It's all about...focus

Let's face it, it is very easy to become distracted in this world and frankly technology has a lot to do with the problem.
What is your routine when you first wake up in the morning?
For me, I try and empty my email inbox and it is at this exact point that I lose focus. A mentor once said to me “Will what you are doing now matter in five years time?”
Frankly, 95% of the email I look at have nothing to do with the direction and the focus I should bring to each day, but it is amazing when my focus should be on a small 5% of my inbox how I can end up spending hours with the 95% that I really need to put a lower priority on.
Perhaps you have found the same thing. 
The next pit of unproductively is social media. It is a plague in our society. There is a very productive side to it but frankly, I don’t need to read and open a photo of a distant third cousin who is showing the world of social media how he just ate a bacon sandwich. I am happy for him, but will that knowledge “matter to me in five years”? The answer is a resounding, NO.
People who know me, know also that I can handle a lot of concurrent tasks as a Keynote Speaker and Venture Partner with Dutch Oracle - I can promise you I have a lot on my plate. Add into the mix the responsibilities of an Armoured Reconnaissance Officer in the Reserves, a shareholder in multiple ventures, the founder of a charity, husband, father etc and like all of you, the list is pretty long.
So how do we keep focus?
Here are some tips:
  1. At the end of the day review completed and outstanding tasks and define a list of priorities for the next day.
  2. Delegate what you are confidently able to do to someone you trust to finish the job.
  3. Work on one thing at one time and finish the task.
  4. Take frequent breaks - even to fill your coffee cup.
  5. Participate in some form of daily physical activity - the brain works better that way!
  6. Find a productivity tool that you enjoy and use.
Regarding point 6 - there is no point in having a digital task manager if you don't use it and revert to pen and paper. Pen and paper work best for many people and do not require power. Find what works for you and commit to using it. Whether it is the latest CRM system, an App like Evernote or a pen and paper… just make sure you use it.
  • Learn to say no more often.
Enjoy the extra time and increased productivity.

More It's All About . . . articles

About the Author

Mark has been an entrepreneur for over forty years. His experience spans many commercial sectors and aspects of business. He was one of the youngest people to be appointed as a Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Sales and Marketing Management before he left the UK in 1988.

His column focuses on ways we can improve on success in our lives. Whether it is business, relationships, or health, Mark has a well-rounded perspective on how to stay focused for growth and development.

His influences come from the various travels he undertakes as an adventurer, philanthropist and keynote speaker. More information can be found on Mark at his website www.markjenningsbates.com

He is a Venture Partner with www.DutchOracle.com a global Alternative Investment company.

Mark Jennings-Bates:
[email protected]

Photo credit: www.SteveAustin.ca 

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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