If I were to be totally honest, I'd admit that I have trouble focusing sometimes. I guess I just did admit it. I'm not sure why it's a thing that I like to pretend it isn't a thing, but there you have it. Focus isn't always my number one skill. There's no shame in that, it's just how my brain's wired. I jump from thought to thought, topic to topic, because... well probably because I think quickly and my brain doesn't operate methodically like a computer. Multiple ideas come to me all at once without waiting their turn (so impatient!) and with no regard as to whether they're on topic or not. It's not always easy being inside my head. It can be a little disorganized and chaotic. #Shocker! Kinda loud, too, with every thought trying to be heard first. But such is the burden of brilliance!
Does this sound like you, even a little bit? I know I'm not the only one! The good news is there are ways to organize and channel all those thoughts and ideas in a useful way that'll make you look as brilliant on the outside as you actually are. All it takes is focus. If you can figure out how to better focus at work, you'll find yourself making better use of your time. And maybe more importantly, not wasting any of the good ideas you have because they got lost in the shuffle, or forgotten when your brain moved on to something else, like your next genius idea. Or the fabulous new shoes you're wearing.
Let’s Focus People!
So let's start by reminding ourselves why it's a good idea to be focused... in case your mind has wandered since the last paragraph. As I just said, we'd all love to make better use of our time, get more done, check sh** off our list. There's an obvious word for this: productivity. Also, when you're truly focusing on a task, you're better able to develop ideas and produce better quality work. Not sure if there's an obvious word for that. My brain's moving too fast for me to give it any thought. But both of these reasons sound like pretty desirable goals, right?
Here are some tips that I've found super helpful to tame and train my ADD brain to focus on one thing at a time, even when it wants to move at a mile a minute.
Write stuff down. I'm a big fan of lists: to-do lists; goals; ideas for my next project; cool things people say; movies I should watch, shows to binge; cocktails to make; restaurants to try; vendors worth looking at; apps to investigate; destinations for my next vacation; random, yet good, ideas that flash in my brain at inopportune moments. That last one is big. If you ever have an idea or remember something important when you're in the middle of something else — like a meeting or on a call — jot it down. Just enough info so you don't forget, and then, you won't! You can come back to it later when you're ready. But the beauty of putting it on paper is it'll get it out of your mind and allow you to remain focused in the moment.
Train Your Brain To Work Differently!
Do the icky stuff first. I'm not going to dwell on this one. I'm guessing you already know what I mean. Tackle the harder tasks early in the day while your mind is fresh, before you get bogged down by all of the day's difficulties and challenges. The upside is that you'll feel so much better once you've done the things you'd rather avoid.
Pay attention to your work schedule and setting. Are you a morning person? Then don't schedule an important meeting late in the day when your brain is ready to switch into relax mode. Are you starving an hour before lunchtime? (Being hangry is real, people! And I've been there!) Then don't expect yourself to be in peak mental condition until after you've eaten. Except... don't forget that most people are a little sluggish right after lunch too. Our energy levels tend to fluctuate throughout the day. Factor that in to your schedule to take advantage of your peak times. Also, an organized workspace can do wonders for helping you organize your thoughts and eliminate distracting visuals while you work. So tidy up that desk!
Every Day’s A Marathon, Not A Sprint!
Coffee, anyone? All of this focusing is mentally draining! The best way to avoid burnout is to take frequent breaks. Not long breaks, just frequent, short breaks to let your brain switch gears for a few minutes. Think of it as the work version of the run-walk-run approach to a marathon (which I've never actually done, but I've read about extensively). Break up the harder "running" with a "walk," which could be a literal walk, or coffee break, or phone call — just anything other than what you've been doing.
Build your focus stamina. Since I've used one exercise analogy, I may as well go for another. Focusing for extended periods of time — especially if you're not used to working that way — takes practice. It's something you'll likely have to work up to. So just like running or going to the gym, where you build your stamina over time, you can also increase your ability to focus for longer periods of time. Still take breaks, but train your brain to stay focused for longer stretches. Come on, feel the burn!
Be Oh So Quotable This Week!
Speaking of focus, if you're looking for something to help with pricing, keep more money in your pocket and take your business to the next level, we've got it right here! And it's FREE!
I always say running a business means the work never ends! Ain't that the truth? I bet your to-do list is a mile long! Make sure that the items at the top of your list are the things that relate to being more profitable. Everyone is so proud of being so "busy"...But Are You Making Any Money? Don't be too busy to focus!
Check out the summary of last week's business tips and motivational quotes from my Instagram page which you hopefully got to see in real time! If not, let's make sure we're following each other on Instagram!! So...here is this week's roundup of Instagram images of My Top Business Tips and Motivational Quotes.
Focus – Tip #1:
"One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals." – Michelle Obama
Focus – Tip #2:
"Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days." – Zig Ziglar
Focus – Tip #3:
"The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus." – Bruce Lee
Focus – Tip #4:
"You don’t get results by focusing on results. You get results by focusing on the actions that produce results." – Mike Hawkins
Focus – Tip #5:
"Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems." – Anthony J. D’Angelo
Let's talk! I'd love to hear about how you make yourself focus!
Have you trained your brain to focus? How do you stay on task when you're working? I would LOVE to hear from you! Anyhoo...I publish these business tips and motivational quotes to get you fired up for your work week!
Oh by the way, in case you're looking for something to help with time management, we've got this fun little quiz to test your productivity. Are you a Vodka & Red Bull? A Dirty Dirty? Or a plucky Blue Sapphire? Find out which cocktail you are by taking our quiz right now!
P.S. Of course that's not all we've got! Searching for more tips about running a business?
Then definitely take a look at these:
I'd love to hear your ideas! So please comment below and then SHARE!
Disclosure: The Party Goddess! is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through an amazon.com link. However, these are all products I highly recommend and support!