When you are running a business it can be very difficult to keep focused on what you want to achieve for your business. It is easy to get distracted as there are many different demands on your time, as well as many changes impacting your business. The weather and your personal life will also add to these distractions.
So what can you do? Here are some tips and ideas on how can you stay focused on your business goals and objectives:
Set clear goals and objectives for your business. Be clear on what you want to achieve in your business in the short, medium and longer term. Test your goals and make sure you are happy with them. Keep your goals and objectives at the forefront of your mind, communicate them to your team and use them in managing your business.
Identify the benefits and value to you of achieving your business goals. Reminding yourself of the benefits of achieving your business goals as well as the consequences of not achieving them will help to focus and motivate you.
Plan what you need to do to achieve your goals. Understand what you need to do to achieve your business goals and objectives. What do you need to do each day, each week etc., what one off projects need to be undertaken and who is going to do each task?
Prioritise and re-prioritise. Prioritise all the things you have identified in your plans in order of importance in achieving your goals. Re-prioritise on a regular basis and when things change.
Break down larger tasks and projects into smaller manageable chunks. You may find that the size of some of the tasks and projects in your plan are daunting. Break these down into smaller manageable chunks and plan for each of these separately.
Review progress. Take time to review how you are getting on with your plans on a regular basis and to discuss progress with others who are involved. Update your plans regularly in line with the progress being achieved.
Manage your time effectively. There are many different time management systems and each person has their preferred one. Whichever you choose set realistic times for each task and what you can achieve each day and re-prioritise when things change.
Use your time efficiently. Review your business processes and systems and make them as efficient as possible. Understand when is the best time of day to do different tasks e.g. if you are a morning person you may want to do the more challenging things before lunch.
Get organised. Take time out to get your business, yourself and your working area organised. Remove the clutter and make sure you know where everything is. Maybe get some help to keep well organised.
Delegate or outsource tasks and projects. It may be better for the business for you to delegate or outsource work. Look at areas that you don't like doing, take you a long time or that you are not very good at as a starting point. If you delegate or outsource, regularly review how it is going.
Minimise distractions. Look at what is distracting you from completing your plans e.g. people, email, phone calls etc. Assign set times of the day for dealing with your emails and phone calls and plan time into your week for your staff, customers, suppliers etc. (scheduled meetings or phones calls may reduce ad hoc interruptions).
Get help to stay focused. You may find it beneficial to get help from other people on a regular basis to help you to stay focused on your business goals. This may be from a business mentor, other people in your business, family or business contacts.
Look after yourself. You will be more effective in your business if you also look after your health and well being, don't work all the time, take regular breaks and time off, enjoy time with your family and friends, relax and do something different to work.
Keeping focused is critical to achieving your business goals. Hopefully the above ideas will help you with this. If you are still finding it difficult to focus, it may be because you are aiming for the wrong goals. Re-visit your business goals and make sure they are what you really want.
Author: Liz Makin
Published: June 2009
Through Makin It Happen - Coaching, Mentoring & Stress Management, Liz Makin provides personalised business coaching, business mentoring and stress management services to business owners, directors, managers and professionals. If you are looking for a business coach, business mentor or help with stress please contact Liz on 01780 765270 or email Liz@makinithappen.co.uk to arrange a free consultation session.
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