10 Ways To Stay Focused & Get More Done Every Day

November 6, 2014

10 Ways To Stay Focused & Get More Done Every Day



In the evening while reflecting on your busy day, do you feel like you were productive? Every day is filled with so many distractions, such as, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, phone calls, kids, pets, errands (I could go on), and suddenly it’s Friday. You look back over the week and wonder “where did all the time go” all the while your to-do list just keeps growing.

Let’s look at some simple steps you can take to help you stay focused so you can tackle your to-do list and accomplish your goals.

  1. Track Your Hours. How are you spending your day? Keep track of not only the hours you work but what you do during those hours. You can then look it over and see where you are spending most of your time. Are the tasks you focused on getting you closer to your goals? Or are you busy with tasks that are time wasters? Being busy isn’t the same as being accomplished. We can be busy all day but not accomplish anything important. Do this for a week and then analyze it, Cut out the time wasters and you’ll find your productivity sky rocket!
  2. Determine When You’re At Your Best. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Work with your natural inner clock. I prefer mornings so I am up and at it bright and early. I find I get the most accomplished early in the day when I have the most energy. The beauty of owning your own business is that you can work when it works for you. When my boys were little, I would work early mornings before they awoke and then again while they napped and then again after they went to bed. Maybe you’re a night owl and you start your day after dinner and work into the night. Whatever you do, keep your sleep pattern as consistent as possible to maximize your energy.
  3. Establish a Routine. Just because you’re your own boss doesn’t mean you should take time off whenever you want. Sleep in whenever you want. Take long lunches. These habits are not conducive to a successful business. When I first started my business, some of my friends would call in the middle of the day to simply chat or invite me to lunch or an afternoon of shopping. When I would say “I can’t, I’m working”, they would respond with “Oh, come on. You’re your own boss, blah, blah, blah. Especially when first starting a business you have to be dedicated. Treat it like a REAL JOB. Set hours to work and stick to it.
  4. Break Down Your Goals. Goal setting is a must for everyone but especially a business owner. Once you have set your goals for the year. Break them down into intentional activities. How are you going to accomplish that goal? What do you need to do in order to reach that goal? Once you have a list of intentional activities for your goals, it can still feel overwhelming. Break it down even further. Create daily tasks that will get you closer and closer every day. You will build momentum towards your goals by accomplishing these smaller activities.
  5. Plan the Night Before. Every evening create a list of intentional activities for the next day. Ask yourself, “which are the most important activities that will move me closer to my goal?” Pick the top three activities then go after them with laser focus first thing when you arrive at work. This will set you up for success and you will feel accomplished.
  6. Don’t Be A Puppet. This goes back to #3. If you have customers/clients that know you are at every beck and call, you will find yourself working when you should be spending time with your family, exercising, etc. When you clock out for the day, seriously, clock out! Don’t check your emails or voicemail until you are back at work the next day. When you unplug from your business, you will be recharged and energized the following day. As a business owner, it is crucial not to let your business run you, you need to run your business.  Keep your life in balance….all work and no play…well, you know the rest.
  7. Just Say No. Oh Lord, did I struggle with this one…still do at times, 20 years later.  If you have a full schedule and are on track to meet your deadlines and goals, just say “no” to any inquiries that are not in line with your plans. Ask yourself, “is this going to move me forward towards my goal or is this a distraction?” Trust me, it will become easier to discern what will help or hinder you as you grow your business. Saying no also becomes easier.
  8. Streamline Repetitive Tasks. Analyze your business and see if there is any way to simplify tasks you find yourself doing over and over. For example, if you have customers/clients constantly asking the same questions, maybe it’s time to put a FAQ page on your blog so you can easily refer them to it. I use these FAQ as topics for writing articles then I can refer people to that article with a link in an email. What a time-saver this can be!
  9. Set a Time for Phone Calls & Emails. Again, don’t be at everyone’s beck and call. Answering the  phone in the middle of creating a painting or writing an article can set you back 30 minutes to an hour because you lost your focus and momentum. Set a time in your day when it’s convenient for YOU to make all your phone calls and answer all your emails.
  10. Make a Dream Board. There’s no better way to stay focused than to have your dream board visible in your studio or office. Not that you sit and gaze at it until you wander off into day-dream land. But look at it first thing when you arrive at work. This will set the tone for your day. Throughout the day, just by having it in sight, it will creep into your subconscious and you’ll find yourself on the fast track to success. What is a dream board? Cut out pictures of your dream life, your dream car, dream house. Cut out words and inspirational messages. What fires you up? Put that on your dream board. Anything you want in your future, put it on your dream board. Visualizing your life the way you want it will keep you on track throughout the day, week, month, year until those pictures on your dream board become your reality.

With these 10 simple steps you’ll take charge of your business and success will be yours!

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Tell me where you struggle to stay focused. Which of the 10 steps listed above will help you most?

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