Last few weeks I have been thinking lots about focus. “Focus” is such a weird concept but it can change the way you think, plan and live.
When I got done evaluating last year I really asked myself; “what do I want to focus on this year?”
And to no one’s surprise, there was, of course, a list of things. But to really focus you can just have a massive list because that is not how focus works.
So just to give you a quick overview;
- Family and friends
Yes, business is not the first thing on this list. But without the first two, the last two are not even possible.
In my ideal world, my business would be able to support all of the above easily. So while it is not my first focus it is still a super important part.
Having “Focus” is how you finish projects from start until the end. It helps you be more productive and stay on course.
To be focused you need to be able to concentrate, make the right decisions, stay driven and know how to prioritize.
When working for yourself it is harder to stay focused because you are the one coming up with plans, time schedules and priorities. There is no one there to keep you in check but you.
We all lack focus some days. Maybe because you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t know what to do next or you are just not feeling it that day.
First 4 tips to get you to stay focussed before we go onto some more difficult tips and such;
1. Have a clear plan and clear goals!
I have talked about this loads of course but I think it is super important.
– Read more about planners and how to get more done with them here.
– Read more about setting achievable goal setting in this post!
If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know what to do?
Do you need to make a series of painting, finally make that landing page or start promoting your work more?
Step two of having great goals is always to have good plans to achieve those goals!
2. remove clutter and concentrate better
This is more for when you struggle to focus in the moment itself. But these are still great tips to improve your focus!
- Remove clutter from your mind and from your space. You don’t need loads of stuff on your desk. A clean space is a more organised mind.
- Similarly, it helps to keep a small notepad while working. Every time something unrelated pops up that you want to remember just write it down instead of keeping it in mind.
- Don’t try to multitask because it will not increase your productivity and it makes it harder to focus on any of the tasks you are combining.
- If you have trouble concentrating you can try some white noise in the background. My favourite white noise generator is noisli!
Or if you looking for something magical why not work in the Hogwarts Library!
- You can also remove yourself from distraction by going to a library or communal workspace.
- Try not work in a space that you would also relax in. If you can have a separate desk or something similar this can really help you!
3. Focus on positives
Being positive (but realistic) is a great way to stay focused. If you start thinking negative it is harder to stay focused on the tasks and the outcome.
Positive insights keep me going when things really get thought!
Similarly, don’t forget to celebrate successes and things that go well. If you are interested I also have a great post on how to use an attitude of gratitude in your business!
4. Know what and how to track
Tracking is a great way to know what is going on in your business. Pageviews, conversion rates, social media followers. Knowing what to track and how can help you loads in staying focused.
– Tracking numbers
Think of your pageviews email subscribers or similar numbers. You can write them down in your planner or download a printable. Whatever works best for you!
– Your time
Another important one is knowing where your time is going. You can use an extension to know where you are spending your time on the computer. Or use your planner to track it manually.
But be honest, so you actually know what is going on and how you can improve the use of your time if needed.
Another great one is the abundance tracker. This is something that I found in 2018 your best year yet by Lisa Jacobs. I love this planner and this concept.
You can read more about it in 6 things I do every day to grow my online business. Which is a lovely post in general so I would definitely recommend it to you!
20% effort 80% impact
This is one of the super important lessons floating around.
20% of the things you do, influence 80% of the outcome!
And these numbers keep coming up;
- On Pinterest, it is common to pin 20% your own stuff and 80% other peoples stuff.
- On social media, it is 20% self-promotion vs 80% other content
- In this post, Raelyn explains how this applies to your affiliate marketing.
- 80% of your income comes from 20% on your email list.
Keeping these numbers in mind helps you focus on the tasks and the persons that really matter.
The Urgency square or Eisenhower principal
This is a great way to learn how to focus on the right things. Or how to prioritize. The principal is super simple. You make a list of tasks; you can take you to do list for this and you divide a square in 4. the four categories are;
- Important and urgent.
- Important but not urgent.
- Not important but urgent.
- Not important and not urgent.
In order of importance and which go first.
Need some more help on how this works and how it can help you? This post explains it all!
Organising your tasks this way helps you to;
- Prioritize (and recognition of the important tasks!)
- Delegate (and knowing when to ask for help!)
- Organise your to-do’s
My biggest problem (like most people) is that category 3 often feels more important because of the urgency. But getting better at recognising these tasks helps you find creative solutions.
For example; asking help or delegating the task or finding a more effective way of dealing with it.
Labels of impact
Similar to the method above this helps me organize my tasks. Whenever I have an idea, be it business or artwork I always try to give it a label of importance or impact.
Say I have an idea for a blog post that is evergreen, well researched and quite unique. Then this means this post gets a 3 for high impact posts.
If the idea I have is quite shallow or is done a lot, that idea gets a 1. For everything in between, I use 2.
(Because I use trello I actually have a coloured label system for this which makes it a super easy overview.)
1. not every day has to be productive
Lots of good things happen when we are not working or focussing. Being stress-free is good for mind and body. Free time helps your increase creativity and thinking outside of the box. So make sure you make take that time!
2. Not everything works for everyone
Like many things not everything works for everyone and part of life is finding what works for you!
3. keep a record, re-evaluate and tweak!
This is the best way to build systems and habits that work for you. Whenever you do things and try things make a record of them. Have a good moment to re-evaluate them and tweak anything that doesn’t work!
And repeat this!
So what do you struggle most with when it comes to focus? Netflix? Youtube? (Cat-videos like me?)
Hey, why not help other to have a great year as well by sharing this post! I think there is a tip in this post for everyone!
And like I said, everybody struggles with focus sometimes so this could be super helpful!