Struggling to stay on task? Jumping from here to there and back to here, only to forget where here was. The good news is you are not alone. The bad news is if you don’t fix it, you will be alone (with a struggling business). Thanks to the amazing TPE Community, here are 63 tips on how to stay focused. OK, go ahead and read, and make sure to turn off the email while you read this…. you need to focus.
1. Fear–Plain And Simple
How To Stay Focused: In the heart of every successful entrepreneur, you’ll find fear. Nothing helps you focus quite like it. Harness it. Because if you aren’t able to focus, buckle down and accomplish what needs to be done for your business and your clients (in that order) – you’re finished. Game over.
2. Eat Something!
How To Stay Focused: To stay focused you need to eliminate distractions. You may have remembered to turn off the phone and close your door, but did you eat? It is hard to concentrate when your tummy is rumbling, so have a light snack before you settle in to work on your top priorities. Not only will you avoid the “When is lunch?” thoughts, a healthy snack will give you more energy and help you to think better, too.
3. Eat More Flaxseeds!
How To Stay Focused: Flaxseeds! Grind up a couple tablespoons (you can’t digest them whole) each morning and add it to oatmeal or a smoothie. The omega-fatty acids are crucial for keeping your brain sharp, and most of us don’t get enough of them. Over time, you’ll be able to focus more often and for longer.
4. Turn Off
How To Stay Focused: Shut and lock the door.
Turn off the phone.
Turn off e-mail until the task is done.
5. Words of Wisdom
How To Stay Focused: Post a focus statement above your desk. Examples:
It’s the economy, stupid –James Carville.
Just do it –Nike.
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop –Confucius.
I use a business card from a company called “Claire Works.” Good to see in case I forget what the heck I’m doing here ;).
6. Get Into The Spirit Of It
How To Stay Focused: I stay focused, when it’s difficult to do, by getting into the spirit of the subject matter through what I wear and how I set up my space when writing or preparing a speech. If I’m working on a Western, I’ll wear boots and jeans and have a figuring horse by my computer. If writing a spiritual book, I might have a Bible and my teddy-bear-angel next to my computer. I try to make it fun – and act AS IF I’m totally in the spirit of the subject matter.
7. The Power Of Grandma
How To Stay Focused: One of my inspiration for starting my online jewelry boutique was my Grandmother. I keep a picture of my grandmother with me to gaze at when I need to stay focused on important creative tasks. She is the reason that I started this journey and I want to keep the creative legacy going.
8. Stop Interrupting Yourself!
How To Stay Focused: Do yourself a favor – turn off the computer ding and disable the popup box that tells you, “You’ve got mail!” Like dogs salivating to Pavlov’s bell, when you hear the “email bell,” you race to check your messages, inadvertently interrupting yourself and taking focus away from the project in front of you. It will take you 8 to 20 minutes to get back into the groove. So if the bell never rings, then you’ll stay on track and complete that important report or finish reading the manuscript from your boss…
9. Spend Time Doing Nothing
How To Stay Focused: Do Nothing for 10mins each day – just watch the world go by! That’s when solutions to problems become blindingly obvious. That’s when you get new ideas. It’s called inspiration – and it arrives when your mind is still. When you’re still, your mind is fully focused on what’s important.
10. Forced to Focus With Freedom
How To Stay Focused: To stay focused, I used a nifty little app for the mac called Freedom which disconnects you from the internet for a pre-specified amount of time. No one can bug me with email or chat, and I am not tempted to get sidetracked by wasting time online. At the end of your selected offline period, Freedom reconnects to the network, and everything is back to normal. Now my most intrusive distractions from my most important task are not an issue.
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