The article is contributed By Sonica Aron, Founder and managing Partner, Marching Sheep.
Laying the foundation stone of your business, running it well, and ensuring that it succeeds requires hard work, patience, and perseverance. Being a Founder, it becomes imperative and a prerequisite that you possess have a variety of skills, including leadership, managerial, financial planning, creativity, innovation, as well as resilience. However, you would often come across a lot of distractions in today’s digital-driven and unpredictable times in the form of social media or the disruptions induced by the pandemic. This is what your real test is- staying distraction-free and focusing on your work! Cutting through the clutter and steering your firm through crises to a brighter tomorrow is indeed possible if you have tenacity, well-defined goals, and a vision for the future. Let’s take a closer look at a few tips on how to avoid distractions and stay focused.
Tips to Avoid Distraction and Stay Focused
Training Your Brain
Distractions are goal-killers, and they sneak into your working hours unknowingly. Smartphones, social media, and continuous notifications disrupt your workflow and divert your focus away from the important tasks at hand. When you throw in a situation like COVID-19, these distractions multiply. For instance, the sudden transition to work from home was accompanied with a slew of unexpected distractions, including children, dogs, spouses, OTT platforms, and so on. Eliminating the external distractions isn’t possible. But you can focus on the ones that you can control. One easy way could be turning off email notifications and checking your inbox at fixed times every day. Keeping your phone on mute, putting it away for a while, or even setting a timer for taking breaks could also help you maintain distance from the distractions. The best approach however is to concentrate completely on your work when you're performing office tasks. Focusing on developing your time management skills and practicing mindfulness will definitely reap benefits not only during crisis but in the long run as well.
According to many recent pieces of research, a majority of corporate executives struggled with mental health issues during the pandemic. Yet several of those who needed treatment did not seek it. What needs to be understood is that neglecting your physical and mental health can lead to a cascade of additional issues, such as medical visits, insomnia, poor nutrition, and unstable relations, to mention a few. These are all attention-getters and can further become distractions in the long run. The bottom line is that you cannot afford to overlook your physical or emotional health. Prioritizing yourself and incorporating self-love and self-care activities in your routine will rejuvenate you and empower you to divert all your attention to your work.
Staying Focused on The Core Values
It goes without saying that you would have set clear values to drive your actions and establish exactly what your firm stands for when you were just starting out. These core values help build the strong foundation of your business and contribute in its success as well. In such unprecedented times, it's easy to lose sight of your guiding values, especially when your company's survival is on the line. However, you need to stay firm on your beliefs as they will guide you on the right path ahead.
Taking on More Complex Tasks
If you're facing difficulty while concentrating, then it’s likely that your work isn’t engaging or challenging enough. For instance, routine data input for long hours can lead to boredom and tend to make us feel unproductive. You may end up feeling as if you've been working hard all day, but it's possible that your mind is combating monotony and searching for ways to kill time. This is your clue to step out of your comfort zone and try your hand at something new or complex!
Our brains are wired in such a way that we tend to pay attention to anything new, enjoyable, or alarming. This is the reason why we should take up complicated projects as they require attention and make use of our cognitive memory, leaving us with minimal or no time to be lured by distractions. When our skills are tested, we are more prone to reach a state of total job immersion. We become captivated and hyper-focused on the job when we take on sophisticated tasks that test our ability and cerebral limits. Completing these responsibilities eventually makes us feel accomplished and worthy of having contributed our best!
Monitoring Your Distractions
According to one of the studies by Harvard, we spend over half of our waking time thinking about something other than what we're meant to be doing. We are on autopilot, and our minds are drifting, partly to avoid having to concentrate. The key to efficient working is to recognize when your mind starts wandering and redirect your focus to the activity at hand. Being aware of your thoughts will help you control them and divert your mind in the right direction. The idea is that you consciously put the brakes on the distractions rather than allowing yourself to continue strolling over to social media to check out your newsfeed. When you're tempted to give in to a distraction, take a deep breath, and choose not to engage.
It's more difficult to refocus and restore your attention to the task at hand once you've fallen into the trap and have permitted yourself to emphasize something else. In simple words, instead of letting yourself jumping from one project to another, be attentive to your thoughts.
Being the Founder, you would often face to various challenges and they would usually end up distracting you from your goals. But you have to make sure that you stay focused, so that your business attains success. With just minor modifications in your style of working and dealing with challenges along with being mindful, you can easily surpass the roadblocks and mental blocks. The idea is to free yourself from the cage of distractions and focus on strengthening your concentration. Doing so will help you in spearheading your business efficiently and will ensure that it reaches the zenith!
Must have tools for startups - Recommended by StartupTalky
Subscribe to StartupTalky
Get the latest insights delivered to you right in your inbox