How To Improve Your Concentration And Get More Done
A really simple, smart working practice ...
POSTED BY JACQUI FROST ON 22/10/2015 @ 9:00AM
If you're a business owner who's always complaining that you don't have enough time, then this blog post is for you! But be warned, because I'm going to give you some 'tough love'. That's because I think a lack of time is a convenient excuse for not getting enough done ...
Let me explain why. We all get the same number of minutes in the day. If you look around, you'll notice plenty of businesses that are implementing a disproportionate amount of 'stuff'. Now these businesses aren't blessed with some mysterious control over time. Instead they likely use their time effectively, so they can tick more off their to-do list.
"A common observation is the number of people who confuse busy with productive!"
Don't make this mistake! Just because you've not stopped all day, doesn't mean your day has been successful. You see, if you spend all your day in 'reactive' mode (where your focus is determined by other people's agendas), how can you hope to get the really important stuff done?
Be honest now, you know the sort of distractions I mean:
Jumping on an email the second it pops into your inbox.
Checking in on Facebook every five seconds.
Answering the phone whenever it rings.
Falling into the Internet abyss when you're supposed to be researching.
Of course, each of these activities has some business value. After all:
That email could bring a valuable new lead.
Your social timeline could throw up a new opportunity.
That phone call could result in a BIG sale.
That article you stumble across could contain an insight that has a surprising impact.
But all of the above are mere possibilities. What's more, each of these will be waiting for you at a time of your choice. You don't have to spend your day bumping from one distraction to the next. Instead, you can set your own agenda.
Who's controlling your business day?
If you're serious about achieving real business success, you absolutely MUST take control of what happens minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour and day-by-day. Sure, this kind of focus needs discipline - and concentration. It's not easy to stay highly focused on the most pressing priorities. It's challenging to distance yourself from the inevitable distractions and work methodically through your to-do list. It can be a struggle to sit tight and avoid multitasking.
But the rewards are clear. After all, did you know it could take up to 20 minutes to refocus your attention after you've been distracted?
And multitasking is a myth. You can't work on two tasks at the same time - instead you're forcing your brain to switch from one task to another. What a waste of time and effort.
"Be aware that your behaviour could be undermining your success!"
You may be concerned that you'll miss something important if you've shut yourself off from the normal means of communication. And you're right to be. But here's the thing. It's incredibly simple to ensure your business doesn't stop - just because you've chosen to be unavailable:
You can schedule a time into your working day to answer all emails.
You can catch up on social in the evening or dip in and out when you have a cuppa.
And your phone? Well, you can easily divert your line to a Call Handling service. That way you'll have peace of mind that you'll NEVER miss a call. For 'belts and braces' you can even arrange for your Call Handler to give detailed 'out of office' messages AND schedule return calls at a time convenient to you and your caller.
Simple! So what's it to be?
Please don't let your business suffer because of a lack of concentration. And don't let the fear of missing out prevent you from creating quality, focused time to get the important stuff done. Instead, implement strategies to stay laser focused, avoid distractions that slow you down and concentrate on one thing at a time, so you can achieve your goals.
Until next time ...
How do you get the really important stuff done? What are your trusted tips and tactics? Please share your thoughts in the comments. And if you want to chat about outsourced Call Handling, you can speak with me on 01604 529170.
THE OFFICE GENIE
I had a successful 20-year career as an office manager and personal assistant; however, my job was no longer focused on the customers and became all about the numbers. My customer-focused background began when I was 12 in my father's independent carpet showroom. I had a spell with Marks & Spencer before I moved into office-based jobs. I have worked as a training administrator, a PA and PA/office manager in a variety of industries from manufacturing to the IT education sector.
Meanwhile, my husband Ian, a successful Northampton based Master Decorator and owner of Rainbow Frost, was losing out on work due to missed phone calls. When he was busy, callers were getting his voicemail but weren't leaving messages. I knew how to fix that problem!
I quit my job and took on Ian as the first client of The Office Genie in November 2005. Word quickly spread with the second client coming on board just one week later. The majority of our clients since have come to us through word of mouth recommendations and networking referrals. Over the years, I have become well connected in Northampton and Milton Keynes.
Outside of work I enjoy swimming, roller skating, the theatre and my cats and dogs!