Squirrel! Juuuust kidding.
Distraction is a real B* for business productivity and efficiency. Here’s how to get your focus back…
Ever notice how when you decide to buy a car, all of a sudden you see them EVERYWHERE! Well, this week has seen me meet quite a few awesome people with a case of the “shineys”.
You know the “shineys”… those little distractions that look waay better than whatever you are supposed to be focused on right now. Just like a nice sparkly ring, it catches your attention and then POOF! your focus is gone.
How do you know if need to improve your focus?
Let’s do a quick check to see if you have a case of the “shineys”?
- You get 50% of everything done, which is a great effort, but you still feel like nothing gets completed
- You welcome and invite distraction, For example, someone walks past your desk, great need that work break after a marathon 10 minutes.
- You can’t decide where to start – the pile of stuff just looks overwhelming (washing, blogs, client files, workshops, graphics oh stop!!)
- Nothing is prioritised unless there is a known impact to another person that can result in your own discomfort (the children will be horrid if they do not go to bed and get up early)
- You have communication overload..emails, texts, phone calls, facebook, twitter, pinterest, linked in, work calendar, home calendar, mobile and you will check any one of them as soon as they beep, vibrate or pop up a notification that Joe Bloggs just got a new job and you should congratulate him NOW!! Leave the report, and do it NOW!
- You go shopping with purpose, and return with everything but what you were looking for. How did you end up with that mint green ice cream scoop from K-Mart when you needed new Bonds undies?
- Everything feels Meh the path to your goals seem soo long and soo hard that you’d rather put on your pj’s and binge watch Sense8 on Netflix than work on your business goal (side note OMG how good is Sense8)
Why you need to stop the focus destroying distracting “shineys?”
- They create havoc with your business. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail as the saying goes.
- You can become stressed and feel unproductive and overwhelmed, creating a shiney black hole where nothing gets done and everything seems too hard
- They are a key source of inefficiency. That ultimately costs you time and money.
- Distraction is like the flu – one funny gif or meme and there is a productivity destroying outbreak on the business front……If you are setting examples for others, they will almost certainly see it as permission to get distracted too
- They freaking mess with your mindset – comparative-itis sets in as you compare your house, your business your hair, your everything to some preconceived standard of success.
If that sounds like you, there is hope. First is to say it loud. I have got the Focus Sucking Shineys! (try saying that five times fast after a few sangrias..)
So how do you get them under control and improve your focus like a lazer?
First, take five minutes and get it all out of your system. Completely brain dump everything that distracts you. You will find this very liberating, as it gives your brain permission to jump everywhere. It’s a little like a mini ideas detox. You know, like when you eat all the chocolate before you start the diet. Anyways….
Here’s my Ten Top tips improve your focus and get things back in order:
- Create a time management plan and build your ideal work week.
- Outsource or delegate tasks that you leave until last. This frees you up to work on your goals, and work on what you add the most value to in your business, but most importantly – what energises you,
- Turn off emails and only check them at three points in the day. If you have a person who is a multi emailer, group them together, read them all and respond once.
- Keep any “nice to have” emails going to a separate location. This includes deals, invites, notifications. If it doesn’t add value to your business, unsubscribe or send it somewhere else.
- Set aside free time for planning, and work out your non negotiables. For me, this is fitness, and helping kids with their home work, and choosing clients that are aligned to my strengths and values.
- Move to a different location for an hour, and work remotely if you can. A change of scene where you are not tempted to stare at your messy kitchen can be a welcome relief. My favourite is to have a “workmate date” where you work at each other’s house. You’d be surprised the difference it can make being somewhere else.
- Use headphones. Music can improve concentration. Create a playlist that puts you in the zone on spotify or itunes to work away. You can join in and collaborate on my meh to motivated Spotify list here.
- Get good quality sleep. Tiredness leads to poor thought processes and makes getting distracted very easy.
- Put yourself on a “yes” diet and just say no (in a nice way, or with a question). Overcommitting creates stress, can be counter productive, and you may not end up delivering the quality that you would like to.
- Choose a “work” wardrobe. Our brains are funny things and associate our patterns and behaviours with what we do. I don’t write blogs in my workshop wardrobe, because my mindset is switched differently. Think of it like dressing for the activity at hand. Yes, you can wear pyjamas while you work, but what will that do to your sleep??
- (Because I like a bonus) Have one space in your home where you can sit and look up with no clutter in sight. That’s right – stay out of the laundry where the pile of clothes to be sorted is sitting. And stay out of the kitchen if there are dishes.
Got a great tip that helps you improve your focus? Drop me a comment below and let me know what works for you.