5 ways entrepreneurs can stay focused this holiday season

It’s been a long year. No-one is taking that away from you. But as the silly season fast approaches and more tourists start to flock to South Africa’s beauty for some R&R, we SA-based entrepreneurs need to do our utmost to remain focused so that we keep the fires burning successfully into 2016.

Here are five ways to keep your business’s momentum going as the year winds down:

1. Have visible Goals

Setting an attainable goal is quite a powerful thing. It creates a sense of dissonance or disharmony within us that drives us until the goal is reached. Make your goals visible: today’s goals or objectives, as well as the bigger dreams and goals for the business. Use a whiteboard, or post-its, or notebook, but make it visible and make it happen.

Warren Buffet — arguably one of the world’s most successful investors — encourages his staff to write out their top 25 things to do. He then suggests they circle five of the most important things to do on that list. Of the 20 remaining on the list he says: “Everything you didn’t circle just became your avoid-at-all-cost list. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top five.”

2. Just Commit

Make public promises – this can be to your customers or to your team at status meetings. Telling others what you are going to accomplish that week or month not only seals your personal commitment on making it happen, but also makes you accountable to them. Nothing is quite as internally motivating as the desire to save face and keep your word.

3. Complete Focus

Multitasking fosters mediocrity. Don’t be tempted into thinking that being ultra-busy and stressed is the same as being productive.

Elon Musk, about only focusing on what the most important goal is, has the following to say:

At Tesla, we’ve never spent any money on advertising. We’ve put all our money into R&D, engineering, design, and manufacturing to build the best car possible. When we consider spending money, we ask if this will create a better product? If not, we don’t proceed with spending the money.

To stay focused, close your emails, mute your phones, put your earphones on, and do one task at a time. In excellence.

4. Pass the Buck

Delegation is essential if you need to stay focused on the business of growing your business. If there are tasks to do that someone else can do, or that are less important for you to do, pass it on. This doesn’t come naturally for most people — it takes a bit of trust on your part asking someone else to do something for you – but you can work harder, faster and more efficiently this way.

The 28-year old CEO Daniel Newman, author of Millennial CEO, suggests:

Over the years my leadership has changed as I have gained more confidence in delegating and more specifically empowering those I work with. This has given me more bandwidth to focus on vision, culture and business transformation. Until you start to relinquish control, you get stuck working in your business instead of working on your business.

5. Save the Brain

All work and no play makes your brain tired, dull and ineffective. And by play, I mean close the laptop, lock the office, put on your trainers and take the family on an outdoor adventure. For Capetonians, Hike Lion’s Head at 6am before the tourists wake up, take a stroll through Newlands forest or get your feet wet walking on the beach. Try eating brain food like salmon, blueberries and broccoli.

We live in the most beautiful country where nature beckons daily and fresh produce abounds at the weekly farmers markets. Take advantage of it and watch how your brain reboots and starts loving on you with fresh ideas and creative energy.

Image by Roderick Eime via Flickr

Mark Seftel


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