Stay Focused

What would it mean for your business, if you could devote every minute of time that you set aside for work to actually working? What if you could wake up in the morning, with a to-do list already planned from the evening before, and do a quick overview of your schedule followed by the rest of the day focused on only things that support the growth of your business?

What successes would you or your company know if you took a brief moment upon rising to groom yourself and eat a healthy breakfast, set aside 15 minutes maximum to check e-mail in the a.m., and devoted just 15 more minutes to making necessary phone calls?

If you must post to Facebook, it would only take an additional five minutes to update your followers with what’s going with you, and within 45 minutes or so after rising you would be full-throttle into your workday. You’d realize only production along the way and sheer accomplishment when you’re done. It would mean greater financial rewards for you, and more personal freedom in the end, believe it or not.

In today’s world of technology and opportunity, it can sometimes be challenging to know how to separate our work and personal lives. A successful entrepreneur will always do work that they find personally fulfilling, but they still must set aside a designated amount of time to build their business and to shape it into a well- oiled machine.

People who see success in their home-based businesses realize that time spent focused on personal relationships is essential for health and happiness. But, there is a time for everything and work time must be for work time.

When we spend most of our lives with our cell phones in hand and internet browsers open to all sorts of interesting pages, keeping our eye on the prize, so to speak, can be difficult.

We need to be able to keep in touch with clients and business colleagues, yet all kinds of other phone calls can often interrupt our day. We’ve got research to do online, yet the abundance of information that we have access to makes surfing the web for business purposes something that we need to practice when we’re on work time.

Whether you work in a home office, on the road in your car, at Starbucks or on a park bench, in a business complex, or at a small studio, to be successful in your business you’re going to have to commit to treating work time like work time, and making everything else wait until you’re off of your own clock.

By all means, have fun with what you’re doing, but keep your goal in mind at all times, which is dedicating a substantial portion of your day to growing a thriving and fulfilling business, so your hard work will pay off with leisure time galore in the near future.

Only you will know when you’ve finally reached the moment where you can comfortably play more than you work.

Until then, tidy up your paperwork, find a great day planner, schedule extended lunch dates only when business truly calls for it, let your kids know that when your office door is closed you’re working, stock your refrigerator with meals so you always have lunch on hand, and get to work building the business that you’ve been dreaming of.

Here are a couple of my best tips for staying productive during the workday:

  • Demand that Others Respect Your Time. How do you handle these scenarios? You’ve picked up a call that you thought would be important, and instead find that your time might have been better served had you let the call go to voicemail. Or, you’ve run into an acquaintance when you’re out and about, and you need to cut your encounter short to get on with your business dealings. Try this short script with your caller, and adapt it for anyone you meet in person.

“Hi John, It’s so great to hear from you. I am excited to hear about XXX, but I have a 2:00 appointment so we’ll have to wrap this up in just a few minutes.”

You can actually use this script to minimize time spent on legitimate calls, and when meeting with business associates in the field.

  • Keep Email Checking to a Minimum. Most of us receive tens, if not hundreds, of emails each day. Set a side a short morning, mid-day, and evening time-slot to check and respond to emails. If you do have something urgent to discuss with someone, ask that they call you, or tell him or her when you will be on your computer to receive their mail.
  • Clean Out Your Inbox. This goes hand in hand with managing your email. Keep your messages at a minimum by only subscribing to what you absolutely need or are interested in.
  • Make Your To-Do List Before You Go To Bed. One of the best ways to start your day off in a productive manner is to make your to-do list at night, and be ready to jump right into what needs to be done in the morning.
  • Social Media During the Day is for BUSINESS ONLY! Remember my rule about posting to twitter and Facebook. It’s for business purposes only when your supposed to be working, and then enjoy personal conversations and chats after hours.
  • Turn the Alerts Off on Your Cell Phone. We can certainly do without all of the bells, whistles, chimes, and beeps that our cell phone is shouting at us all day long. Even better, give contacts that you need to speak with a personalized ringtone, so you’ll notice their call and can ignore the others.
  • Keep Your Desk Clean. Come up with a good filling system, use folders to organize, and make your workspace a place dedicated to work only.

With a little motivation and practice focusing on one task at a time, you’ll soon see the success in your business that you’ve always imagined. It’s important to remember that it’s not always going to be easy but the more systems you have in place the less venerable you’ll feel when you’re hit with unexpected events. Overall you’ll feel you have more control on your journey to your personal, health and financial goals.

 

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