If we are being honest, you and I would both admit that we are more accessible, more connected, busier than ever, and are continuously in contact with our friends, colleagues, and potential clients. This piece was actualairport charging station where I had managed to plug in both my computer and smartphone -- being able to work on the go, and in spite of distractions certainly can help increase productivity. A question that is being asked more and more often, and across industry lines. However, is that all of this connectivity and constant interaction actually helping us get more work done? Specifically, are you truly ever able to focus, create, and think about subjects with the intensity and focus that differentiate your business from the competition?ly written at an
You may not like the answer to that question.
Highly focused thinking and energy have played a leading role in establishing many of the breakthroughs modern individuals and businesses now take for granted. Medical research, technological innovation, and even the creation of entertainment series all require periods of intense focus, work, and determination. If you, or anyone you know, has ever sat for and passed a standardized exam (like the CPA exam, for example) it quickly becomes clear that flipping through review materials while simultaneously tweeting and streaming a show might not be the recipe for success.
The same exact principle and idea applies just as powerfully to business as it does our own personal goals and objectives. Think about it -- if you ever really want to get something done in a short amount of time, don't you work differently than if you are just working on something regularly? That focused thinking and work can make the difference between your business developing a new idea, being proactive in addressing customers needs, or falling by the wayside as the competition seems to always be one step ahead. Even more important, these periods of highly focused work and thinking often result in most of the great business ideas and strategies that propel the business forward.
You may think its impossible, or nearly impossible, to artificially create more of that quiet focused time that you need to really produce great content, but let's take a look a few suggestions that might help do just that.
1.Take control of your calendar
You and I know that there are often things that happen beyond your control, but if you can at least start blocking out periodic blocks of time on your calendar you will end up with more time to think deeply and focus. It might be difficult at first, but you will see the difference over time.
2. Log yourself out of social media
I love social media as much as the next person, and I am sure you enjoy it as well, but try this one trick. Instead of leaving yourself logged into your accounts, log yourself out the next time you are finished tweeting and posting. Simply having to actively log yourself back in might make your less likely to distract yourself with that newest funny cat video and instead stay focused on building your business.
3. Segment your time
Just like it's impossible to exercise at 100 percent effort every single day, and you need to cycle in rest days every so often, you should treat your business thinking and development in the same manner. After focusing, and really focusing on certain tasks for a set period of time, get up, stretch your legs, and let your mind relax.
4. Remember that connectivity is important
This entire piece has focused on the benefits of focusing on a single item, or idea, at a time, but the importance of connectivity cannot be overstated. Obviously if there is a major crisis at your business you need to be able to respond, which leads to our last point.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
The very notion of unplugging from your social media, email, and other connectivity tools might seem strange at first, so it is important that you communicate your plan to colleagues and clients. People will not like not being able to reach you without any heads up, but if you explain you plan on being unavailable between certain hours, you will be pleasantly surprised at how accommodating most people are.
The idea of alone time, of getting some rest and relaxation, and of carving our some time for your own development and reflection are not new ideas in the slightest. When it comes to maximizing business productivity and creation, however, it might seem that we focus on being connected versus creating great ideas and content. Taking out some time, or at least moving in that direction, can help you think of better ideas, add value to your customers, and differentiate yourself in the marketplace.