As business owners we have many hats to wear during the course of a day or week, Boss, Marketing Manager, Sales manager, Finance Manager, Social media manager etc etc. Considering all these responsibilities, it’s no wonder that many of us struggle to regain our focus multiple times during the day. If you find that you lose your focus, or struggle to regain your focus after losing it, the following ten tips may help you to improve your business focus and productivity.
Create a comfortable workspace. Having a well-planned and organized office makes it easier to focus and will help you get more done in less time. For example, get a comfy, sturdy chair. Use a tool caddy and an organizer shelf to keep things you’ll need within arm’s length.
- Seeing red is good. A study by the University of British Columbia discovered that red improves concentration and memory. Place red items around your office. Try placing a red mat around a photo hung on the wall. Set small red objects on your desk. Add red icons to your computer’s desktop or even make the background red. It only takes a splash of red here and there to reap the benefits.
- Prioritize your to-do list. Divide your list into two sections. In the first section, list things that you need to do personally. In the second section, add things that you can assign to others, whether that is a staff member or a remote assistant. On your personal list, focus on what will bring in money. If this includes complex tasks, break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks and continue to prioritize accordingly.
- Schedule your time. Plan your work time in two-hour blocks with a 15-minute break after each block. Set a timer for two hours and again for 15 minutes. Place the timer out of view so you don’t keep looking at it.
Do one thing at a time. Skip the multitasking. Studies show that it takes about 15 minutes to focus fully on something. This means that every time you change tasks, it will take about 15 minutes to regain your focus. Work on one task or project until it is complete.
- Remove distractions. Turn off your instant message program. Let incoming calls and messages go to a silent voice mail. Log out of email and turn off notifications. Close the office door.
- Schedule email tasks. On your to-do list, schedule two or three specific times to check your email. Limit the number of times that you check and respond to email during the day. Make contractors or assistants a priority so you don’t hold up their progress.
- Outsource things you don’t like to do. When you do this, you don’t fall into the procrastination trap and then feel guilty. That negative emotion only distracts you.
- Plan tomorrow’s daily tasks. Write the plan in a notebook. The act of writing things helps you to remember. When you do this at the end of the day, it will help you focus tomorrow. Leave this plan on your desk and read over it before you turn your computer on.
- Clear the clutter. When your office, desk, and the computer are cluttered with stuff from the day’s progress, it’s easy to get and stay distracted. Before you shut down the office for the day, clear the clutter away. Start each day with a clean slate, not to mention a clear office, desk, computer, and mind.
When you find it difficult to concentrate on work, there are many things you can do to get back on track. Start with these ten tips to improve your business focus and productivity.
Till Next time
Mike Gardner is the time Doctor