When you’re your own boss , you have few skills more important than managing your time. The day has a limited number of hours; so as the business grows, the backlogs skyrocket. We live in an era characterized by constant distractions, it seems almost impossible to be able to concentrate for more than half an hour on a task.
These distractions can come, of course, from the cell phone; but also by collaborators who come into the office every so often to ask a question or who contact us very frequently in work chats, or friends and family who share memes through a WhatsApp group at any time of the day. day. The worst thing is that we are getting used to working like this and there is nothing that affects your productivity and peace of mind more.
What to do then? Put into practice these 10 tips to eliminate distractions, focus and prioritize .
#1. Plan your work days
There is nothing more damaging to productivity than starting the day overwhelmed by a workload and not knowing where to start. To plan each work day, run your tasks in a project management platform like Trello or Asana so you can centralize all your information in one place, track progress, and delegate. On this basis, you can write down in your agenda what are the three to five priority tasks of the day (in addition to your appointments or other commitments). Another important tip: spend the first few hours on tasks that require more concentration and creativity, such as writing a business presentation or an entry for your blog.
#two. Start the day with a meditation session
It’s amazing what effect a few minutes of meditation can have on the way you start your work day. In addition to bringing calm to your mind, it has a residual effect that will allow you to stay on your axis and better handle problems, focus and even be more creative. If you don’t have experience in this practice, you can start by sitting quietly in an airy space and counting to 50. Don’t worry if thoughts appear, it’s the most normal thing in the world, don’t push yourself. You can also use videos on the Internet, there is a lot of quality material published on the subject.
#3. work at ease
Have you ever wondered why we associate work with excessive effort, sacrifice and even suffering? What does all this have to do with living our passion? To avoid distractions, create an environment that allows you to remember the beauty of being your own boss and making your own decisions every day. For example, decorate your office to your liking and keep it tidy. Use a comfortable desk chair and make sure the lighting is adequate. Listen to relaxing music in the background, light an aromatic candle… Surround yourself with small details that allow you to enjoy every minute of the day .
#4. Connect to the Internet only during certain hours of the day
Constantly checking email, WhatsApp or social networks is the surest recipe for a lost day of work. To avoid this, the first step is to turn off all notifications on your mobile and desktop. Then, apply a firm routine to check messages: for example, you can check your email in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon . As for your social networks , if you only have personal profiles, review them at the end of your work day; And if you manage those of your brand, lean on platforms to schedule the publications.
#5. Set more realistic goals
Save the big goals for the annual business strategic plan or client presentation. On a day-to-day basis, it is better to focus on more concrete and realistic objectives, which in the medium and long term allow you to finish your big projects. What do performance and productivity specialists recommend? Break down the most important goals into actions to be carried out per semester, per month, per week and per day. This will allow you to focus, work more relaxed and move forward firmly.
#6. Establish times when you cannot be interrupted (and communicate them)
Another very useful advice is to block space in the agenda to be able to work without interruptions . Communicate what those hours are to your collaborators, family and friends. At first, they may still text you and try to reach you at all hours; but if you don’t answer them immediately, they will adjust to your new routine.
#7. Use visual reminders
Motivational phrases (such as “Focus, focus, focus”) and images (for example, of the beach where you will spend your next vacation) that you can put on posters near your computer are very useful to refocus. When you have a busy day at work and feel overwhelmed, look at them and repeat the phrases out loud to regain concentration and motivation .
#8. Go out to walk
If you work all day in front of the computer, in a kitchen or in a warehouse, it is essential that you take small breaks outside your work area to refresh your mind and lighten your body . The best thing is to go for a short walk, ideally in a park or somewhere where you can get in touch with nature and sunbathe. Avoid doing it with someone from the office and continue talking about work issues that concern you at that time.
#9. Give yourself small prizes
What things can change your mood in a matter of minutes? For example, having a cup of coffee, calling a friend, playing a musical instrument, preparing a meal… Think of those small rewards you can give yourself when you finish an important task , since delaying gratification is a great tactic to increase capacity. of concentration.
#10. Sleep well
To stay healthy, an adult needs a minimum of seven hours of sleep. But between the workload and the anxiety, most entrepreneurs give little importance to sleep . When we sleep badly we have little ability to concentrate and we are more prone to distractions. What do the specialists recommend? Create a routine that allows you to prepare for a good night’s rest . For example, don’t eat food after seven at night, turn off the TV at nine and disconnect from all your electronic devices, go to bed at 10 and read a printed book .