Entrepreneurs have a lot on their shoulders between managing staff, overseeing operations and making plans for the future. They are often the X factor in a business and may be the one that most clients identify as the embodiment of the business. Staying focused and mentally sharp during long work days and hectic meetings can help entrepreneurs tackle mounting challenges more effectively, since they are better able to achieve objectives laid out in stringent business plans.
Certain activities may allow for interruptions, disruptions or multitasking. Meanwhile, other duties require a higher-level stratum capability and demand entrepreneurs’ complete concentration. No matter the type of task at hand or skills being used, business builders must work at staying focused to reduce errors and oversights while driving innovation and efficiency. Companies at any stage of development cannot afford to waste valuable time or money on inefficient workflow. Similar to the way employees are expected to avoid distractions and concentrate on their specific roles in the company, so too are entrepreneurs tasked with completing all jobs they choose to take on with great mental stamina and concentration.
Why Focus Matters
Business leaders operate in a chaotic environment, with several decisions, problems and demands facing them at every turn. This distracting environment makes it very easy for entrepreneurs to lose focus, get sidetracked and leave many projects unfinished. The constant disruptions to workflow and efficiency will often result in costly delays and errors that can greatly hold back a company from advancing or expanding into new markets. Look out for warning signs of a less-than-focused state of mind that could quickly turn a productive workday into hours of more work in the future.
Entrepreneurs demonstrating inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsivity traits are often guilty of not paying adequate focus to priorities throughout the day. When these weaknesses are identified, business builders must find a way to play up their strengths and downplay their individual challenges in order to increase focus and concentration. When projects and tasks being worked on play into business leaders’ best traits, it will be easier to get focused and get into a flow to enjoy hours of highly productive work.
How can you work to achieve this state of concentration? Here are a few techniques to try:
What makes you tick?
Entrepreneurs must understand the skills and limitations of themselves, as well as each employee, so as to properly assign tasks they can complete quickly and efficiently to benefit the company. Likewise, business builders must assess their own talents and learning style to properly select duties that will move a company forward, not slow down processes. When an entrepreneur has identified his or her own learning style, workflow and schedules can be organized to play into the strengths. If a business builder is a better visual learner than auditory processor, for example, information and tasks should be presented with tangible documents or visual aids. This will help business leaders stay focused on tasks by reworking the way jobs are conducted for optimal performance.
Break up tedious tasks
No matter your personality or mental stamina, extremely redundant or time-consuming tasks can often seem impossible to finish. Even the most invested entrepreneur who is truly dedicated to making the company a success no matter what will come across a tedious task that cannot be completed in one sitting. When these annoying, burdensome challenges arise, business builders should acknowledge their limitations and allow themselves to break up the task and re-energize through a brief time out. In the midst of a tedious job when you feel you are about crack, take a 15-minute break, walk around the office, get some water and try to get the blood flowing again. The short burst of activity and focus on something else will help clear the mind and rejuvenate the body, allowing the entrepreneur to re-approach the task with more energy and concentration.
Permit some fidgeting
Just as a brisk walk through the office or around the block will help you power through tedious tasks, allowing yourself to fidget every now and again will also benefit concentration efforts. Sitting through a long presentation, business meeting or other activity when you would rather be working on more pressing projects for the company can be more than just frustrating. There are many physical activities you can try to help maintain focus. The small act of squeezing a stress ball, playing with putty or even doodling on a notebook can help relieve stress and free up mental energy for what is happening now. You can even consider walking up and down the stairs or cleaning up your desk while on the phone as beneficial fidgeting to enhance mental focus.
Try some tricks of the trade for staying focused during the workday so each hour is as productive as possible. Your employees will follow your example, enabling your firm to avoid costly errors and delays.
If you enjoyed this article, please check out the other parts of this series on Staying Focused:
Part 1: Concentrate on Business
Part 3: Condition Your Thought Process
Part 4: Regain Concentration