatever works for you.
- Use a white board. Sometimes organizing your schedule or duties on a big erasable white board is a great way to see things in a new light.
- Take a walk. Or take a drive. Go feed the ducks. Eat your lunch at a park. Changing your environment for thirty minutes or an hour is a great way to refocus.
- Listen to a playlist of your favorite songs. Music relaxes and/or energizes a lot of people. In my case to get work done, I can’t listen to songs that have words or else I’ll start singing along and it ruins my concentration for the task in front of me. However, instrumental music, opera or listening to the sounds of the Amazon rainforest help me to focus.
- Make two different types of lists – one for short-term goals, one for long-term goals. As an entrepreneur, you’ll have daily things that you need to get done, and goals that are long-term. It helps to list them that way, otherwise the tasks can seem overwhelming. Refer and adjust your long-term goals as needed. Just because you wrote something down six months ago doesn’t mean it still applies today. Businesses grow, customers change, your suppliers might switch, and you’ll adapt with them.
- Don’t try to do too much. Focusing on a few projects in your business is usually more realistic and more satisfying than trying to do too much. Concentrating your energy, resources, time and budget to the priority projects will increase their quality and your success.
- Meet with other entrepreneurs. Having lunches and discussions with other small business owners can be very invigorating and empowering.
Here’s another interesting thought about staying focused: Looking at Nature Photos Increases Brain Power. Do you have any other tips?
Read the series! Go to Small Business Pt 1: Tips on Starting.