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Eight tips to increase your personal focus

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Personal focus and high levels of concentration are essential for personal efficiency which leads to great business and personal success. So how do you increase your levels of focus? Read on for Heather Townsend’s top eight tips to increase your personal focus:

1. Write down your goals and make them visible

Research has shown that you are more likely to achieve your personal goals if you do three simple things – write them down, tell people about them and make them visible. What can you pin up to your fridge door?

2. Know thy self

Everyone has their own distractions which detracts them from the matter in hand. For the next seven days try to notice what is distracting you – perhaps it’s your e-mail? Maybe it’s Twitter? Maybe it’s your children? Once you’ve identified your top five distractions, think about what you can do to minimise the disruption. For example, when I have a large amount of work to complete, I turn off Tweetdeck and Outlook.

3. Look after yourself

Good focus and concentration is helped by taking regular exercise, drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water a day, minimising your intake of fat and sugar, getting a good night’s sleep and eating your five-a-day of fruit and vitamins. Sorry for being a party-pooper…

4. Take regular breaks

You can only focus at an optimum level for a finite period of time. Regular breaks help you to keep up your focus.

5. Write down a list

Whether you call it a to-do list or a “must-achieve” list, writing down what you have to get done is a must for high levels of focus.

6. Work with your energy levels

Your energy levels will go up and down during the day. Plan the tough stuff which will need 100 per cent focus when you’re generally the most bright and alert, and save the enjoyable or easy stuff for when your energy levels are low.

7. Have someone keep you accountable to your goals

There is nothing quite like the feeling of not having a boss anymore – it leaves you free to follow ideas and opportunities that come your way. The downside is you can may never achieve or follow anything through because you’re too busy getting distracted. I personally use my own business coach to keep me focused on working towards and achieving my business goals.

8. Play to your strengths

When you’re doing something that plays to your natural strengths or talents, focus and concentration is easy – you’ll achieve high levels of output for seemingly little effort. However, when you’re not playing to your personal strengths, it’s hard to focus and takes large amounts of energy. If you can outsource work that doesn’t play to your strengths, great. But otherwise, do this type of work when you’re at your most alert and motivated.

Heather Townsend, Britain’s queen of networking, is the founder of The Efficiency Coach, a company that helps professionals achieve better business results for less effort. Follow her Joined Up Networking blog for more useful tips and tricks. She has just been commissioned to write the FT Guide to Business Networking.

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