When looking to develop a great idea, having the right mindset can set you up for success. But not every person that has a great idea has the right mindset. In the entrepreneurial world, dedication and hard work prevail. While the two traits you look to avoid are procrastinating and overthinking.
To develop your idea into a great business, you need to keep the focus on what’s important. But there are so many things that distract us from this goal. So that’s why I’m going to talk about ways of improving your focus better. Stick around as you might find some of these habits helping you figure out how to focus better.
There isn’t an easier way to lose focus than to get distracted. Distractions are all around us. Your phone is the biggest distraction, and you need to take care of it. Every time you work, you tend to check whenever your phone beeps. This takes away focus from the important things. So the first habit to work on is to eliminate distractions that prevent you from focusing.
As I said earlier, your phone is a big distraction. But not just that, it’s anything else that might take your attention away from your work. If you must have your phone by your side at all times, then turn off social media notifications. You can go as far as deleting certain social media apps from your phone. You’d be surprised to find out that we spend 145 minutes each day browsing social media.
What I like to do is leave my phone in another room. By minimizing social media usage, you will have a much easier time focusing on your work.
Create A Good Environment Around You
To improve your focus on the important things, you need to create an environment around you that enables just that. This next habit can be as simple as keeping your room tidy. If your room is the place where you do most of your work, then you’ll likely want to keep it clean. A clean environment is one that doesn’t distract. Even something as small as a piece of clothing on the ground can be enough to distract you.
When looking to create a good environment around you, it’s all about setting the right mood. Consider getting a workstation as that makes it easier to focus while working. Not only that but make sure to keep it clean. By doing this, you’re taking care of two issues at once. Not only are you identifying a habit for better focus, but you’re also beating procrastination by tidying up your room or workstation.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Our ability to stay focused is closely related to our ability to stay awake. You might think that less sleep means more work, but the opposite is actually the truth. It’s impossible to get any work done if you’re not well-rested. So this next habit is all about getting a good night’s sleep.
Whenever we think of what keeps us awake, the answers are always right in our faces. Your phone, laptop, TV, and tablet are the biggest reason why you’re having difficulties falling asleep at night. Exposure to blue lights negatively impacts your ability to fall asleep and, subsequently, get a good night’s rest.
You might be binging a show on Netflix late at night, but all that does is more harm. Getting into a habit where you get to bed earlier solves a lot of problems the following day. You feel more energized by getting the optimal 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night*. And if you are indeed going to bed at 3 am but waking up at 10 am and missing tons of work, then get into the habit of getting to bed much earlier.
While no doubt this takes time and self-control, it’s something that enables you to focus more on your work the next day.
*I track my deep sleep when using my Garmin fitness tracker and alter the pre-bed activity based on any learnings 😉 Its a great fun and I try to sleep 6 cycles of 1.5 hours each (apparently we sleep in 90 mins cycles, so its good to have a few full ones to feel revitalized) so about 7.5 hours.
Cut Back On Sugar
When we look at other factors that impact your ability to fall asleep, sugar is an obvious one. Sugar is not only bad for your ability to fall asleep; it’s bad for you in general. Sugar and sugary drinks give us a spike in energy. However, this quick spike of energy is followed by something called a “sugar crash” afterward. So sugar offers a superficial ‘help’.
When needing to focus more, sugar works counterproductive. While we do get a spike in energy, the crash in energy we experience after is enough to draw focus away from your work. More on why to avoid sugar on my other blog.
No Coffee After 12 Pm
Most of us love coffee. Coffee is something that people cannot start their day without. And if you’re like me, then you rely on caffeine in the morning to get you out of bed. For all the good coffee does, we face the same issue as with the previous habit.
Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 10 hours. So if you’re having difficulties falling asleep at night, it might be due to caffeine still being present in your system. Ultimately how quickly you absorb the caffeine depends on your metabolism (People with one or two copies of CYP1A2 (a.k.a. the “slow” gene) metabolize caffeine slowly, while people carrying one or two copies of the “fast” gene metabolize caffeine more quickly.) However, it is safe to get into the habit of not drinking coffee after 12 pm. I personally don’t ingest caffeine after 2 pm and it works for me. Drinking less coffee will make you feel more energized during the day. With that, you’ll have a much easier time going to bed early. What all this hopes to achieve is to give you the right amount of sleep necessary. And ultimately, it will help you stay focused on your work.
Find Inspiring Friends
Your friends can impact the way you look at things. So, for example, let’s say that you mostly hang out with friends that have no goals in life, aren’t inspiring, and have no ambition to start a business. Don’t you think that you won’t develop some of these negative traits?
We, humans, are highly susceptible. It takes incredible self-control and willpower to not be influenced by others. And getting influenced isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I even rely on success stories to push me even further. Young entrepreneurs feed out of success stories like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs. And imagine if you had one of those as your friend.
You’re The Average Of The Five People You Spend The Most Time WithMotivational speaker Jim Rohn
So that begs the question, how do you find inspiring friends? In these troubling times, there aren’t many seminars and opportunities to meet people similar to you. If you’re into personal development, but all your friends love going out getting wasted, then you’re not really getting good value apart from a good night out. It takes incredible self-control and willpower to say “no” when every one of your friends wants to spend the Saturday night at a bar.
What I recommend is that you do indeed go to that seminar. Find one that’s close to where you live and buy a ticket. If that’s not possible, how about following great entrepreneurs like Erik Bergman: ‘I have an Instagram with more than 200,000 followers who are all interested in personal development. They wouldn’t be engaging with me if they aren’t interested in it’. So you can visit the Instagram of people that you like and do the things you like, and look at the people that comment. You can message them and open a conversation. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your next business partner.
What this does is keep you focused on the most important things. Regardless of what you’re hoping to achieve, developing habits is the right way to approach and solve the issue.
Finally, I d like to add that tracking habits help to progress, so why not get a habit tracker – an old fashion notebook or a digital habit tracking app?