Focusing is hard, especially when you’re trying to run a business. You’ve got so many things to do, so many things that need your attention, and yet you may have a hard time focusing on even just one of them.
“Focus is vital for any business leader who wants to be productive and keep their business running smoothly.” – Cameron Herold
Why is it so hard to focus and how do you do it?
Find the Perfect Environment
There is no doubt that being a CEO is hard.
Running your own business comes with a lot of pressure, and it’s crucial to take time to think and be away from the distractions of day-to-day business operations.
This involves finding an environment that refreshes your focus. Sometimes your office can feel stagnant and your work begins to feel just the same. Find a new environment in your building, or find a coffee shop, park, etc that helps you feel refreshed and switches work life up enough before it becomes tedious. You want to escape there once or twice a week to improve productivity, which in turn, will also improve the quality of your work.
Give Yourself Strict Focus Days
Dedicating ‘Strict Focus Days’ for yourself is extremely helpful (it’s something I still do regularly). Slowing down one a month or once a quarter so that you can sit quietly and obsess about the future helps to fuel more thoughtful decisions about your business (whether it is about the present or the future).
During your ‘Strict Focus Days,’ it’s good to think about the following questions:
- Where could you be focusing more in your business?
- Who could you be building better relationships with?
- Who are your biggest clients? How could you get more business from them?
- Are you taking time to really focus without the trappings of day-to-day life distracting you (laptop, email, phone)? If not, you should think about taking more focus days to disconnect from the rest of the world and be alone with yourself and your thoughts.
“I like to carve out blocks of time that I’m going to be unplugged, which is sometimes frustrating to the rest of my team. But I find that it’s hard to do creative, thoughtful tasks when you are interrupted by emails and text messages. I like to carve out two to three hours, where I do a deep dive into writing a piece or working on a speech. That is the most effective hours of my entire day.” – Randi Zuckberg
Take a Focus Break
Once in a while, everyone needs a break, even and especially business leaders. These breaks will help regain your focus and start fresh when you return.
This type of break involves going somewhere far from work that relaxes you. This could be a chair by a fire in a lodge in the middle of nowhere. No people, no phone, no email, just you watching the snowfall outside the window.
Everyone needs an escape to regain focus. This involves escaping somewhere in your office to think once a week, to monthly ‘Strict Focus Days,’ to full-on escapes into the wilderness. Each one of those things is beneficial to you and your business, so give it a try!
Where do you escape to focus? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2010 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.