Whether you’re an early bird or a late owl, work best in your silent office or noisy coffee bar, ensuring you stay focused on the job at hand can be challenging with so many distractions around.
Everyone works in different ways, and I don’t believe there is one golden rule to staying focused.
I wanted to share with you some ways to keep your mind on the job, that have actually been road tested and are proved to work for other business owners.
Take 5 mins to read through some of these successful ways to stay focused and get the most out of your day.
I asked a group of business owners what keeps them focused, these are the answers.
Nicki Mckay www.nickimckay.com
If I roll out of bed straight to my desk/inbox/social media I am doomed, the day rules me. So to get control it’s all about morning rituals for me. I start my day with hanging out in the garden with a cup of tea and then reading a chapter out of a business book, then I take the dog for a run. It kind of mentally prepares me for the day, I’ve had time to wake up, get inspired/motivated and then I process all my thoughts when I exercise. I also create a list of 3 items that I want to get done that day, and try to put that list together the day before when I am finishing up for the day.
Ellie Roberts www.elleroberts.me
For me its always I time thing – focused work for 45 min then 10 or 15min play time. This keeps me zoned on the work stuff and sometimes I go way over my 45 but if I start out planning to work for three hours I find excuses not to start at all.
Kate Toon www.katetooncopywriter.com.au
Kate Toon says – when I really want to focus I switch off all social media, and email, Skype, phone. Set my Toggl, timer and force myself to work for exactly 52 minutes without stopping. Then I do something completely different for 17, digging garden, folding washing, throwing ball for dog – as long as it’s not screen related.
I can POWER through copywriting work when I do this.
Glenda Bishop http://healthystories.com.au
Glenda Bishop from Healthy Stories says ,My key strategy for productivity is to have my activities planned at least 2 days ahead. First I work out my must dos for the week, then I work out the subtasks needed to get them done and how long they will take, and then I enter the subtasks into my calendar. This means that I don’t have to think or plan anything first thing in the morning, but can hit the ground running. I also try to keep the first 4 hours of the work day free from social media and email, unless necessary to meet one of my tasks. So I don’t get burned out, I also schedule in time for ‘getting the day started’, ‘lunch’, ‘exercise’ and ‘dinner’. I do allow some flexibility in the schedule though, but planning it out stops me from getting distracted. Then at the end of each day I revisit my calendar, make adjustments if needed, and check on how I’ll be starting tomorrow.
Music! If I need to get a job done, I put on some music, like P!nk or Katy Perry and it helps me to focus and stop distractions like Facebook.
Sharyn Holmes www.gutsygirl.com.au
Meditation tracks help me gain focus. So does focusing on my breath and being present. I keep to do lists for each of my ideas and projects to maintain some form of order in my messy and creative life!
Nina Hendy http://ninahendy.com.au
Hiring a project manager to crack the whip works for me .
Emma Morgan – www.thebusinessdesigner.com.au
For me personally I have to work in silence,I need to be clear on my priorities and objectives for small amounts of time, the morning or day.
I have to have a clear list of jobs. I usually segment a page into 4 quarters. It shows Jobs before lunch, jobs after lunch, jobs to complete before the end of the week, and jobs to complete before the end of the month.
This means I can review which jobs are a priority, otherwise a big long list can feel too overwhelming.
Productivity and how to stay focused Resources to check out
Samantha Nolan Smith recently did a podcast episode about managing your time effectively. There are a whole bunch of tips here for staying focused and productive: http://samanthanolansmith.com/episode2/
Christina Hanna Mifsud works with the Pomodoro Technique
This technique looks at some of these elements to minimise distractions
- Turn off notifications
- Eisenhower delegation matrix (knowing what needs your skills/ knowledge and what doesn’t)
- Documenting everything so it’s transferrable to others
- Automate everything that can be automated (so you’re not re-doing jobs)
- Know your timings – how long you estimate tasks will take versus how long they actually take
- Timeboxing – allocating certain amount of time to certain tasks
- Have a flawless to-do list system, whether that be paper or app based, so that all the ‘fluff’ is out of your head, and down on paper/pac!
If you would like to learn more about to check out Christinas website
Maureen Price wrote and filmed this blog on 13 ways to be more productive and feel happier.
I hope these tried and tested ideas help you to stay focused, it is always good to hear how other creatives and small business owners deal with the issues we all face.
If you have any other ways that work for – please post them below.