Focus Hacks for the Entrepreneur
Focus Hacks for the Entrepreneur
Now we’re long past New Year’s Resolutions! As the spring months progress, and we get closer to summer, motivation to focus and achieve wanes. So, today I’m going to share some focus hacks that I use to help me be more productive and avoid distraction.
1. Set Your Intentions for the Day
Setting intentions helps us focus and prioritize our to-dos. If we don’t have any intentions, it’s much harder to get started on anything. Think of this as mini-goals each day for what we’d like to accomplish. Then we can celebrate our wins and cross them off the list.
Decide when to set intentions.
Some of us like to set our intentions, for the next day, in the evening before bed. This can also be done in the morning when we wake, are fresh and ready to go. Before diving into urgent emails and the like, make a list, and prioritize the top 3. [ctt_hbox link=”o9AfQ” via=”no” ]Make an intention, decide on your priorities, and your end result through visualization. [/ctt_hbox] Remember to always have gratitude for already having lived that desire, just an athlete visualizes their end result and their win, we must do the same. [ctt_hbox link=”XUO6H” via=”no” ]”Go there in the mind and we’ll go there in the body.” [/ctt_hbox]
Related Blog: 6 Ways to Stop Quitting What You Start
2. Remove Distractions
This may seem like one of those obvious focus hacks, but removing distractions is SO important.
We all know that our phones are one of our biggest distractions. 😅 Seriously, I get it. It’s become a habit for us to reach for our phones 24/7. I remove my phone from my vision or throw it in my drawer to take away the trigger to check my phone every time a notification pops up.
Let’s talk about social media too. How many times have you gotten a notification that someone commented on a post and then the next thing you know, you’ve been surfing for 30 minutes! Holy time suck! Social media can be a black hole for production. Turn off notifications on your phone during your work day so you can focus on the task at hand without distractions.📱
What about those of us who work from home or are in a noisy office? EAR PLUGS! Listen, I sleep with them sometimes. No shame. Removing a noisy environment is crucial if we are constantly distracted. Since my door bell rings constantly and my dog goes nuts barking, I have been known to put a sign out that says, “please don’t ring doorbell, baby sleeping!” (At one time this was true so I just kept the sign.) 🤫
I also listen to instrumental music with headphones. When I’m at the office or even when traveling on airplanes, I can get a ton of work done, plus, music helps keep my energy up and my body moving while I’m sitting still.
3. Make a List of Your Unproductive Habits
James Clear, writer of Atomic Habits, tells us that bad habits are attached to other actions. If your phone rings, do you have a bad habit of checking social media after? Make yourself aware of this. If we can become aware and control the inner dialogue through presence and mindfulness, we have better control over our bad habits, thoughts and actions.
You’re in the middle of a huge project and you get an email from Aunt Sally or a coworker that isn’t urgent. Resist the impulse to reply right now. Keep your focus on one task, once completed you can handle other miscellaneous items. We will always be bombarded with urgent tasks that aren’t important. This is why you have your list of what’s important to do first, then everything else will move to the next day if needed.
4. The Mother of Focus Hacks – The Pomodoro Technique
Pomodoros are a huge mindset hack when we’re trying to get work done. Instead of opening our laptops and hitting it hard until the lunch hour, block time to work in shorter sprints with frequent breaks. One pomodoro is 25 minutes on, 5 minutes off. So, all in all, 30 minutes. When we’re focusing on work, we can calculate the number of pomodoros it will take to complete a task, no matter how big.
For example, if writing that blog takes us 3 hours, we know that it will take us 6 pomodoros. Then, we set intentions for each pomodoro. Maybe a blog outline will take us 1 pomodoro. Set the timer, and for the first 25 minutes, focus solely on the outline. Then, take a 5 minute break. (Sometimes I like to work through these if I’m really feeling it.)
Get up and move around! Getting out of our seats can increase focus. Standing desks aren’t just some hip California trend, science says that, we focus better when standing. This is why people like to walk around or stand up when they are talking on the phone because moving increases focus.
Standing desks are affordable and highly functional. If you work from home you will find all kinds of spaces that function as a standing desk. For instance, my counter top in my kitchen is the perfect height to stand and work. So is the buffet cabinet in my office. Especially later in the day, when you feel fatigued, try standing and working, as well as taking pomodoro breaks to take a walk or do some stretching right where you are. Movement and blood flow wake up our brain.
6. Focus on Completing ONE Thing at a Time
I let long to-do lists overwhelm me or better yet, no list at all! When you keep all your to-do’s in your head, it feels much bigger than it actually is. When you take everything out of your head and put it on paper, it is more manageable and you get more accomplished. This also allows you to prioritize and put the most important tasks at the top, so you can focus on one immediate task.
Although the pomodoro technique helps with this, by training our brains to complete one thing with speed, it’s not for everyone. Write the to-do list for the week, and then break it down into days, but be realistic. If you know that one task will take 6 hours to accomplish and you only have 3 hours a day to work on your business, acknowledge that this is your focus for today and tomorrow.
[ctt_hbox link=”j41CU” via=”no” ]Get started is better than not starting at all. #entrepreneurquotes #motivation[/ctt_hbox]
Related Blog: I Had a Bad Case of Comparitis – Here’s What I Did
7. 5 Second Rule
The 5 second rule is one of my favorite focus hacks. It says that:
“If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.” – Mel Robbins
If you don’t take action, your mind will remain stagnant and you won’t accomplish anything. As soon as you get an idea, act on it by writing it down, schedule it in your calendar and add a deadline for accomplishment. Otherwise it could be next year when you remember what you were going to do. I like to keep a note pad next to me to make notes anytime something pops up!
[ctt_hbox link=”go9O9″ via=”no” ]You can try all kinds of focus hacks, but the bottom line� is, if you don’t get enough sleep, eat healthy, or exercise, you’re not going to feel like doing anything productive.[/ctt_hbox]
Fuel Your Body
If you eat pizza for lunch, odds are you energy will be in the toilet, figuratively speaking. I know I function best on salads at lunch with healthy lean protein like nuts, pumpkins seeds, hemps seeds, grilled chicken or shrimp. This keeps my energy high and removes the need to caffein-ate my way through the afternoon.
Move Your Body
Exercise daily or at least 3 to 4 times a week will produce mental and emotional energy. I feel best even if I just take a 20 minute run or a 45 minute walk after dinner. Pick your favorite way to move your body. Whether yoga or weight lifting, all high producing entrepreneurs make physical health a priority to create better productivity.
Rest Your Body
Set your phone to tell you it’s time to go to sleep. This is crucial to remind you it’s bedtime. Even if you are in the middle of watching your favorite show, you’ll be aware you are interrupting your brain’s ability to focus well the next day. Then you can decide then if you want to affect your productivity the next day. Most of the time, it’s not worth it, unless it’s the final episode of Game of Thrones, in which case, I’ll give you a pass! ⚔️
What are some of your favorite focus hacks? I know you have some good ones up your sleeve and we want to know. Leave a comment below to get in the conversation and join the party. ✨🙏✨