The world is a busy place these days. Remote work keeps us connected around the clock. Notifications are constantly vying for our attention. The 24-hour cycle of news is always flowing.
While there are many benefits to being a professional in the 21st century, it can also be hard to stay focused on one task at a time.
If you’re a business owner who struggles with a limited attention span, here are some tips to help you stay focused throughout the day.
Embrace “Deep Work”
If you want to focus and do your best work, silencing the white noise should be at the top of your priority list. The constant barrage of information makes it nearly impossible to stay zeroed in on a task for more than a few minutes at a time.
That’s where deep work can be a game-changer.
Deep work is a simple, elegant solution to the need to focus. All it consists of is performing activities while in a state of mind that is distraction-free. This allows you to focus and tap into the full power of your cognitive abilities.
If you want to reclaim the ability to focus during your work day, you need to schedule deep work times. Take these hours of the day to turn off your notifications, close your email, and tell your employees that you’ll be unavailable for the next hour or two. Then let the creativity and concentration flow.
Learn to Delegate
Effective leaders know how to delegate. Apple founder Steve Jobs is famous for succinctly summing up this concept by saying “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” While Jobs was talking about focusing on certain products, the truth of the statement rings true for all manner of leadership responsibilities.
If a leader allows themselves to become overstretched with minutiae and minor responsibilities, they cannot function effectively. Delegation provides a way to outsource duties and tasks that aren’t vital for a leader to perform.
Sometimes delegation happens internally. You might pass a job off to an employee or an executive assistant.
At other times, the thing being delegated is much bigger. Countless brands have outsourced marketing and distribution responsibilities to our team at TruLife Distribution as a way to keep their workload balanced and their company thriving.
Whatever it looks like, the ability to delegate is critical if you want to stay focused throughout your day.
Finally, it’s important to both introduce and maintain a sense of organization and structure if you want to focus. This should permeate throughout your leadership style.
For instance, as you delegate tasks, strive to be structured with your communication. Set deadlines. Follow up. Keep lines of communication open as you trust others with important responsibilities.
When it comes to your own tasks, it’s a good idea to create a personal CTS.
A CTS, or “commitment tracking system,” is a central location where you can collect, organize, and manage your responsibilities. It tracks all of your different tasks and removes “open loops” (that is, unfinished tasks that you can’t stop thinking about) from your mind. It also helps you quickly identify what is the most important thing to focus on at any given moment.
You can use a program like OmniFocus to create an effective CTS. Upload your various open loops. Set deadlines. Organize everything by priority. Then sit back and reap the benefits of an uncluttered and focused mindset.
Finding Focus in a Busy World
The world never stops moving — especially for an entrepreneur. As a business leader, you need to take control of the chaos if you want to operate in a productive and focused manner.
Scheduling deep work, delegating tasks, and getting structured are three powerful ways to restore a sense of calm and purpose to your day.