Focus is one of the most important attributes of business success. Merriam Webster defines focus as a center of activity, attraction, attention and point of concentration. Focus increases productivity. Focus is the ability to pay attention to things that help and avoid distractions that hurt. Focus is integral in all aspects of thinking; perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem solving and decision making. Focus improves your ability to think. Better thinking produces better quality and more efficient work. Dr. Jim Taylor, adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco, wrote a great article on focus’ key to business success. Here’s some of the ways to increase your focus at work.
De-clutter your mind. A cluttered mind can’t focus. A cluttered mind is filled with distractions. The less clutter you have in your mind, the better you’ll focus. Prioritize your tasks. Multi-tasking is a misnomer. We can only do one thing at any given time. Pick one task to focus on at a time. Address tasks in priority order. Do what needs to be done now and today. Put off what can be put off until another day. Delegate what you can delegate. Don’t do what doesn’t need to be done. Clear your mind of anything that doesn’t relate to the work at hand. That includes personal stuff also.
Create a focused workspace. De-clutter your workspace. A disorganized desk and office filled with junk creates distractions, confusion and chaos. Simplify your desk and office by removing unnecessary clutter. Organize and file necessary files. Discard unnecessary material. A simple work space is more focused and less distracting. Only use what you need at the time to serve the specific task at hand. Turn off or remove the TV and radio. Close the window blinds.
Master your technology. Leverage technology to aid in your productivity while minimizing distractions. Turn off all notifications on your computer, smartphone, tablet and voicemail to eliminate distractions so you can focus on the task at hand. Also, minimize or eliminate interruptions from coworkers.
Focus on the 4 P’s. The first P is perform. Get what you need to create the environment that allows you to accomplish the task at hand with optimal performance. The second P is process. Focus entirely on what you need to do complete the task at hand most efficiently and effectively. Only focus on the part of the process that you are on at the time. Don’t focus on the outcome. The third P is present. Focus on the here and now rather that what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. The only time that exists is the present. The fourth P is productivity. Focus only on the things that increase your productivity and block out distractions that decrease productivity.
Now you know why focus is so important to business success and how you can improve your focus. Are you doing that? Why not? If you improve your ability to focus and block out distractions, you can perform consistently at higher levels and be more effective and efficient in all of your work efforts. The results are better quality work, more success and achievement of your goals. Here’s to your future focus and success. Let me know how I can help.