The ability to focus is a skill – it is not innate. Here are some suggestions that will increase your ability to concentrate on a task and achieve even more in your business.
- Remove items that regularly break your focus. When you are looking to concentrate on the task at hand turn off your phone, shut your door, relocate to a neutral location, turn off your computer alerts and remove any material that is not relevant to the task.
- Connect to the task. Tight rope walkers and lion tamers have no trouble staying focused. Of course, not every task is exciting or even interesting, so you may have to connect with the significance or impact of the task, rather than the actual activity.
- Know your energy level. Most of us have certain times of day when we are at our best. Block those times for tasks that require the most concentration.
- Don’t give in to distractions. When someone enters the room, or when a door slams, keep your concentration on what is in front of you.
- Ask yourself where the block is. If you are chronically unable to concentrate on a specific task, perhaps something about what you have taken on is not right for you. If that happens, consider whether you are being fair to yourself by forcing yourself to continue with it.
- Set time limits and set goals. Set strict time limits to complete subtasks. Enlist a colleague or coach to hold you accountability, to monitor your progress, and to apply gentle pressure when necessary.
- Know the big picture – but focus on the task at hand. If you keep mulling over the large, long-term consequences of your actions, your mind will shut down to keep you from becoming overwhelmed.
- Use caffeine and sugar sparingly. True, they stimulate concentration, but their effects last only 30 to 60 minutes. Instead, try five minutes of light exercise, which will perk you up with no side effects.
- Take breaks. You should be able to concentrate on one task for about 40 minutes. Then take a five to ten minute break. When you come back to the task you will be able to take a fresh look.
- Reward yourself. Know what reward you will get once you complete the task at hand.
YOUR CHALLENGE THIS WEEK: When you have to get something accomplished – simply, Follow One Course Until Successful, yes FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS and you will achieve even more.