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Words By Tara Wagner

How to Stay Focused – 7 Tips That Actually Work for Entrepreneurs

Trying to figure out how to stay focused as an entrepreneur when EVERYTHING demands your attention?

Use these 7 strategies to eliminate distractions, improve focus and concentration, and train your brain to stay on task. (Yes, TRAIN.)

Watch here or read on below.

How to Stay Focused – 7 Tips That Actually Work for Entrepreneurs Click To Tweet

The whole world is vying for your attention right now. So figuring out how to stay focused so that you can actually get some shizzy done, you’re not alone.

I’m going to talk to you about 7 things that have made the biggest difference for me, the biggest difference for my clients in allowing us to stay focused, put our blinders on, get rid of all the noise and the distractions that keep us scattered and allow us to actually make some progress on the things that matter.

Strategy #1 – Train people to not need you

Number one, and this is not going to be easy, but you’ve got to train people to not need you. And this is hard for two different reasons: 

  • First, people want to need you. They want to keep doing what they’ve always been doing, and you’re going to have to change that habit. 
  • Second, you’re also going to have to let go of control and let go of the idea that everybody needs you or that you need to be in everything. And I know that this is hard because hello, I’m a fellow control freak too.

    But if you don’t do this, if you don’t stop becoming the bottleneck – the thing that all things have to go through and therefore everything slows down, you’re not going to be able to focus on anything. You’re going to constantly have interruptions or things that you have to juggle that you shouldn’t be putting your time and attention on because you’re supposed to be working on something else.

So how are some ways that you can do this? 

Talk about it first with your team.

Take the time to properly train the people that are working with you or for you. Let them know what it is that you really want. Have lots of conversations, invest a lot in them early on. And when I say early on, this could be the first few days, weeks, months of working together. So that over time you’re getting to the place where you can let go of more and more. There’s a really clear process to this. And it’s just about giving them the responsibility, doing some review of that responsibility and slowly tapering that off over time. 

Talk about it with your family.

The same applies to family. If you’ve got kids, take the time to teach them how to do the things that they should be able to do on their own. Take the time to invest in their skills and in their development. Also, of course, take the time to spend with them. That’s just good quality time so that they’re not wanting to pull your focus away when you’re trying to work on other things. But basically, I want you to be more patient and think about investing in people to get them confident and rolling without you. 

Give them the opportunity to figure things out.

Next, I want you to allow people the opportunity to figure things out. And this means not giving them the answer right away, not answering every question that they have, or if you’re answering it saying, “what do you think?” and getting their feedback first. This is really encouraging autonomy.

It’s encouraging them to know that you trust them, that you know that they’re capable or able of learning these things, but that you’re not going to totally just jump out of the conversation and make them figure it out on their own. You’re not leaving them to their own devices. You’re part of that process, but you’re encouraging them to really figure these things out for themselves to really do the thinking and the processing and whatever needs to happen so that they can, over time, become more autonomous and need to distract you or pull your focus even less. 

And to help you to do this, I want you to start setting expectations on when you’re available for different people in your life.

When are you available for friends and family? And when are you not? When are you available for your team and when are you not? When are you available for clients and customers and when are you not? And then what can you do at multiple touchpoints to let them know what that availability is to remind them of that expectation again and again?

Tara in meditation pose on pin-tucked emerald couch
Strategy #2 – Meditation 

The second thing I want you to do to really learn how to stay focused is to start some sort of meditation practice.

I know this sounds like a big ask because if you’re not focused, the last thing you’re going to want to do is try to sit down and think about nothing. Don’t do that. But how about this? Sit down for 5 minutes and just listen to your breathing. Listen to the birds outside, watch the clouds, do something for five minutes where you’re practicing focus.

That’s one of the best benefits of meditation is that it trains our brain, trains it to be able to be single-minded, to not jump from thing to thing.

Now in a world that is literally trying to get you to jump from thing to thing to thing this takes extra practice. So this doesn’t have to be formal. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but just when you can, stop, even for 30 seconds and practice focusing on one thing, practice turning everything off, and just sitting and focusing on one simple quiet activity to give your brain the downtime that it’s probably craving right now. Even if you may not be able to identify that craving. 

Strategy #3 – Set up your environment for success

The third strategy on how to stay focused is we’ve got to set up our environment for success.

You wouldn’t put somebody with a drug addiction in a room full of cocaine. That just wouldn’t be smart. Why would you put yourself, who’s struggling to focus, in an environment that’s designed to pull your attention? I want you to look at the environment around you and really ask what could I do to create less distractions, to create blinders for myself so that I don’t have to fight through so many things pulling my attention. 

So, there are two different environments that I want you to look at.

Your physical environment

Where are you working from? Which way is your desk facing? Are you in the most conducive place to be able to work? Maybe you need to work from a different space. Maybe you need to rearrange your office. Maybe you just need to sit down and get it better organized, get some better tools in place that can keep it organized, or maybe get a habit in place where every day you do a 5-minute organizational sweep to get everything in its place so that it’s not distracting you when it’s time to work. 

Your digital spaces

This could be your computer, or it could be the most distracting device ever designed, which is our phones. What can you do to be able to create less distraction and more focus as you’re working?

This might mean:

  • Do not disturb mode
  • App limits
  • Turning off notifications
  • Keeping your phone on silent
  • Deleting the most distracting apps

One of the best things I ever did was to delete all of my social media apps and only allow myself to check social media from my big computer, which means I have to be sitting down at my desk, which means I have to be in my workday, which means I am very effective and efficient when I’m checking social, instead of just falling into the scroll hole at the end of the day or in the middle of the day, or whenever something dings at me.

Now, again, you know that this is super challenging.

It was so hard for me to delete some of these apps, but I want to challenge you. What is the most distracting app you have? Comment below and let me know and let me know how terrifying it would be if you were to delete it. 

Tara wearing a white shirt, holding a Wild Orange essential oil bottle with white background and large house plant
Strategy #4 – Supplementation

Okay. Strategy number four, how to stay focused. I want you to use some supplementation.

We’re in a very unnatural world, which means our brains need a little extra supplementation to be able to function really well in it. And there are two supplements that I’m really gonna recommend to you. 

One of them is essential oils.

You’ve probably heard me talking about this one. I have a video specifically on essential oils for focus. I want you to look at that video and learn which oils specifically are the best for focus and concentration. This is something you can pop in a diffuser and keep it working to help your brain focus just a little bit better.

The second is a supplement called L-Theanine.

Now, this is usually used for stress, but most of us are having a hard time focusing because we’re under so much mental stress. And there actually has been some research that when you use L-Theanine with caffeine, it increases your focus. I don’t use it with caffeine. And I find that I am so much more productive because again, I’m less stressed, I’m in a better mood. And when you feel good, you can do good. 

weekly schedule
Strategy #5 – Don’t over-schedule yourself.

Strategy number five is not over-scheduling yourself.

Basically. I want you to set a max of 1-3 tasks a day. Now I know that sounds crazy if you’ve got a ton of stuff that needs to be done, but here’s what I want it to challenge you on, I want you to try this out – I want you to set these 1-3 tasks, and then if you blow it out of the water, you get it done early. You get these ones done, and then you can say, “oh, I’ve got extra time. What’s next?” and then you’re going to feel like a mother-loving bad-ass because you got your list done and all these other things that weren’t on your list.

I challenge you to try this. It is so good.

The more you allow yourself to do less, the more you actually get done, the more effective you are, the more efficient you are, the more productive you are, and the less stressed you’re going to feel because you can focus and your brain is not driving you crazy.

Clock on the wall at 3:50
Strategy #6 – Experiment with timing

Number six, experiment with timing.

It’s really important to understand that good timing for one person is bad timing for another. You need to find the time of day where you can focus, where you can do the best work. You know, monks get up and meditate between 3-5:00 AM because they can focus better. That’s why they’re so good at meditation. The whole world’s not awake yet. So they don’t have the, even just the energy of the world around them, distracting them. They’re not thinking about what’s going on outside of them because everybody’s asleep. And so they can actually meditate.

A lot of people I know, get up super early and work for an hour or two before the family’s awake or they wait until they go to bed so that they can really sit down and focus, no emails coming in, no social media notifications, nothing vying for their attention because the whole world is not awake and trying to talk to them.

Now that doesn’t mean that those times are best for you.

You’ve got to figure out what that is for yourself, but really ask yourself that question: What’s the best time of day for me to get the most done, to be able to focus? And then what would have to happen, what would I need to do or change to allow myself to work more in that time of day? What kind of actions would I have to take to make that feasible for me?

Letterboard that read "Crush your goals not your soul"
Strategy #7 – Set Better Goals

Number seven, if you want to know how to stay focused, you gotta set better goals.

If you’re setting goals that make you feel overwhelmed, that are too small, too big, setting them in the wrong way… if you don’t have the goal set, the approach to the goal, correct the mindset behind the goal in the right place, all of those things are going to make it really difficult to focus.

So to help you with that, check out this playlist on goals, go through it, see which ones apply to you, and really do some learning on goal-setting. Because goal-setting itself is a skill. It’s a thing that people teach for a living because it is such a unique thing, not just as simple as I want to do this. And you go and do it. There’s strategy. There’s a technique, there’s tactic behind it. That’s really important and helpful to learn. The more you learn it, the more you’re going to be able to focus on that goal and actually get some things done

Bonus Tip – Get targeted support

I have a little bonus tip for you too. I want you to get targeted support. So whatever area is making it hard for you to focus or whatever reason is making it hard for you to focus. I want you to get support in that area.

So if you’re struggling in family relationships, get some support in those family relationships, because it’s going to continue to be a distraction if it’s messy right now, if you need support in your business, get some targeted support in your business. Because if it’s messy, those emotions, that mindset, all of that junk, and that stress it’s going to make it really difficult to focus.

So some examples of targeted support, it might be a therapist. It might be a coach. It might be a mentor, or maybe you don’t need super targeted support. You just need an accountabilibuddy.

This is your accountability partner. Somebody who’s going to buddy with you on a goal or to help you stay focused. You could do work dates together. You could just set goals and do check-ins together, but bringing other people in, whether it is support or just support, friendly, help, or targeted support, both of those things are going to lead you in the right direction because we get more done when we’re not doing something on our own.

So yes, even just in terms of how to stay focused, having other people with you is going to target your brain. You’re going to stay more focused when you’re with somebody or somebody is helping you on something. They’re going to keep you on track than if you’re just wandering around trying to do it yourself. 

Free targeted support you can get now

If the type of targeted support you need is around figuring out the right things to focus on or getting your head on straight so that you can, I encourage you to check out my Healthy Hustle approach, my free class, “How to Use a Holistic Approach to Create a Profitable Business Without Burning Yourself Out” will show you the top three mistakes small business owners are making and introduce you to the approach and strategies I teach to help you reach a six-figure business working less than 40 hours a week.

You can grab your seat by clicking the button below.

What about you, boss lady?

What’s your best tip for staying focused in your business?

Scroll down to leave your comments below.


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