It’s challenging to avoid distractions when we need to be focusing on a specific task. We are bombarded with opportunities to derail our focus…the ubiquitous messages on our phones, the lure of the Web, or what’s going on in the next office. Even when we manage to keep those monsters at bay, we find ourselves fiddling around doing tasks that could and should be delegated to someone else. A distraction is anything that takes you away, physically or mentally, from addressing the important issues and priorities your business demands. Focusing on your priorities is necessary for success. Here are three suggestions for avoiding distractions and staying focused:
1. Work on the RIGHT things!
Too many business owners and managers make the mistake of trying to do everything for everyone. There are certain areas you should focus on and address, such as providing leadership and strategic planning. Low-value tasks become clutter that eat up your valuable time and energy. What is your job description as an owner and CEO of your business? Stick to the priorities!
2. Don’t Spread Yourself Too Thin
As an entrepreneur, you should constantly be gathering and preparing great new ideas and plans for your business. It’s good to brainstorm and think about the future, but make sure you don’t get overwhelmed by starting more projects at one time than you can handle. Structure a schedule that’s manageable. When you try to do too much at once, you can end up by failing to finish anything at all.
3. Identify Your Most Important Tasks
Take some time to look at your business objectively. What are the most critical tasks that need to be dealt with today? Tomorrow? Make a list of the top three in order of their importance. Then, slow down and deal with each issue, one at a time. Don’t allow yourself to daydream, surf the net or do anything else but the first task until it’s complete. Congratulate yourself on your accomplishment! When you get in the habit of tackling your most important tasks regularly, you’ll find avoiding distractions easier and enjoy your success.
To achieve better results for your business, constantly evaluate and reevaluate what you’re doing. Are you focusing on the right priorities? Are you spreading yourself too thin with too many new ideas and projects? Most importantly, are you tackling your most vital tasks each and every day? Thinking critically about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it, is the first step to renewed focus.