We’ve all seen them. The people who completely miss a change in the traffic light because they’re looking at their phone. Or the person erratically slowing down and speeding up or swerving in and out of their lane. Of course, turns out they’re on their phone. Maybe that person has been you from time to time.
With phones, kids who want to see the other Disney movie on the screen in back, or bright digital billboards all competing for your attention, it may be hard to focus just on the task at hand: the road.
So where will you place your full attention?
For most drivers, the answer is easy: the road. We all want to get to our destinations safe so (most of the time) we choose paying attention to the road over paying attention to our phone.
Are you as selective with your focus when it comes to your business?
Just like when driving, there will always be a million things that compete for your attention and shift your focus from what matters in your business.
We could spend all day listing the things that will vie for your attention. And they all feel very real and very urgent in the moment. But the reality is most of them are a distraction from the few things in your business that actually matter.
Here’s the thing. Responding to all that stuff is seductive.
It makes you feel important. You’re gettin’ it done. You’re on top of things.
Actually, you’re running around in circles very fast and mistaking it for progress.
Productivity isn’t about getting a lot of stuff done. It’s about getting the right stuff done. And when you spend all your time reacting, you end up living your life according to other people’s priorities. It’s time to start living your life according to your priorities.
So how are we supposed to stay on track?
Staying focused when working is about as easy as meditating. And if you’re sitting here thinking, meditating? Just sitting still and thinking about nothing. How is that hard? Go ahead and try it. Getting to 30 seconds without an interrupting thought about what you’re doing next or how this posture is really starting to hurt your back is hard.
But just because focusing on the one right task at a time is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
When learning to meditate, you need to work your way up to it a little at a time. 30 seconds. Then 1 minute. Then 2. Before you know it, you’ll be able to summon laser focus on demand.
Works the same way in your business.
So let’s re-train our focus with the strategic hour.
That’s right. One hour.
One hour each day dedicated to focused work on something that will get you closer to your goals.
Pick a time and a place where you can avoid distractions. Turn off your phone. Silence the notifications on your computer. Close your office door and make it clear employees enter at their own risk during this time. If you can’t do that, come in early or work from some other location where your staff can’t find you.
Set a timer if you need to, and make sure you have some clear goals or intentions to work on.
Then get to work on that new product offer. Or the big marketing campaign. Or revising how you deliver your product. Work on that big strategic thing that will advance your business.
When that hour is up, then you can put it aside until tomorrow and get to all of that (meaningless) email chatter and other junk that steals most of your time.
It may seem like no time at all, but if you can commit to one hour of uninterrupted and focused work a day you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish in a week. Or a month. Or a quarter.
This is a lot like exercise for your brain.
When you start out, an hour will feel like a lot! You will be tempted to check your email, look at your Facebook feed, or take a quick trip to refill your coffee. You may spin around in your chair, or stare at the computer screen for what seems like forever when you look at the clock and think I’ve only been at this for 10 minutes!?
Don’t be embarrassed or discouraged!
All of us are constantly battling with trying to stay focused. Monks spend years of their lives working on their discipline and mental focus. So don’t feel bad if you’re not a monk your first day. As long as you’re trying, you are making progress.
You may think you don’t need to plan a strategic hour, but answer this:
When was the last time you intended to work on something important but never got to because of some distractions?
Yesterday? Thought so.
Did we get your attention? If you feel like you’re struggling to commit your full focus on your business, let us help!
We have experts to help you wrangle your thoughts and get you on track to productivity and results. Contact us today.
If you are having trouble knowing exactly where your business should be going or what you need to make your journey successful, we can help!
Book a free 1-hour Breakthrough Consultation with us.