4 Strategies for Better Focusing That Will Salvage Your Busy Day Having a busy day is old news for an entrepreneur — let's discuss how we can improve our productivity through focus.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Project management systems. Know-how. Tasks delegation. Productivity hacks. We've all heard of a wide range of methods with the main goal of helping us establish and maintain a valuable and stable work pace.
After all, that's what we aim at as entrepreneurs — being able to juggle successfully between all the work duties that we have on our lists on a daily basis. And while all the above-mentioned tactics are worth trying, today I'd like to offer an additional approach that turns out to be a lifesaver. I'm referring to our ability to concentrate and maintain focus.
Because, in reality, the lack of focus can doom even the easiest of tasks turning even the most pleasant of days into a disaster. Any entrepreneur's lifestyle is already busy enough, so why not try our best to decrease the pressure as much as possible?
We tend to underestimate the power of focus
I'm sure we've all had days when there are plenty of tasks waiting to be executed, yet our ability to focus and concentrate seems absent from the equation. No matter how hard we try to maintain our concentration, we find ourselves easily distracted by pretty much everything that surrounds us. Then, at the end of the day, we realize we haven't achieved much only to find ourselves disappointed, bitter and overwhelmed, dreading the next day ahead.
But the thing with entrepreneurship or running our own business is that work doesn't seem to be waiting around for our focus to show up. Tasks and duties accumulate, making it harder and harder for us to put things in order.
When we fail to deliver up to our standards, we often direct our attention toward other factors — lack of time, failure in time management, poor organizational skills or lack of expertise. But sometimes the whole reason behind running late with our schedule is simply due to a lack of focus. So the next time you feel inadequate or incapable of doing your job, check with yourself first: Do you show some of the most typical signs of a decrease in your focus levels?
Related: How to Stay Focused: Train Your Brain
Don't fret: There are strategies for improved focus
The next time we have the feeling we're failing at the office, let's stop for a minute and check whether we witness some of the following types of behavior:
- We seem to be extremely forgetful, even things that happened an hour ago may seem vague and highly improbable.
- We find ourselves irritated about even the easiest of tasks.
- Once multitasking experts, nowadays, we cannot imagine executing several tasks at the same time.
- We find it hard following a topic, a conversation, a point of view or anyone's opinion.
- We tend to get sleepy a lot.
- Our decision-making and problem-solving skills appear to have left the building.
- We need more details on a task's requirements than we used to.
The list can go on and on but the main point is that when we lack concentration, we feel like we are somewhere else entirely missing the point of our current duties. As frustrating as it could be, there are actually useful strategies that may help us get our focus back.
- Let's make sure we are getting enough sleep and relaxation. I know that being an entrepreneur and finding a decent amount of time to take a rest can be tricky, but I cannot stress this enough: Relaxation should be anyone's number one goal when it comes to self-care. When we are sleep deprived, we tend to lose our focus and our overall ability to show competence and expertise at the office. Those minimum eight hours of sleep per night will make anyone a much better entrepreneur than a sleep-deprived weekly marathon of never-ending workload.
- Frequently engaging in training our brains is a must. The thing is that the more stressful our lives are, the quicker our brain reaches its daily capacity of dealing with information. That's why engaging in training our brains from time to time is actually a great way to stimulate flexibility, abstract thinking, logic and associative thinking. A great way to achieve so is by solving puzzles, crosswords, riddles, quizzes and so on.
- After work, let's spend time outdoors as much as possible. If we really want to reboot and unwind so that we can be fresh and concentrate the next day at the office, a great idea would be to focus on spending time outside. Nature and fresh air are long proven to be excellent sources of energy and relaxation.
- Perhaps bullet journaling is far more important than we think. It works both as a time management tactic as well as a method for maintaining our concentration. If the next day promises to be a busy one, we can always prepare in advance. We can use the bullet journal to list all the tasks we need to perform and categorize them in terms of urgency. This way we allow our brain to prepare and anticipate the duties ahead.
Focusing is indeed a great tool that enhances our ability to finish a task in a timely and proper manner. In entrepreneurship, we often have tons of duties on a daily basis — if we risk losing our concentration, then by all means our productivity would drop immensely. So the next time we experience a lack of focus, we should try implementing some of those strategies instead of belittling our expertise.