Back to talking about focus. I’ve been going on a bit of a tear about things that are really important to me and I hope they’re inspiring you. So far we’re talked about the power of no, priorities, stress…and today is more about focus. Focus is something that I’m really working on because in order to work better and be more successful, I need to improve my focus. If focus is something you need to work on then I have a few thing for you to try!
Stop with Shiny Object Syndrome
As entrepreneurs, I think a lot of us have shiny object syndrome. We are always looking for the next best thing. We’re always kind of popping around from thing to thing and multi-tasking and doing a million things. My goal for myself and for you is to really get away from that. We need to stop the multi-tasking honestly, I want you to think about where do you need to focus. We need to stop being all over the place and we need to focus on one thing at a time. If you feel like you are doing so many things and you keep adding things in and you’re feeling overwhelmed because you’re doing too much, then we need to stop! I’ve talked about figuring out your priorities and always going back to saying no. It’s all kind of in alignment. Have your priorities, say no to things that don’t fit with your priorities and get focused. If you’re feeling stuck in your business and you feel like you’re doing too many things then let’s try out some of these exercises.
I love this quote from Chalene Johnson says, “When you don’t focus, you’re cheating yourself of success and the life you deserve and your life’s purpose.
Now what? We need to focus.No more shiny object syndrome. Stop multitasking and get focused! #blissfulbitespodcast Click To Tweet
How can we maximize our time?
We’ve really need to get to know ourselves. Do you work better in the morning? Are you a morning person? Are you a night owl? How does your brain work the best? For me, clearly I am a morning person. I’ve always been a morning person. At night, I’m exhausted, I’m wiped, I have been a business person and a mom all day and I just can’t think at night. I want you to think about it, when does your brain peak? Do you work better in the morning? Do you work better in the afternoon? Or do you work better at night?
The second thing that I want you to think about is your environment. Do you need to have absolute quiet? We talked about how distractions use energy. When you’re multi-tasking or you are in a room where your phone is going off or you hear things outside, you need to leave your work and focus on those people. Every time you get distracted, you are using energy and your brain is toggling back and forth and that is contributing to you being even more exhausted. Think about your environment, what do you need to do? Do you need to go to a quiet place? Can you actually get work done effectively if you’re sitting at Starbucks?
The third thing I want you to think about is alerting your friends and family when you are working. If you’re working and you’re getting texts, emails and phone calls from your friends and family, I encourage you to just send a text message or an email or call them and say, “I’m working over the next few hours so I won’t be able to get back to you but as soon as I can I will. Really eliminate those distractions, figure out your work environment and find out when your brain is at your peak.
You may be thinking, “No, I can multi-task,” or “No. It does work for me.” I want you to think about these questions.
Do you feel like any of these or all of these are you?
- Do you feel like when you get a text message or you get an email or you see a Facebook notification that you need to respond right away? You need to get back to that person and you need to not let them wait. Is that you?
- Do you pop around from thing to thing, answering emails, listening to podcasts, on Youtube and you are just kinda going back and forth?
- Do you feel fuzzy, tired and unable to focus?
- Do you get to the end of the day and say, “What did I do all day?”
I know I have those days where I will say to my husband, “I know I was busy all day but I don’t actually know what I’ve gotten accomplished.” Those days are super frustrating because you kinda spend all day going back and forth and just basically doing busy work. I know it can be overwhelming and not an easy habit to fix because we are so used to multi-tasking through different tasks throughout the day. I want you to stop because the more you get focused on one thing, the more you’re going to be able to get done.
Let’s go back over some things we can do to help us really focus and work as effectively as possible.
1. Turn-off your phone. Put your phone in another room or just put it in airplane mode. Make sure no one or nothing can possibly distract you.
2. Set work hours. Figure out what hours you can work best and then are you going to work for one hour? Two hours? Three hours? Just block it off. Then do a power hour. Work for 45-40 minutes and work on one thing that entire time. Focused on one task, NO multi-tasking. Work 45-50 minutes straight. Then get up and get a 15 min break, go have a snack, go outside, go for a short walk, do some squats, something that will rejuvenate you and give your brain back some energy.
Bottom line: Work on one thing at a time and don’t flip flop between tasks. It’s going to help you be more effective with your time. Successful people are present in what they’re doing. They don’t get distracted and they don’t worry about being people pleasers.
What are other things you can do to set you up for success?
Environment is a huge factor. For me, if my kitchen is a disaster or my house is a disaster, it’s really hard for me to clear the brain space for me to work effectively. I make sure that my house is in order the night before so I can make sure I can get right to work after my morning ritual. My workspace is in my guestroom/office so I made it a really nice and inviting space. It has nice light, I hung nice things on the wall, and it’s just a place that I actually really want to be. I used to be a laptop person and carried my laptop around. I was so guilty of sitting on the couch while my kids were playing and being out there with them. That was making me work 10 times slower maybe even 20 times slower. Set your environment up for success.
The next thing is get off the internet. If you have a million tabs open, you’re going to be distracted. Keep only the tab you need open. If you don’t need the internet, just Word, then turn the internet off and don’t let yourself be distracted.
Figure out your work flow or morning ritual. For me, my morning ritual is I wake up, I have some lemon water, I go work out, I shower and listen to a podcast and then I get right to work. That allows me to wake up kind of slowly. That’s how I love starting my morning. I encourage you to figure out what works for you. I’m up before my entire family. I just love the quiet in the house. Get up early it takes a few days or a few weeks to get used to it but once you do it you will become obsessed.
Figure out that best hour of the day and don’t waste it. Plan to do your hardest, most important work that’s going to move your business forward when you work best. If you work best from 7-8 in the morning, then don’t waste that time answering emails. Work on creating content. Use that really good brain power. Find the sweet spot and it will help you get ahead. Shift your day around that hour that you’re really working the best. Don’t waste time in your inbox.
Get focused and you’re going to see how productive and focused you become. Take a post-it note and just write down, “I’m going to focus on one thing and one thing only.”
Stick it on your computer. You don’t want to be someone who does a lot of things and doesn’t do any of them well. Quit it with the distractions, get focused, try out the power hour and if you haven’t checked it out yet download my cheat sheet from last week that is going to help you reduce stress and really figure out what you really need to focus on.
What else can you do? If you want to dive even deeper into this get my CHEAT SHEET: Reduce Stress + Increase Your Focus Here!)
I want to hear about how you are getting focused!
Find me on social media and let me know what you think!