In this blog post we are going to talk about 7 tips to keep your focus in business. Many people now-days are busy being busy. That means they waste their time to low-value-activities like checking their email consistently or their social media profiles, answering to phones and the list goes on.
As a result many of us feel that we don’t have enough time or willpower to focus in the business activities that will bring us high-value on profit and success. These activities are called high-value-activities. This can become even worse when we work in an environment that causes continuous distractions or interruptions by others.
What to do to keep your focus in business?
Here are 7 tips to keep your focus in business
It’s critical that we focus our attention on our highest value activities. Do the things that are most important. Multi-tasking or parallel processing, doing many things at once, robs us of productivity. It’s actually very inefficient for many people to do many things at once.
So, we want to stop checking email all the time, stop checking the voice-mail all the time, stop keeping the phone ringers on, stop doing a whole bunch of things at once. And you might say, “yeah, hold on a minute. There are certain times that I need to be available, I have to take phone calls, I have to check my email, etc”. That’s true and in fact during those time you are going to want to knock-out a bunch of stuff in a row. But what you want to do is to coral all of that activity into little pockets of your day and “enlightened multi-tasking”
So, most of your day you’re not multi-tasking and then in little chunks you are. See most of us have programmed others that we are available and we’ve got to stop that. Here are 3 tips for maintaining focus for business owners by Margaret Heffernan on Inc.com
Eliminate Distractions & Interruptions
The access that we’ve given everyone, that we’ve allowed them to have and the programming that we will get back to them and that we are available anytime, this is really a problem. We tend to take the interruptions from anyone who has them when what we really have to do is eliminate this distraction. In other words “distraction & interruption proof” our lives.
So, we have to put ourselves into a situation where distractions & interruptions are eliminated so we have to turn off the phone, turn off the email, turn off all that stuff so that we can just have clear space to focus on the most productive activities.
Focus work in un-interrupted blocks of time of at least 1 hour, MINIMUM
We have to focus our time in un-interrupted blocks working on the important stuff. You will find that you will get a lot more done when you turn off and you prevent all the distraction & interruptions and you just work on one thing at a time.
Mot of us are so in fear that we will miss out, someone is going to try to call, miss our big opportunity, someone is going to need us that we just get chained to our phones, to our email and everything else. Focus is the gateway to business success as Dr. Jim Taylor writes on Huffington Post.
Do the high-value work first
What’s the high-value work? Well its stuff like talking to prospective customers, creating products, doing sales and marketing. That’s where 80% or 90% of the value in your business, is going to be created but it’s also the stuff that is not urgent. It’s not the stuff that’s banging on your door saying you have to do me now.
If you will spend the first couple of hours of every day working on the high value work, then the other stuff will fit in around it. If you do not prioritize the high value work first and do it first, it’s probably never going to get done.
Create intentional routines that become long-term habits
We get very little willpower and we usually burn our willpower on internal conflict, external conflict, multi-tasking and resisting temptation. And then we don’t have any leftover to get ourselves to do the things that we know we need to do.
Because we only get a little willpower, we need to use it in the most efficient way possible. The best way to use your willpower is to create new habits. So, what’s a habit? A habit is something we do everyday, usually around the same time. So we are creatures of habit. Since we are creatures of habit, we should create the habits that will serve us long-term.
Turns out that habit creation is not an instant thing. You can’t instantly create a habit, but what you can do is to use the little bit of willpower you have everyday to do the same thing at the same time and after a few weeks or a month or 6 weeks you’ll find that it becomes a habit and you don’t have to use willpower anymore, because it automatically pulls you into it. Just like all the habits that we have right now.
The trick here is that you’ve got to create the routine, you’ve got to sit down and imagine what is going to be like, write it out, practice it slow and then use your willpower everyday to do it.
It makes sense that we need to use our willpower to create rituals, to create routines, to create habits. But what we don’t expect is that on the second, third, fourth day it’s going to become very very difficult. The first day you get all excited about it. You get organized, you sit down to do it and feel great. The next day you do it again, still feels good. The big league secret to business: Focus, Focus, Focus by Alan Hall on Forbes.com
But then the third day, the fourth day, you realize, “wait a minute, I usually have this other thing that I do, people usually call me at this time, I’m usually available, wow I’m not used to doing this, this feels different, this feels challenging.” What happens is the old you and the old habits come up and they say…“wait a minute, I’ve got a voice here and i don’t want to do that new habit, I want to do the old habit that I’m comfortable with.”
You can call this habit gravity. Most of the energy is in the beginning and this is what happens when you are creating a new habit, when you are creating a new routine in your life. We started of and we need to put most of the energy in the beginning. This is why it’s so important to preserve your willpower. It’s also why it’s so important to do the important things early in the day when you still have some willpower. Do them first thing, before you’ve gotten interrupted or other people have pulled you into different directions or face inner conflicts. You want to do it when you still have the willpower.
Create an environment that keeps you focused on the high value work
If you zoom out far enough and you really think about your life and you think about what it means to be successful as a human being, successful in health, successful emotionally in happiness and relationships, successful intellectually – learning – having meaning and fulfillment from life, successful in business, successful at giving your greatest gifts and contributing the biggest level of success.
The thing that is going to support that the most is an environment or an ecosystem that keeps you on track. If you are going to become a different creature essentially, if you are going to take control of your life and create a successful profitable business you need to create the ecosystem that supports that. An ecosystem that supports that success is probably very different from an ecosystem that has supported whatever your past results have been.
And it’s a little bit of a shock to realize that you will probably need to change your environment, you will probably need to change how you interact with your environment, the people who you interact with and maybe even the location where you are. If your priority is a profitable business then you need to re-organize your life so that’s what the result or the emergent is. Not try to make a profitable business that is the result of what you are already doing. Because it’s not going to happen that way. There is too much temptation for us to combat anymore.
What’s the highest leverage thing you can do with your whole life?
The highest leverage thing you can do is to get yourself into an optimal state of physical health because this creates the context or the container for an optimal state of emotional health and when you have the two of those, that creates the container or the context for optimal state of mental health which creates the container or context for the optimal state of relationship and business health.
Physical health – tangible – your body, the amount of energy you have, your immune system, the rejuvenation. This is critically important, so if this is the foundation of it all, what should you spend the very first hour or two of your day doing? Making your physical self strong, so create a personal success ritual in the morning, when you wake up and you spend time with yourself, making yourself strong before you go and get involved in the business.
Make sure you do some exercise, drink some clean water, eat a really healthy nutritious meal, get the day started of right, set the context directly. When you come into your workspace either that’s a job, an office or you work from home approach you workspace not with – ok how do I go and check my email, my voice-mail and everything else – but how do I spend the next couple of hours doing the high value activities I know I need to do.
How do I set up a ritual, how do I make up a routine and how do I put as much will power as i need to make this the first thing that i do. When you prioritize the high value creation stuff both personally and in your business and you do it consistently day after day after day, that’s when you reap the rewards, that’s when you get the harvest…