A significant portion of my business coaching revolves around helping entrepreneurs regain focus, eliminate distractions, and become more productive. By productive, I don’t mean work more or harder. I mean, work smarter and gain better results within the time you’re already spending on your business.
It turns out that my experience aligns with research showing that time management is one of the biggest challenges for entrepreneurs right after funding and finding new clients.
That’s why, in this blog, I’m sharing 15 proven ways that will help you boost your performance.
How? Through the elimination of distractions and thus increased focus and productivity.
1. Turn off the TV
TV can be very distracting. You put it for background noise, but then you catch yourself looking at it every so often and watching for 10-20 mins at a time. Such chopped focus slows you down in completing anything you’re working on and lowers the quality of the output.
If you really need some background noise, put on relaxation music that can boost your productivity instead.
2. Spend less time on your phone
Nowadays, phones are even a worse enemy of focus than TV. Remember the last time you picked up your phone just to check an e-mail or a message and ended up spending 40 mins scrolling through your Instagram or Facebook feed? How many times a day this happens?
I’m sure you’ll be shocked when you do the math. So what’s the antidote? No phone near you when you’re concentrating on client work, project, or any other important task.
3. Clean your office/ desk
Disorder in our physical space is distracting and stressful. Decluttering your desk and tidying up your office will eliminate the need to clean and organize every time you try to sit down and focus on writing that blog.
Out of the never-ending to-do list, know which one of the items listed there are critical and which ones can wait or genuinely don’t have to be done. The key is to work on 20% of things that deliver you 80% of results.
5. Time block
What’s not scheduled doesn’t get done. If you don’t put your most important work into your schedule, others will fill it with their priorities. Don’t spend your days according to other people’s agenda. Be in control. Block time for things you want and need to do.
6. Plan your days ahead of time
This one ties well with the previous two. For you to prioritize and time block effectively, you need to do it ahead of time. Weekly planning is key to being proactive and preventing the daily fires. Working continually in the firefighter mode won’t grow your business. It will maintain it at best. Being proactive and strategic is what moves the needle.
7. Take regular breaks
Our brain can focus and be productive for about 90 mins at a time. After that, it gets tired and starts wondering. Trying to force it to do more and better becomes counterproductive. So take regular breaks. Even if they are 5-10 mins at a time. You’ll see that when you get back to your work, you’ll finish it much faster.
8. Turn off notifications on your electronics.
This point is self-explanatory. When you have a “ding” or “dong” going off every 2 mins from every app you have installed on your laptop and phone, it’s impossible to focus. This one is non-negotiable and has to go if you want to become highly effective. So, don’t wait and turn off all these notifications now 😊.
9. Don’t keep the phone in your work-study area when you want to focus.
Now better yet. Don’t keep your phone near you when you’re working on a project. Make it hard for you to access it. I’m sure you know why I’m suggesting this technique 😉.
10. Work on the most important things first thing in the morning.
Highly-effective people get their most important things done first every day. Because life happens to all of us. It’s easier to deal with it when your vital proprieties are completed before the day disintegrates.
11. Keep your Vision and dream life in mind.
When things don’t go the way, you want them to. When the results don’t show as quickly as you wish, remembering your WHY will help you keep going. Putting your Vision at the forefront of everything you do will also help you prioritize.
12. Avoid multitasking
Multitasking is overrated. Studies prove that our brain cannot focus on two cognitive tasks at a time. Yes, we can walk and listen to music because walking is automatic. We don’t need to think about it.
When we try to multitask on two cognitive actions: a meeting and a project, for example, our mind has to switch back and forth between them. The results: you don’t know what’s going on in a meeting, and the quality of project work is not that great either.
Be present in everything you do. And be intentional with what you choose to do.Maggie Perotin
13. Chunk big projects into smaller logical parts
Trying to do too much at once can be overwhelming. And that’s when procrastination creeps in. So when you think of a task to do and feel overwhelmed, it means you need to break it down to smaller parts. Once you feel excited about the work ahead of you, it’s time to focus on it 😊.
14. Establish routines
We are creatures of habit. And the most productive people use that to their benefit. Structure your days in ways that serve you. Create routines that will make it easy for you to focus, start any task, and take breaks. Following your internal rhythm helps.
15. 2-minute rule
This rule says that if a critical thing takes you less than 2 mins to do, do it right away. Don’t put it on your to-do-list as it will take you more time to write it down and then retrieve it and do it later.
Above I’ve given you many proven techniques that work. However, if you try to apply them all at once, you’ll get overwhelmed and actually do nothing. Which is not why I wrote this blog.
So my advice is: pick one. Start with the one tip that feels the easiest to implement. Do it for a week and then add another one. Continue until you feel you created high-productivity habits that work well for you.
At the same time, I know for some entrepreneurs it’s hard to DIY this even though they know what to do. So if you tried before and couldn’t establish systems that work for you or you know, message me.
With my help, we’ll create a system that works for you and your unique situation. You’ll save lots of time, stress & money trying to figure it out. My clients get amazing results when working with me, and you can too. Schedule a free discovery session first here.