One of the biggest problems with entrepreneurs is staying focused, not on a goal, but on an activity, maintaining hyper-focus for a short period of time. By learning how to hyper-focus your attention, you can blaze through projects and get more done in less time. This is especially valuable when the focus is on a revenue generating activity!
Here are some guidelines to keep you better focused on your tasks at hand:
1. Understand how you work
Everyone has his or her own tricks for getting work done. Personally, I like to have music on while I’m working, and I have found that heavy bass music with a great upbeat tempo, but not very many words, which I find distracting, is my preferred choice. I also enjoy Ke$ha. Now, I know many of you might be thinking: “Whaaat?!” Let me explain. I love her music, and if you have ever seen her perform, you know that she gives everything she has to her music. I find that level of dedication to be inspirational. If you feel inspired while you are focusing, you are going to see better results.
On the opposite end of the sound spectrum, there are people who need complete silence in order to stay focused. Perhaps, you are one of these people. If there is any music playing, you will not be able to accomplish any work at all. Know who you are.
2. Turn off distractions
This is critical!! You must—not “should”—you MUST turn off the following with no exceptions:
- Social media
- Friends, family, roommates, etc.
3. Break your hyper-focused sessions into reasonable chunks.
Everyone can stay focused for different periods of time. I challenge you to figure out how much time you can focus and still remain effective. For most of you, that period of time is only going to be for 15 to 30 minutes, but however long works for you, stick to that. After each session, make sure you take a break for at least ten minutes. Get a drink of water. Do five quick push-ups. Use the restroom. Take a brisk walk down the hall. Stand and stretch in front of a window while admiring the view. Let your brain reset, and let yourself get ready for another hyper-focused session.
During this “downtime,” you can also do things like respond to emails, return phone calls, and answer any “quick questions.” Your hyper-focused time is not the time for these activities.
4. Set a task for each hyper-focused session
Select one thing you want to focus on getting done or accomplishing per session, and go to town on it. It is the only thing you will work on during that single hyper-focused session. There will be no other activities, tasks, or things to complete during that session. By selecting just one specific task, you will be better able to focus on it and to complete it. If that one thing is going to require more time than you have the ability to stay hyper-focused, break that thing into smaller chunks, and address them one at a time until you have completed the larger goal.
5. Reward yourself
Or as fans of the show Parks and Rec would say “Treat Yo-Self!!” After you have successfully accomplished the goal your hyper-focused session was meant to achieve, reward yourself. Perhaps your reward will be something small, like going to get that latte. Perhaps your reward will be something big, like going out to dinner with friends.
The specific reward is not as important as being able to hold yourself accountable for your goal and focusing your time on achieving and sticking to that goal. At the end of the day, you will feel much more success in having reached your goal than you will from any reward.
After implementing these hyper-focus sessions throughout your day, you are going to find the results to be quite staggering. The world has given us so many distractions that you may even come to enjoy your time away from everything. Engage in as many of these sessions as you can each day for maximum results and maximum productivity. Before you know it, you will be the Yoda (a master) of hyper focus!
Now it’s your turn! What is your favorite music to listen to? What gets you in the hyper focus mood? Tell me in the comments below as I’d love to know!