Do you need to improve your focus? Have you even thought about it?
Which one of these resonates with you:
- I'm usually able to concentrate on the task that’s in front of me.
- I find myself feeling distracted, scattered, and totally unproductive a lot of the time.
If you're in the second camp, it’s likely time to work on improving your focus.
Life – and especially work – can be jam-packed full of distractions and disruptions, and if we don’t keep these things in check, we may start to experience consequences like:
- Missing deadlines
- Putting out low-quality work
- High levels of stress and anxiety
- Spending lots of time at the office with little to show for it
- Feeling discouraged and unproductive
So in this post, I’m going to share my top 3 tips for staying focused so you can achieve business success… regardless of how many distractions are vying for your attention!
3 Ways to Improve Your Focus
1. Use Productivity Apps
I don’t personally use a ton of different productivity tools. Too many tools can actually decrease your productivity. I believe your tools should work for you, not the other way around.
Because of that, I'm particular. But the tools I do use, I LOVE.
They keep me focused on achieving my goals, help with my day-to-day planning, and just generally keep me from becoming overwhelmed with all the many actions I need to take to make progress on my goals!
Awesome Productivity Apps to Consider
Some of my absolute favorite productivity apps are:
Google Calendar: While not technically a productivity app, Google Calendar is my preferred tool for making sure I never miss work or family obligations – and because my schedule is all locked in, my mind is freed up to focus 100% on the task at hand. Everything goes on my calendar, including my work block times, meals and downtime.
My calendar keeps me from overcommitting, helps me honor my work blocks and ensures I'm making time for self-care. If it's not on my calendar, it just doesn't happen.
Monday Monday is a project management tool my team and I use to create project workflows and document repeatable processes within my business. It keeps me ultra-organized, enables the team and me to work together efficiently and helps me improve focus as I get stuff out of my head and onto “paper”. Having everything structured means I can concentrate on what needs to happen right now so I am doing what matters and winning my day.
Focus Keeper: If you find yourself constantly getting distracted by email, social media, or even your dog, definitely give this app a try! Focus Keeper improves focus by helping you work in set chunks of time: 25 minutes of work, 5 minutes of break, 25 minutes of work, etc.
As a former squirrel chaser, I can't advocate enough for the short work blocks. It really works for me. Not to say that I don't work in longer blocks, but when it's a big, cumbersome task, breaking down work into smaller chunks inside of shorter time blocks helps improve my focus. When I'm focused, work gets done more quickly.
So, if you struggle with staying focused, try the shorter work blocks and definitely check this app out!
Need some more help with focus? Check out 10 Methods to Remove Distractions to Increase Your Productivity.
2. Declutter Your Work Area
This is a really low-tech way to free up some space – both literally and figuratively – for you to focus.
While I know some business owners swear a messy office doesn’t distract them, the research seems to disagree.
According to Dr. Libby Sander, our physical environment can affect not only our ability to focus, but our decision-making, stress levels, and even our relationships with those around us.According to Dr. Libby Sander, our physical environment can affect not only our ability to focus, but our decision-making, stress levels, and even our relationships with those around us.Click To Tweet
To improve our focus, Dr. Sander recommends regularly tidying our workspace, keeping a clear boundary between work and home (if you have a home-based office), and scheduling regular, periodic cleaning and organizing days to deal with messes that have fallen through the cracks.
Need more tips for keeping yourself organized and on-task? Check out my post, 5 Organization Tips for Overwhelmed Small Business Owners.
3. Set Goals (and Regularly Revisit Them)
When you regularly set goals in your business, this will naturally lead to improved focus and productivity.
Whether you have a short-term or long-term goal you’re trying to reach, the goals will keep you accountable and help you stay on task—even when distractions threaten your focus.Whether you have a short-term or long-term goal you’re trying to reach, the goals will keep you accountable and help you stay on task…even when distractions threaten your focus.Click To Tweet
One of my favorite tools for setting and achieving goals is a daily planner – especially the Daily Achievers' Weekly Action Planner. These planner pages are no frill or fluff. It has everything you need and nothing you don't.
I use this planner to help me take the right actions every day and every week so that I can achieve my annual goals. I can always see exactly where I’m at and what I need to do next.
Using it doesn’t mean I never get distracted (I wish!) — but it does mean I never stay distracted for long. A quick check of my planner gets me focused and back on track and fast!
If you’re looking for a planner you can use to improve focus, try the Daily Achievers' Weekly Action Planner. It's free and there's a short companion video that teaches you how to use if effectively and efficiently.
Are you ready to improve your focus this week? What steps are you going to take to do this? Let me know in the comments below!