While technology in today’s current environment can be great and bring us some useful gadgets (like the ones mentioned in last week’s post), the rapid and constant sources of stimulation can also be distracting and make it difficult to achieve focus. And, obviously, without focus comes decreased productivity and quality of work. We explore a few useful methods that can be incorporated into even the busiest small business for improved focus and help you make the most of your work-time.
- Decide initially where your focus needs to be. Even before you sit down to work, have it in mind exactly what you need to get done. It can be helpful to write out tasks in order of priority, stick to that list, and cross off items as you complete them.
- Prepare your mind. Once you know where your focus should be, take some time to mentally prepare and imagine tackling the tasks at hand. If you meditate, this can be helpful to do for a few minutes before starting as well. You could also go for a walk or do some yoga; all of these activities can help clear your mind and make you prepared to dive right in.
- Unplug. Unless the task you’re focusing on is specifically related to a social media platform, log out of all of them and keep all other “windows” closed if you’re on a computer. Turn off, mute, or set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” so those pesky notifications can’t find you and pull you out of your focus. Challenge yourself to not do anything else during this time or be available unless in the case of an emergency (and remember that most “emergencies” aren’t).
- Schedule time dedicated only to your focus. This makes it so you can schedule around the time and notify others that you will be unavailable, even if it’s only 30-60 minutes at a stretch. If you find you are not having enough time in your day to offer this focus to your tasks, adjust your schedule. If that means waking up earlier, delaying or rescheduling a meeting, or assigning another task to someone else in the meantime, so be it. Giving your full attention to a task with your best dedicated efforts is always going to be better than a half-hearted, distracted completion of multiple tasks not done with the same level of care…and it often shows and can hurt you in the long-run.
- Reward yourself. After you’ve spent some quality, dedicated time to a task or actually completed one, take time to reward your perseverance before moving on to another task or hitting the ground running to the next thing. This can be as small as intentionally allowing yourself a few minutes to be mesmerized by adorable cat photos on your Instagram, or as big as as that fancy seasonal latte you’ve been dying to try. Make sure your rewards are proportionate to the actual efforts and dedication you’ve provided, however!
No one ever said focus was easy, and it’s only become more difficult in current society where we are constantly bombarded and interrupted with emails, texts, calls, and other notifications that constantly compete for our attention. By taking the time to prepare and train your mind to be productive, the results can only reap benefit as you’re able to get more done to the best of your ability, rather than the best of your distracted, stressed, and compromised capacity.
Jenny Yox May 12th, 2017
Posted In: Business Tips, Entrepreneurship, How to balance work and life, Small business tips, Start Up, virtual office, virtual office solutions, virtual workspace, working from home
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