One of the most important things you can do for your life and your business is to make sure that you are focused. Multitasking has been proved to be nothing more than wishful thinking. You simply cannot do more than one thing at a time well. If you want to get more done, in less time, here are some ways to start getting focused.
Use a Calendar
Your calendar is your best friend when it comes to staying focused. Use it to make a list of things you are supposed to do each day and to set deadlines and check-up points, to make sure you’re being effective.
If you have a to-do list, it’s important to prioritize what you are doing so that you can do the most important things first. Each person’s priorities will be different. The truth is, if you are a small business owner, your first priority each day should be doing the work that you need to do for yourself as your “first” client.
Turn Off Noise
Turn off your phone, your cell, your email, your social media networks, and focus on each thing you’re doing 100 percent. Don’t focus on all the noise around you. It’s really hard to do, but you’ll find that the work you produce is of higher quality and that you‘ll get done faster.
Take a Walk
Whether it’s a walk or other types of exercise or movement... before you get down to work on any project, be sure to move. Breathe in deeply, breathe out deeply and clear your mind of all the junk going through it so that you can focus.
Try not to work for more than 90 minutes at a time without a break. Taking frequent breaks where you get away from your work or the project for at least five minutes will do wonders for your ability to focus. Now, don’t use this time as email checking time. Get away from your desk and do something else.
It’s gotten crazy that people have started to see multitasking as a virtue. The truth is that it is very inefficient, causes undue stress, and you don’t get things done any faster. Plus, typically what you do when not focused is of lower quality and you can’t get as much done.
Check Email Less
Two or three times a day is enough to worry about checking email. This is true even if you are a service provider. Let your clients know the times you check email, and set up an appointment system for clients to schedule phone calls.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time
Trying to do everything fast and over-scheduling yourself is a sure-fire way to become unfocused. Instead, give yourself more time than you think it will take so that you have plenty of down time. Being stressed out and rushing through things is a way to make mistakes.
Learn to give yourself time to do each thing that you need to do by turning off the noise and placing your focus on “first things first.” By narrowing your focus, you’ll enjoy your day more and each moment more - because you’ll shut down the noise that happens all around you and get to business doing what needs to get done.
Pro Tip: Outsource any tasks that don't require YOU and YOU ONLY to do (like bookkeeping), and focus on what you alone need to do for your business.