I’m always on the lookout for ways to increase my focus and boost productivity. Being self-employed is tough on its own. Balancing the demands of running a business and motherhood can also be an additional challenge.
When you add that I work from home…the challenge multiplies!
It’s easy to work all the time and not have enough time with family and friends. At the same time, I also need to ensure that I don’t slack off or allow distractions from family and friends to take over my day.
That’s me. What about you?
For example, do you sometimes find it hard to complete tasks because it feels as though your mind is racing? And are there times when it’s too hard to concentrate on finishing what you set out to do?
You can easily get distracted from what you want to work on. But with practice, you can become more focused, boost productivity, and achieve greater success.
Try These Strategies to Increase Your Focus and Boost Productivity
Imagine a world where you can tackle your business goals with unwavering focus, make progress on your tasks with ease, and still have time to enjoy precious moments with your family.
That feels out of reach for many women. But it’s not just a dream; it is within your reach when you use one or more of these strategies.
1. Set Clear Goals and Prioritize Tasks
Start by setting clear and specific short and long-term goals for your life and business.
Next, break these goals down into smaller, actionable tasks that you can accomplish easily.
Prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency, ensuring that you’re allocating your time and energy effectively.
Finally, remember to review your goals periodically and adjust them as necessary.
This process will give you a roadmap for the achievement of your goals. Having a roadmap in turn makes it easier for you to stay focused on your priorities.
As you implement your plan, you may find yourself procrastinating on difficult or tedious tasks. Unfortunately, prolonged procrastination leads to missed deadlines and increased stress. This makes it harder to focus on completing the tasks.
Getting an early start by working on boring or demanding work will boost productivity, lower your stress, and keep you focused on the tasks and milestones you’re working on.
2. Create a Productive Work Environment
Your work environment plays a significant role in aiding or blocking your focus and productivity.
Ensure that you have a workspace that promotes concentration and minimizes distractions.
- Choose a quiet area in your home or office where you can work without interruptions.
- Invest in a comfortable desk and a chair that helps maintain a good, upright posture.
- Set up proper lighting to reduce eye strain and fatigue.
- Organize your supplies and files, keeping them neatly arranged and easily accessible.
Clear your workspace daily to avoid the accumulation of clutter. Having an optimized and clutter-free workspace allows you to focus on your tasks. It also helps save time because you won’t be looking for items all over the place.
Clutter also accumulates in digital and virtual spaces. So remember to clear your computer, laptop, phone, email inboxes, and online drives on a regular basis.
3. Harness the Power of Time Management Techniques
Time management is one of the fastest ways to boost productivity. And as the saying goes, you cannot manage time, you can only manage yourself within the time you have.
- One popular tactic is the Pomodoro Technique, where you work for a focused period, typically 25 minutes, followed by a short break. During the breaks, engage in activities that relax and refresh you.
- Use tools like calendars, to-do lists, or productivity apps to plan and track your tasks effectively on a daily basis.
- Set realistic deadlines and allocate time blocks for specific activities so that you stay organized and focused.
- It’s also easier to stay focused and complete tasks when you are free of distractions. Before you begin to work on a task, ensure that you have everything you need and make your workspace as comfortable as possible.
- Random thoughts and interruptions also don’t have to derail your concentration and prevent you from completing your work. Find a way to eliminate common distractions so that you focus your attention and finish tasks.
Make Time for Breaks
One mistake many women make is to think that you’ll get more done if you just keep working longer hours. So you work harder and rarely take breaks. You also feel obliged to carry work home or go to the office even on weekends.
However, such habits are counteractive in the long term and could potentially lead to burnout. They are also dangerous if your work is long or physically demanding.
You maintain greater focus when you take frequent breaks during the day. Your mind also needs to shut off from work in the evenings and at least one day every week.
So plug in your Pomodoro breaks, take lunch away from your desk, shut down when you’re not on duty, and take one day off every week.
Taking breaks before you’re completely exhausted refreshes your mind and body. You’ll come back to your task with your energy levels recharged. When your energy levels are high, you’re able to concentrate better on the work at hand.
Outsource and Delegate
It’s important to recognize that you can’t do everything on your own, no matter how good you are at what you do. Delegating and/or outsourcing tasks that don’t require your direct involvement or expertise frees up your time to concentrate on what’s really important.
Identify projects and tasks that you can outsource or delegate tasks to capable team members or freelancers. These could include:
- Administrative tasks.
- Content creation.
- Social media management.
- Human resources management.
- Graphic design.
- Web design and management.
Delegating these responsibilities gives you space, time, and energy to focus on high-value tasks that require your unique skills and expertise.
It also helps you avoid overwhelm and ensures that each task is handled efficiently by the appropriate person, who is normally an expert in their capacity.
One thing to keep in mind is that while you can delegate and outsource work, you cannot do the same with responsibility. So take care to hand over work to people who are qualified and who can work with minimal supervision.
It takes time to create a time management system that works for you and to build a high-capacity team. Don’t give up. Start now and keep tweaking until your system and team work optimally for you.
4. Use Digitial Productivity Tools
In this day and age, it would be unwise not to leverage the power of technology to boost productivity.
If you have a remote team working for you, I recommend that you use a tool like Hubstaff to track their time, manage projects, and pay them.
Using spreadsheets or having people track their time is a nightmare that will not boost productivity for any of you!
At the moment, we’re using ClickUp to run Biashara 360 because it combines both project management and collaboration. However, note that ClickUp has a large learning curve, especially if you don’t set it up properly from the get-go.
I’m also checking out Hubstaff as the team grows because as I said earlier, you cannot rely on people tracking their work hours on their own if you have a virtual team.
All these tools work, it’s just a matter of preference, what you need the tool to do for you, and your budget.
By leveraging such digital tools, you can boost productivity, improve communication, and streamline processes.
5. Maintain Healthy Work-Life Boundaries
I always smile when people ask me for advice on work-life balance. From experience, I know that work-life balance does not exist, especially for working mums.
For years, I talked about work-life integration where you find a way to be fully present wherever you are. You’re fully present at work and vice cersa in your personal life.
I now think of it as having work-life boundaries.
The truth is that it’s very easy to become consumed by work and neglect other aspects of your life. Establishing healthy work-life boundaries is crucial for maintaining overall well-being and sustaining productivity.
- Set dedicated work hours and stick to them as much as possible. This may not be easy when you have a job or business that has irregular hours, which is where work-life integration comes in.
- Communicate these boundaries clearly with your team, clients, family members, and friends.
- Avoid multitasking because it decreases productivity while increasing stress.
- Take regular breaks throughout the day to recharge and refresh your mind.
- Make time for self-care activities, family, friends, hobbies, and other personal interests.
I also found it easier to maintain these boundaries by having a personal phone number that my family and friends can access. They know to use it only when there’s an emergency and during off-work hours.
I also switch off my work mobile in the evenings and on Sundays and have an autoresponder on the work WhatsApp line.
Remember, maintaining healthy work-life boundaries contributes to increased focus, creativity, and long-term success.
6. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Our minds and bodies are meant to work together in harmony. Being in good health reduces stress and makes it easier to concentrate.
Adopting a healthy diet gives you the nutrients that you need for your mind and body to operate at peak performance. Energy-boosting nutrients also increase your ability to be more focused so you’re less likely to feel distracted or sleepy.
A healthy diet also includes drinking plenty of water each day. Dehydration can sap your energy and ability to think clearly.
Here are 3 techniques I’ve used to make drinking water a habit:
- Keep a 1-litre bottle on your desk or somewhere where you see it every time you look up. Aim to finish 2 of these each day. That’s enough water to keep you hydrated and healthy. Why 1 litre and not 2? Well, it forces you to get up and go refill it. You’ll also not feel overwhelmed as you would when you look at the large bottle of water that’s yet to be drunk!
- Install a water reminder app on your phone and set it to remind you to take a drink every hour until an hour before bedtime.
- Most people who love coffee or tea don’t take enough plain water. If this is you, reduce your caffeine intake and replace it with water. Your body will thank you for it. Using a water intake app was a wake-up call when I realized I logged in more tea per day than water. I now use the 1-litre bottle technique to increase water intake.
Move Your Body
Walking and other moderately physical activities help you clear your mind and keep you fit. Additionally, walking increases the blood flow to your brain, which can boost your ability to focus. You can also use your Pomodoro rest breaks to get up and walk around.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting 6-8 hours of sleep each day helps calm your mind, and allows the body to rejuvenate and repair itself. You’ll also be more energetic during the day after a good night’s sleep.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Learn to use all of your senses as you experience the people, places, and objects in your environment. Looking at things from a different perspective will boost your creativity and focus.
Meditation improves concentration by helping you relax progressively. This reduces the stress and anxiety that make it difficult to concentrate. It also increases your ability to concentrate over time as your mind is not rushing all over the place.
Your Way Forward
Women face unique challenges in the business environment. The challenges increase with motherhood and if you run your own business.
The desire to succeed at work and at home can sometimes feel overwhelming, leaving you wondering how to strike a harmonious balance between the 2 spaces.
In this blog post, I’ve shared practical strategies that will empower you to optimize your focus and boost productivity.
By implementing these strategies, you will be able to define clear goals and prioritize tasks effectively, create a productive work environment that minimizes distractions, master time management techniques to optimize your productivity, leverage technology and digital tools to streamline your workflow, maintain healthy work-life boundaries, and adopt a healthier lifestyle.
It’s now time for action…
Select one or two strategies that resonate with you and commit to integrating them into your daily routines.
Remember, knowledge alone is not enough, you need to apply these strategies consistently in order to have tangible results. Start small, stay consistent, and watch as your focus and productivity soar.
Here’s how I can help if you’re ready to achieve greater success without losing out on what matters most to you
I have 3 programs that will help you set and achieve your work or business goals without losing out on personal and family time.
1. Goal Setting Masterclass
Setting goals is the first step in making your business dreams a reality. Harness the power of goal-setting in your daily life in this 8-week e-course.
- Prioritize goals that challenge and excite you.
- Take actions that keep you focused.
- Develop manageable tasks that will eventually get the job done.
When you know where you’re going and you have an effective action plan that you follow consistently, every step you take brings you closer to the achievement of your goals.
2. Finish Strong Challenge
Do you find yourself losing momentum on your set goals as the year moves along? Would you like to have different results this year?
Join the Finish Strong Challenge and make breakthroughs in your business goals this year without losing out on time for what you love (family, friends, hobbies, etc).
3. Sign Up for 1-1 Bespoke Coaching
I work with a small number of high-achieving professional and business women who want to supercharge their success while maintaining healthy work-life boundaries.
Book a complimentary 3-minute Discovery Call to find out more about my 1-1 coaching and how it can work for you.
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