Strategies For Staying Focused

If you are like most entrepreneurs, you’ve already outlined your goals and you know what you need to do to achieve them. Unfortunately, the path you need to take is often undermined by everything else around you— business invoicing, answering the phone, personal responsibilities, and even unintentional interruptions by friends and family. The problem isn’t that these distractions exist but that strategies for maintaining focus on your goals haven’t been implemented.

Your ability to hold your focus on your goals is key to your success in business. Without it, you chase squirrels and shiny pennies, are pulled off course by a never-ending onslaught of notifications, and take far too long to get important projects done. Practicing and learning to direct your attention to where it is needed most will allow you to be in command of reaching your business goals.

In today’s post, you’ll learn precisely what focus is and what it is not, how perpetuating focus will benefit you, the cost of losing focus, and three tips for maintaining focus on your goals.  
Focus is much more than the ability to hone in on one thing at the expense of ignoring everything else. It is, in fact, defined as the center of interest or activity—the CENTER, not the only. An entrepreneurial mindset that is goal-focused will not necessarily require neglecting everything else. Instead, the goal needs to become a lynchpin for the business with those other things operating around it.
Ultimately though, as a solopreneur, you need to maintain a sort of balance. It’s important to make time for yourself, for others, and for the bigger picture, if you are going to create space for staying focused on your goal.
If you are thinking about focus as the singular ability to not get distracted, you may be slightly misguided. You see, that’s actually willpower. Willpower includes the ability to delay working on things you desire over things that are necessary, resisting distractions, and concentrating on the benefit of future outcomes. While willpower may be key to maintaining focus, the two words are not synonymous. Think of willpower as learned self-restraint. That’s right, learned. Willpower and focus can be taught and improved with continuous practice.

Enhancing your ability to focus, while also exercising the willpower to stay with the project at hand, leads to enhanced performance over time and a higher likelihood of achieving your goals. But, if you don’t make time for those other elements of importance to yourself and your business, your mind will likely wander and your efficiency will diminish. Getting pulled off track wastes time and leads to frustration, disappointment, and even low self-esteem. Schedule time for those other things so that when it’s time to maintain focus on your goals, you are enabled to do so.

Here are 3 steps that will enable you to fully focus on your goals:

  1. Think on 3 separate levels. What do I need to be working on to achieve my goals? What do others need? What is the situation telling me?
  2. Ask yourself, What is most important right now? To what will I dedicate my singular attention to, and for how long before moving on to the next thing?
  3. When you are done with a highly-focused block of time, take a short break. Research shows that short breaks in your day increase focus and productivity.

As an entrepreneur, you likely have a lot going on and your attention is undoubtedly split between numerous tasks, obligations, and well, just the consistent technological noise that surrounds us in the 21st century. Now that you have a clear understanding of what focus is, you are set to harness it, increase productivity, and capture your goals!
What are most common elements that attribute to shifting your focus? Have you found a technique for shifting back or maintaining consistent focus? Answer in the comments.