Last week I began a four-part series to teach you how to develop the Fine Art of Business Focus, and starting with the Power of Focus, pointed out the four major benefits to laser focusing your attention in business. Today, I continue this series with a lesson on Where to Direct Your Focus for maximum reward.
If you don’t learn how to control it, your attention will flit from one thing to the next, and every shiny object in your periphery, which can be quite detrimental to your business success. So instead, you must determine where, when and how to keep your thoughts on task from moment to moment. This discipline starts when you decide what your highest priorities are in business, as well as those tasks that will generate the greatest return on your time investment.
Discovering your highest priorities begins when you ask yourself, “What are the things I value most, and highly desire out of life.” Your well-being should always be at the top of your list, and you should limit your list to no more than 5 things. Once you’ve defined your highest priorities, you will be ready to direct your focus to them, and develop solid habits around your time. Below is a 3-step process you can use to start moving in the right direction –
Step 1 – Keep your highest priorities top of mind.
If you want to maintain a steady focus on the tasks that are vital to your business success, you must not only make them real by writing them down, but also post them everywhere you work as regular reminders. You can use simple Post-It Notes, a white board, vision board, or whatever would be most meaningful for you. The key is to have them constantly in your line of sight, on your person, etc. so that you attend to them consistently. This exercise works especially well if you are easily distracted, as these reminders will help you get back on track when your mind starts to wander.
Step 2 – Compartmentalize your time.
When you know where you want to go, all that remains is the business of figuring out how to get there. For most entrepreneurs, their highest priorities are related to the lofty dreams they have for their business. And big dreams are great! But you must map out your path to those dreams by setting effective big goals, and mini goals toward them. Once your goals have been established, it is much easier to designate how much time you will allot to each one on an ongoing basis. By chunking your time into power hours, or half a work day per project, you are less likely to veer off course onto other things. Create your to-do list and stick to the plan.
And know what hours of the day are your peak times for mental and physical energy. You will find that your projects get completed much quicker when you are working when you are at your best on the most important projects on your list.
Step 3 – Give yourself plenty of breaks.
If you find that you are struggling to maintain your attention on the task at hand, or find your mind wandering to other things, it might be sign that you need to take a break. It’s important to have regular mental and physical breaks sprinkled throughout your work day to get some fresh air, increase your circulation, or just allow your mind some down time. All work and no play never did a body or a business any good. And remember that your well-being must stay at the top of your list of highest priorities in order for you to achieve peak performance levels in your business and life.
These three steps will assist you in creating some productive habits around your time, and enable your thoughts to begin to flow in a direction of success. New habits aren’t formed overnight, so be patient, but diligent in your efforts and it will pay off in the long run.
In my next post, I will highlight the common obstacles entrepreneurs struggle with when it comes to laser focus, and how to move right past them. Until next time, please leave a comment below and let me know what you struggle most with when it comes to your business focus.