It’s already been the fourth week since New Year’s Day, and yet, there are a lot of resolutions and goals that have begun faltering, giving way to uncertainty and distraction. If you’ve felt that drag, don’t let it get you down. You can still achieve your big plans for the year, including a priceless digital vision for your business.
But getting there won’t happen by accident. It’ll require a sense of mission, tenacity, and – most of all – focus. And yet, the focus is on short supply. Whether the constant smartphone alerts or the temptation to fall down a social media or the internet rabbit hole while doing ‘research’, so much of modern technology rewards distraction. It can make deep, meaningful focus seems like an impossibility.
But you don’t have to succumb to those temptations. By taking a few, simple yet powerful steps, you can discover the focus you need to achieve your goals in 2022. While these actions might not seem revolutionary at first glance, when put into practice consistently, day after day, they have the power to change everything for you and your business.
1. Let Your Vision Be Your Guide
Research has shown that every decision you make depletes a little bit of willpower, from deciding which shirt you’ll wear to what you’ll have for breakfast. Over the course of a day, your will can become so weak that it’s practically impossible to accomplish important tasks. Even working up the strength to focus on simple tasks can become challenging.
You can keep the focus on your business vision by developing a long-term digital strategy and breaking it down into a strategic action plan. Then, divide that plan up into smaller, step-by-step tasks that can be accomplished in chronological order, highlighting both small and big milestones in your agenda as you go.
That will reduce distractions and willpower-breaking decisions. Instead of having to reinvent the wheel each day, you can look at the four to five tasks that need to be accomplished right now and do them or follow up with your leadership team as needed
You’ll be amazed at the difference this small adjustment will make in your focus as you pursue digital transformation for your business.
2. Build Routines Into Your Daily Life
As we have already noted, daily decisions can be a self-discipline killer, even small ones. Therefore it’s so important to build habits into your life. Habits are actions that have become so reflexive that you don’t have to think about them. This could be anything, from having the same kind of coffee in the same cup each morning to always spending 30 minutes cleaning up your desk after work. But let’s consider our routines first.
Steve Job filled his wardrobe with the same black T-shirts and trousers so as not to decide what to wear each morning. Depending on your personality, this may or may not work for you. For example, if you take pleasure in style and fashion or make decisions according to your mood, this could create more anxiety than clarity.
So don’t just copy whatever you’ve heard. Instead, thoughtfully consider who you are and what is and isn’t important to you. Look for ways to reduce decision-making for any routine, thoughtless tasks.
3. Systemize and Automate Your Routines
Systematize those decisions and, if possible, delegate them to someone in your support system or use technology to automate them.
Over the next week, take note of anything you must do on a weekly, daily, monthly, quarterly, or yearly basis. Then, create simple routines or systems to get those things done in the same way. It won’t take long before you’re able to do them as easily as breathing.
Research online and on your smartphone, applications that can help you systemize and automate your routines. Use as many automations as possible, including your smartphone, car, in-home and office equipment, and appliances. That will empower you to focus longer on the things that matter most, knowing that the small stuff is under control.
4. Care For Your Mental & Physical Health and Work Toward Your Self-Transformation
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that business productivity habits are the only ones that matter. But your physical and mental health can have a massive impact on your ability to focus and accomplish daily tasks and eventually your business goals.
Each of us is a unique masterpiece in progress. It’s so important to remember your physical and mental health when cultivating daily routines and habits. It may include examining and refining your diet, exercising regularly, innercising or brain programming, and optimizing, meditating, or praying daily, or any other practices that will support your overall health and well-being.
A healthy body, mind, and soul are essential for long-term focus. That’s why you should consider asking yourself the following questions:
Are you up to date with any regular health checkups? Do you already have future appointments penciled into your calendar? What could you do right now to make sure your health remains in top shape?
What about time spent in recreation? Have you included vacation time, family time, date nights, and personal time into your calendar?
5. Schedule What Matters In Your Calendar
Think about daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly habits. I find the best way to go about doing this is not only a “to do list”, but to go a step further and schedule them in your calendar. You may not even have a set time for some of them yet, but you can still create an appointment that will remind you that they need to be done. You can always adjust dates and times.
Set reminders ahead of time, especially for less frequent tasks. Then, watch yourself making things happen as you navigate through the days, weeks, months, and years.
6. Create an Environment That Helps You Stay Focused and Reduces or Eliminates Distraction
Your environment is probably one of your biggest distractions. If you’ve got papers, books, other eye-catching materials, or gadgets scattered around your office or desk, then you’re working in a willpower minefield. Consider organizing or re-organizing your workplace.
Sit on your chair or walk in your office or workplace, does what you see help you to focus on achieving your goals somehow? Do you feel your energy rising? Do you feel joy? Motivation? If not, it may be time to change that environment. Add things that make you feel energized, on purpose, and committed to achieving your vision.
Create a vision board for your home office. You may as well create an office vision board with your business goals to achieve. Decorative items in your office should either be meaningful or help create a pleasant environment. Besides display cabinets, choose furniture with drawers and doors over open shelves to organize things in your office.
Include living plants and, if possible fresh flowers (as long as you are not allergic) for their stress-relieving properties. Our environment can help us feel better and focus on what is important for us. Are the paintings, the frames, the pictures in your office meaningful, or inspiring and uplifting for you?
As you spend time in your office, pay attention to the things distracting you or depleting your energy. Then, do whatever is necessary to remove them so you can focus on accomplishing your daily tasks. This may require literally taking some things out of your office.
Another big distraction is your phone and its countless apps, including the social media notifications that seem to come in on a momentary basis. I suggest reviewing your apps regularly and removing apps that you don’t use or don’t need. Deactivate notifications on less important apps, log out of certain social media during the week, and delegate some of these tasks to your assistant to manage and monitor for you.
Create boundaries and clarify them with your family, especially if you work from home. In addition, make sure your clients know that you won’t be available 24/7. Maybe your weekend is dedicated to your family, and you don’t work or don’t receive clients during the weekend. Clarify that.
7. Build and Maintain a Real Social Network and Support Team
A strong social network with family and friends, is vital for your success in life and in business. Even though recent circumstances have pushed more of us into online spaces, real face-to-face meetings are still irreplaceable. A handshake, a hug, a kiss, and even a pat on the back will remain precious. Research has consistently shown that healthy relationships experience less stress, a greater sense of purpose, faster healing times, healthier behaviors, and a longer life.
But strong relationships won’t just benefit your personal life. They’ve also been shown to boost productivity and support focus. So, if you’re looking to make your business’s priceless digital vision a reality, making some new friends may be just the thing to do it.
A Few Parting Words
Focus will never be effortless, but it will always result from strategic preparation. Your personal life and business life are intertwined. Even more since the digital age and the COVID-19 pandemic has normalized working from home for many of us. By keeping your overarching vision in sight and in mind, breaking down big goals into manageable tasks, eliminating distractions, building healthy, sustainable routines, and strengthening yourself and your social network, you’ll be well on your way to cultivating the focus you need to succeed and achieve your goals.