Being an entrepreneur is a unique adventure. It comes with a lot of freedoms and a lot of responsibility to match. You get to set your own schedule and decide how much you want to charge for what you have to offer. That said, it doesn’t do you much good if you aren’t able to be productive. Productivity often requires you to be focused, and that can be tough sometimes. So how do you stay focused as an entrepreneur?
Keep a Schedule
Humans are generally creatures of habit. The more you are able to stick to a solid schedule, the less energy you’ll have to devote to thinking about what comes next and the more energy you can give to getting things done. Many people find that waking up early boosts productivity. The hours before most people get up can be the easiest to focus during, since distractions are minimized.
Front Load Your Work
If you know that you have some tough tasks ahead, you may find it beneficial to schedule those to be done earlier during both the day and the week. When you’re fresh off of a weekend or a good night’s sleep, you are more likely to have the mental fortitude and energy to focus on getting larger or more difficult workloads handled. This way, by the time you get to the end of the day or the end of the week when you don’t have as much gas left in you, you can relax a little by focusing on easier tasks that require less focus in order to be done properly.
Distractions are the enemy of focusing. The more distractions you can eliminate, the better you’ll be able to focus. Remember, multitasking doesn’t work. Disconnect from technology that isn’t essential to your work. The fewer bells and whistles that go off, the easier it will be to keep your focus and attention where it needs to be. Reduce distracting noises. If people talking causes you to lose focus, go somewhere quiet, use noise-cancelling headphones, or use white noise to make it easier to avoid getting distracted. Avoid visual distractions as well. If you’re working in a messy environment, your focus will suffer. A neat, orderly work environment is much less visually distracting. It’s also less likely to remind you of all the other things you need to get done that you aren’t doing because you’re working.
As an entrepreneur, you may find yourself wearing more hats than you ever have before. That doesn’t mean you have to wear all of them at the same time though. You can outsource some tasks and pass off a few hats to others. Some things, such as HR or IT services, require specialized training and knowledge in order to be done correctly. You may find it most beneficial to outsource these tasks to experts. Outsourcing your IT problems helps you focus on those aspects of your business that you understand best. You’ll be less distracted knowing that the more specialized aspects of your business are being handled by professionals who know what they’re doing and can do it well.
Make a List
The list of things you need to get done as an entrepreneur never seems to end. In fact, it only seems to grow. You may find it helpful to make a to-do list to help you manage your time better and be more focused. Like setting a schedule, having a list of what to do and when to do it helps you avoid wasting time and energy on figuring out what to do next and lets you get straight to doing it.
As you make your list, be sure to prioritize it appropriately. The front loading strategy can help you make the most of your peak efficiency hours, but it’s also important to consider where your time and focus will be best spent. The Pareto Principle suggests that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Therefore, the best use of your time would likely be to focus on the 20% of your work that yields the greatest results. Take some time to really examine what you do and how much of an impact it really has on your business. This will help you understand what tasks to prioritize and which ones can be moved down the list.
It may sound a bit counterintuitive, but taking breaks is essential to maintaining your focus. The Pomodoro Method is a popular way to structure time that builds in short breaks between longer periods of productivity. At the end of a cycle, a longer break is given before starting a new cycle again. People don’t tend to do well when trying to force focus for hours and hours on end (though of course there are some exceptions). Scheduling breaks gives you a chance to let yourself relax and rejuvenate before throwing yourself back into your work.
Get Enough Sleep
Similarly, it’s imperative that you get enough rest in order to focus properly. It can be tempting to forgo sleep in favor of getting more done, but not getting enough rest can be seriously bad for your health. Getting enough sleep is essential to your mental, physical, and emotional health. Remember that it’s much easier to stay focused when you’re well rested and healthy. If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, take a look at your sleep habits. The environment you sleep in, what you do leading up to going to bed, and even the choices you make earlier in the day can all impact how restful your sleep is. Look at what can be improved and take the appropriate steps to improve your sleep so you can focus better while you work.
Staying focused as an entrepreneur is critical to your success. Since you are your own boss and you set your own deadlines, it’s entirely up to you to be disciplined about making sure things get done. Having a greater capacity to focus will help you achieve success in your entrepreneurial endeavors. Develop habits that promote greater focus in order to take advantage of the benefits that come with it.
Read this next: 5 Secrets Entrepreneurs Should Know About Google
As always, if you need any assistance with your branding and digital marketing, our MGR Team will be happy to chat with you one-on-one. Use this link to contact us and set up your free consultation.
Thank you for reading. Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR).