In an increasingly fast-paced and distraction-laden world, the ability to focus has become a valuable skill, sought after by individuals striving to maximize their productivity and achieve their goals. Maintaining focus can be a formidable challenge for individuals striving to achieve their goals and aspirations.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners how they focus and here are some of their responses.
#1- By time management
I block a part of my day when I'm typically most alert and I know I won't be interrupted. This could be an hour or two or three — what matters most is that I'll be deep in the “work zone.” This is where I do my creative thinking or complete important tasks from beginning to end. During this deep work time I don't look at anything else — no emails, texts, or anything that can distract me. After deep work, my mind needs a break. This is when I'll “zone out.” I'll exercise, stretch, or watch a funny video.
Thanks to Scott Lieberman, Touch Down Money!
#2- Establishing goals
As an early-stage startup founder, I stay focused by keeping track of annual, monthly, and daily goals. I establish my annual goals (e.g. grow sales) at the beginning of the year and these rarely change. I share my monthly goals with friends and family in a newsletter to hold me accountable. I will schedule these tasks into my calendar for how long I think they will take, which keeps me focused for the whole day.
Thanks to Aileen Lee, Infinite Goods!
#3- By making a to-do list
As a business owner, staying focused amidst myriad tasks and challenges requires a blend of discipline and adaptability. I believe in starting each day with a clear, prioritized to-do list; usually, I pick out 3 items that I have to get done. It's a simple tool that helps to distill what's most important and guides my efforts throughout the day. I also never forget to take care of myself.
Thanks to Blake Love, Vulcreate!
#4- Daily meditation
I spend the first hour of my day mapping out the tasks that align with my most important goals. This practice not only provides me with a clear roadmap for the day but also ensures that my actions are contributing to our larger vision at Authors On Mission. Meditation also plays a crucial role in maintaining my focus. I find that starting the day with a 10-minute meditation session clears my mind and prepares me for the day ahead. It helps me stay calm, concentrated, and present, thereby boosting my productivity.
Thanks to Vikrant Shaurya, Authors On Mission!
#5- Creating a well-structured schedule
Maintaining focus is crucial for productivity. Set measurable goals, prioritize tasks based on their impact, and create a well-structured schedule. Disable notifications and delegate tasks when possible. Don't be afraid to say no (in fact it should be your default). Finally, regularly review your progress and adjust your priorities accordingly.
Thanks to Josh Amishav, Breachsense!
#6- By prioritizing tasks
There are a number of things I like to do to stay focused on my work. The first thing is to operate time blocks. By having 30 minutes to an hour for a particular task I'm able to put all of my focus on it and sustain my attention on that particular task; I found that blocks longer than that end up resulting in some wasted time as sustained attention wains. The next thing I do to stay focused is to start my day off with the most important tasks first. Finally, the last thing I do to stay focused is to have my phone on airplane mode.
Thanks to Sebastian Jania, Manitoba Property Buyers!
#7- Outsourcing repetitive tasks
With the help of my virtual assistant, I can focus better on the more critical parts of my business than be burdened by the repetitive daily activities of my work role. Whether scheduling appointments, managing my calendar, responding to emails, or maintaining my business social media accounts, hiring a VA has helped me streamline tasks, pay more attention to business strategy product development, and focus on further building the business.
Thanks to Roman Milyushkevich, Scrapeitcloud!
#8- Being organized
To begin with, create designated spaces for everything, whether it's your physical workspace or digital files on your computer. Instead of allowing emails to accumulate, consider categorizing them and placing them in specific folders, making them easier to locate when needed. The same applies to documents on your computer. Get rid of the clutter. Once you have an organized workspace, you can quickly locate important items saving time and energy.
Thanks to Julien McRoberts, Dental Destinations Portugal!
#9- Minimizing distractions
To stay focused, I employ a systematic approach. First, I analyze and prioritize my tasks based on their importance and impact on my business goals. This helps me identify the most critical and high-value tasks that require my immediate attention. I then allocate dedicated blocks of time to focus solely on those priority tasks, minimizing distractions and interruptions. Additionally, I leverage tools and techniques such as time-blocking, setting clear deadlines, and delegating non-essential tasks to maintain my focus.
Thanks to Loren Howard, Prime Plus Mortgages!
#10- By practicing yoga
Beyond the typical business strategies, I've found that maintaining a balanced mind and body is key. Regularly practicing yoga has been my secret weapon to sharpen focus. It allows me to center my thoughts, increase mindfulness, and find clarity amid the chaos of running a business. Embracing yoga's principles of discipline and perseverance, I approach challenges with a clear mind and open heart.
Thanks to Paul Mario Vratusha, D Studio Consulting digital agency!
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to single out those game-changing tasks that will truly propel your business forward. Hand off the less pivotal stuff to your team/outsource partners – they're more than capable, trust me. And here's the kicker – every time you say ‘yes' to one thing, you're saying ‘no' to something else. When you nail down your priorities, you declutter your day, sharpen your focus, and that's when you truly step up as a CEO.
Thanks to Charlotte Hall, Hallway People!
#12- Ensuring proper co-ordination
Ensure your colleagues understand how you like to communicate. Within our company, we have a manual for individuals that outlines how they like to be communicated with. I prefer to be initially contacted electronically on Slack. This gives me the agency to read and respond in my own time, rather than experiencing constant interruptions.
Thanks to Ryan Stone, Lambda Films!
#13- Establishing a routine
An effective strategy for maintaining focus is establishing a routine. By creating a structured schedule and allocating specific time slots for different tasks, you can train your mind to concentrate during those designated periods. This routine can also incorporate regular breaks to recharge and rejuvenate, which enhances your overall focus and productivity.
Thanks to James Smith, Travel-Lingual!
#14- Removing unnecessary tasks
It may sound overly simplistic, but I find I am best able to focus when there aren't distractions. For me, this means keeping my desk clear of all clutter. By quite literally decreasing the number of things that can take my focus, I retain it. Digitally speaking, it means closing programs and windows that aren't relevant to the task at hand and removing my phone from the room.
Thanks to Jabe Brown, Melbourne Functional Medicine!
#15- Taking timely breaks
Once I'm ready to go, I deep dive into the work, starting at one end of my to-do list, and not stopping until I reach the bottom. Highest priority tasks first. I only take breaks for tea or snacks between tasks, and I treat these as little rewards once I've done a fair amount of work that my brain needs a pick me up.
Thanks to Emily Goldsmith, uBloomd!
#16- Time blocking
If you’ve got a long to-do list or a deadline to meet, time blocking can help keep you on track while keeping distractions, procrastination, and unproductive multitasking at bay! The best practice is to spend around 10 minutes at the end of each day planning your ‘time blocks’ for the following day. Make sure to schedule your hardest work at your most productive time as well as schedule your reactive work (emails, phone calls etc) and your breaks.
Thanks to Marie Robertson-King, Empress of Order!