Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Squirrel! How to Keep Your Focus in a World Built on Distraction

Squirrel! How to keep your focus in a world built on distraction by David Milberg

Ask any serial entrepreneur, and they will likely admit to being a bit easy to distract. That’s because, to be a successful business builder, you need to have a bit of a horizon focus, always looking for something new or better or different to chase after. Some business owners who are also managers struggle to bring this impulse to heel when they need to buckle down and build where they’re at.
In many cases, leaders get excited and miss the early signs their focus may be slipping. Because they have failed to set up fail-safes in their business lives, they travel too far down the road to distraction, ending up with too much going on and not enough of themselves to go around to give any of it due attention. Here are a few ways you can protect your focus and keep yourself from being spread too thin.

Proactive focus begins with defining what you are doing and why you are doing it. When you have a good reason for your decisions and your actions, you are less likely to slip, and you can more easily return to what you should be doing if and when you do get distracted. To take this one step further, you need to be able to define your goals and reasons so well that you can communicate them to someone else you trust, so that, when necessary, they can use those reasons to pull you back and help you refocus when you start to drift.

Squirrel! How to keep your focus in a world built on distraction

Build purpose into each project, so your team is committed to why they are doing something, not just what they are doing. “Why” is a much more powerful motivator than what. When each member of your team is personally motivated to stay on point and keep on task, all of you will create accountability for each other.

Limit your technological distractions. Unless you’re in a business where missing a call or an email could mean losing a deal, then do your best to set times for things like checking email and answering messages. These days, constant drips of incoming emails can provide endless distractions and kill productivity. There you are working on a project, and an email comes in. Half-hour later you are working on a totally different project, and you’re not even sure why. Has that ever happened to you? Don’t fret, these days, it happens to just about everyone … but that doesn’t make it a good thing. Get control over your tech communication, and steal back your life.

Of course, the pendulum can swing too far the other way. There is such a thing as too much focus. To be successful, leaders must be able to recognize the difference between focus and obsession. When you are so set on what you ARE doing that you can’t see what you could be doing, then you will miss out on opportunities.

Are there some areas in which focus is a struggle for you? How have you been able to beat the temptation of distraction and increase your focus?

David Milberg is a financial analyst in NYC. He is a long-time owner of Milberg Factors, a factoring and finance company with locations in New York, California, and North Carolina.

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