We often share tried-and-true strategies for creating and leveraging your best-selling book. However, we are going to dive deep into a topic that will benefit every single business owner, entrepreneur, and author. Today is all about how to maintain your focus and be more productive than ever.
Many of us have now been working at home for months, and this is a big change. Before the pandemic, you likely had an office or workspace outside of your home, but many of us have not been able to use these spaces in several months. Unfortunately, there are a lot more distractions in your home office, especially if you are not used to working out of a home office.
This post will offer new tips, tricks, and real-life lessons that can help and encourage you to continue driving forward during these times.
Maintaining Your Focus
As Seth Gordin said, “you don’t need a new plan for next year, you need a new commitment.” We would even add to what Seth said by reminding you that not only do you need a new commitment, but you need to maintain that focus and be productive. Maintaining focus is how you accomplish the goals that you set for yourself. Today, we will go over 12 things you can do to maintain your focus and be more productive than ever.
Win the Battle With Your Alarm Clock
This is the first thing that you can do right out of the gate to be more productive. Many people can experience a feeling that they have a lack of drive. If you feel that you are not accomplishing what you want to accomplish, it is not necessarily that you are not driven. Often, it is an element of discipline that you need to grow in your life. The very first thing that you need to make sure you do is to win the battle with your alarm clock. This is 101, but disciplining yourself to get up early keeps you on your game for the entire day. Here are some ways to win that battle:
- Keep your alarm clock away from your bed so that you must get up to turn it off.
- Wake up at the same time every day so that you build a habit and proper sleep schedule.
- Prepare for the day ahead the night before.
- Stop using your phone at least one hour before bed.
If you are off right from the beginning, then it may take you hours or all day to get back on track. Strengthen that discipline muscle and win the battle with your alarm clock.
Have a Strong Morning Routine
Sure, some people are more “morning people”. Regardless, you need a strong morning routine to set your day up for success. A regimented morning allows you to accomplish more from the moment you wake up. A strong routine really sets you up for success and energizes you throughout the entire day. Some qualities of great morning routines include:
- Waking up on time.
- Following the same schedule every morning.
- Eating a healthy, hearty breakfast.
- Enjoying a coffee or tea.
- Scheduling the rest of your day or writing to-do lists.
- Showering, getting dressed, making yourself presentable.
In terms of meditation/ prayer, you can decide how spiritual you want to make it. Meditation does not have to be a religious or spiritual act, but it can be if you want it to be. In general, meditation can be an act of calming yourself and getting your priorities in line. Use meditation to anchor yourself in spite of everything going on in your life and in the world. Meditation or prayer will help you maintain great focus and productivity throughout your day because it will be a rock for you, something you can center yourself on.
Set Up Your Work Space
For me and for many others, if a workplace is disorganized and unpleasant, you won’t be very focused or productive. One simple step you can take is to clean up your workspace. This will free your mind to be focused and productive. It will be easier to find what you need and to stay organized. Tips for setting up your workspace include:\
- Keep papers and documents tidy. Have set places like a file cabinet for these. Turn any suitable papers into digital copies and then discard them. Handle documents on a daily basis rather than letting them pile up.
- Make your space practical. Make sure the things you need to use often are accessible and organized.
- Ergonomics. Your space should look clean, but it should also be comfortable. Find a chair that you like, and make sure your screen is at eye-level. Avoid a setup that strains your posture.
- Tidy up daily. Nobody wants to tackle a huge mess. Waiting for your space to get super messy is a big mistake. Spend 10 minutes a day tidying up your area and making sure it is in optimal condition.
Set Big Goals and Revisit Them Daily
A big vision or goal is incredibly inspiring. Without a big goal, you may feel a lack of motivation, productivity, and focus, because you are not ting for something. Think through your goals. COVID and working from home may have deterred you from the goals you set this year. Now is the time to revisit your goals so that you remember why you do what you do and stay focused.
Examine the goals you set earlier this year. How can you get on track and work toward them? Remind yourself of your goals on a daily basis. Print out a sign or post them in your workspace and monitor your progress. Big goals break down into smaller benchmarks and even daily actions. Figure out what you need to do today and each day to work toward your big aspirations.
Set Your High Priority Activities For Your Most Productive Time
Plan your high-priority items that will move the needle the most for your most productive time. For a lot of people, this time is in the morning, but by this time in your life, you know what works for you. Oftentimes, people lose energy and focus by the late afternoon. For them, trying to do important things during that time is futile and will not be productive. Pay attention to when you get the most work done and focus on your most important things during that time. Schedule high priority calls, meetings, and tasks for that time.
Protect Yourself From Distractions
Distractions are the antithesis of productivity. To ensure focus, you need to find ways to limit distractions. If you’re working at home, you might have a spouse, children, and pets that all demand your attention and provide ample distractions. You must set boundaries so that you can do the work that is important for you. Set your boundaries and schedule to protect yourself from distractions. Tell them off-limit times when you are not available, and stick to them.
Maybe your phone and social media is your biggest distraction. In that case, you may need to move your phone to another room and only check it at set times. Analyze your biggest distractions and figure out the best ways to reduce them. Whatever it is, protect yourself from those things so that you can maximize productivity.
Exercise to Get Fit or Stay Fit
Exercise is something people struggle with, but it is very important. Exercise has many proven benefits for your mental and physical health. No matter how busy you think you are, you have time to exercise. Make a commitment to exercise regularly and find something active that you enjoy.
Something that tends to work well is to add exercise to your morning routine. It does not need to be hours of working out. Start with 20-30 minutes a day and focus on consistency. This works extremely well for most people, but many people have fallen off over the last few months. Getting out of your workout routine leads to feeling lethargic, weight gain, and low focus. It’s not just getting fit, it’s staying fit. For maximum results, you will also need to address your diet and consider adding a cup of black coffee.
Say No More Often
Everyone tells you to say “yes” to opportunities, but to be truly productive you need to say no to a lot of things. You likely have a lot of people pulling at you and asking for things. Many times, it is good things, people asking for help. Doing everything yourself leads to burnout. Say no to as much as possible so that you can be productive. If you can hire help for lawn work, moving, cleaning, etc, then you free up time and energy to dedicate to your craft. You cannot say yes to everything. Say no to things that hinder your productivity.
Turn Off the TV and Media (Yes, Even Social Media!)
Turn off the media. That does not mean that you never watch it, but you shouldn’t be spending hours a day in front of TV. Consuming hours and hours of media a day is horrible for your mind and for your focus. Protect your mindset and yourself from distractions by limiting your media consumption. To make a difference in the world you need to stay on track and be productive. You cannot do this if you are caught up in the negativity of the media. Shut it off. Turn off the T.V, turn off the media, and yes, even social media.
Work in Spurts
Binging doesn’t work well. Binge eating, binge-watching, and even binge working are not good for you. Numerous studies have found that it is best to work in spurts. The research suggests that an hour of work and a 15-minute break is the most productive an average person can be. Trying to work for more than an hour at a time will not work as well. Give it your all and every ounce of focus you have for an hour, then take a break. You will be more productive to work in spurts than you will just trying to grind it out for hours on end. Work in spurts and take set breaks to get farther ahead.
Just Get Started
Last, but not least, just get started. Just start being more productive. Mel Robbins wrote a great book and has a simple Ted talk where she talks about the five-second rule. It’s a very simple concept that you may have heard of. This rule is that if you have something that you know you need to do but don’t want to, just start a simple countdown in your head. 5, 4, 3, 2,1.. GO! That will actually motivate you to get started on that thing, no matter how unpleasant.
You may have a hundred other tips and tricks, but the key is to get started. At some point, you just have to start. If you are having trouble starting, consider just doing a countdown and then going. Believe it or not, it fries your brain chemistry and the countdown initiates the action. It will help you start an unpleasant activity.
Unleash Your Productivity
You don’t need a new plan, not this year and not next year. You need a commitment to be more focused and productive than ever. The tips, tricks, and lifestyle changes above can help you do this. Even taking two or three or four of these tips will help you achieve your goals.
At Best Seller Publishing, we want to see you get your book done and build the dream you want to make a difference in people’s lives. Your best selling book can help you attain your goals and grow your business. Now is the time to just get started. Start your countdown to publish, promote, and profit from your book. Contact a BSP writing coach today HERE. Ready? 5,4,3,2,1, go!