Five Ways to Create Laser-like Focus for Yourself and Your Team

June 24, 2020

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Five Ways to Create Laser-like Focus for Yourself and Your Team

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Are you having a hard time focusing? Do you find yourself distracted to a point of difficult return?

This is becoming an increasing issue in today’s world of high-speed technology and massive change. Distractions are everywhere. Social media, phone calls, texts, television, chat tools, notifications, alarms, and in-boxes are highly active. In addition, there are new “societal rules” for what you can and cannot do as you go about your normal daily business – things like wearing a mask and social distancing. All of these are distractions, which interrupt the flow of natural momentum.

When the flow is interrupted, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track. And when you consider also that the average person is distracted every 40 seconds, the impact is alarming.

Distraction extorts a hefty fine on productivity.

There are some personalities who naturally struggle with focus more than others. This may be especially true with highly creative entrepreneurs. While the creativity is key to their performance, it can also be a major distraction in combination with today’s technology. But, unlike in the past, even the most focused personalities are finding it hard to create the focus they need to hit their highest levels of performance.

How can you create laser-like focus for yourself and your team?

Frame out a Schedule.

One challenge in today’s workplace is carving out a time for laser focus. These are normally about 90-minute blocks of time that allow you to think more deeply into an issue or a project and develop solutions. These are golden blocks of time.

The challenge lies in protecting those time blocks. With employees and contractors across multiple time zones and flexible work times, it is more essential than ever to make an appointment on your calendar for these times in order to protect those blocks. Treat them like the priority they are, and you will be amazed at the headway you can make on projects and goals.

Own the Responsibility.

Very often, the main distraction in a business is the business leader. Ouch! This is painful but true.

Have you worked with your team to determine objectives for the quarter? Are you helping to create times and areas where they can focus on those goals? Or are you bombarding them with sidelining tasks that do not align with the goals, incessant chat messages to check on status, or unnecessary meetings? If your team is not reaching its goals, own the responsibility so you can help set them up for success.

Create the Right Environment.

For most, this can be as simple as shutting the door and clearing your desk of all visible distractions. You may think you can focus amid the paper piles on your desk, but your mind will habitually wander to all those distractions. You will also want to clear your computer desktop, turning off notifications, chat, and social media during this time.

If you are D- or I-wired, having to focus on one thing for an extended length of time will take practice. As much as everyone likes to think they can multi-task, the fact is, a person cannot do two things at once that require conscious thought. You may need to practice for smaller increments of time; but even then, you will notice benefits of higher productivity and be able to accomplish goals.

Use Your Time Strategically.

Have you ever tried to conquer a major project during the mid-afternoon lull? If so, you know that it can be a painful drudge. To the degree that you can push through, it will take you longer to accomplish the task.

But if you did that same project in the morning, for example, or whenever your energy level is highest, you can get it done in half the time. This strategic use of time can have compounded effectiveness. As a leader of a team, allowing this type of scheduling flexibility increases productivity exponentially, as each person is producing at their highest level.

Schedule Breaks.

While this may seem counterintuitive, scheduling regular breaks helps to refresh the mind. It is different than distraction in that it is a purposeful break between thoughts and projects – a clearing of the mind in preparation for the next new thing.

This is especially important for leaders to keep in mind. If you push your team from project to project and task to task without this purposeful switch, it can lead to mental clutter, slow productivity, feelings of overwhelm, and eventual burnout.

This is especially important if your team has just completed a major initiative. While you may want to dive right into the next big thing, give them a day or at least an afternoon to assimilate, document, and clear away the previous project. The value of that closure and assimilation is of great benefit to the organization. Employees come into the next initiative with a higher level of energy; and the documentation helps to create efficiency for future projects.

Here are three good questions to ask yourself.

  1. Am I focused right now? (Awareness)
  2. If not, why not? (Identification)
  3. How do I get back on track? (Recovery)

For more resources on staying focused on working in your strengths zone, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communications Impact Report.

As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.