6 Tips for Avoiding CEO-Distraction Syndrome

As a culture, we seem to have a shorter attention span than a goldfish. With a constant influx of information competing for our attention, it makes sense that we can’t seem to maintain focus. This only gets worse as more individuals count on us for our expertise, opinions, and direction.

CEOs and business owners face a unique challenge. While our involvement may not be in the trenches, we touch every aspect of the business. We are kept up-to-date with customer retention initiatives, sales progress, operational issues, and staffing challenges. On top of it all, we are responsible for guiding the company towards continued success. It’s a lot to handle!

Business leaders are infamous for feeling as though we must constantly split our focus. The truth is, our constant attempts to multi-task our focus may be causing significant damage to our companies and our own sanity. Here are some simple techniques for maintaining focus throughout your busy day.

Build Awareness

Each time you get pulled away from a task (either from an external source or your own distraction), take note. The more you understand where your major distractions are coming from, the better prepared you can be for maintaining focus.

Turn Off Unnecessary Tech

Between our smartphones, tablets, and computers, we can always find a new way to procrastinate. Even worse, social media marketing lets us convince ourselves that we’re doing something productive for our businesses. While trying to get things done, turn off your unnecessary tech items. This includes turning off your cell phone, closing Facebook, and closing any computer programs not relevant to your immediate goals.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Every day should be started with a To Do list. Beyond simply putting your tasks down on paper, each one should be prioritized. The most important task (albeit it’s likely the one you want to do the least) should be completed first. For many CEOs who rely on an executive assistant, he or she should be updated daily with the priorities of the day, so he or she can field incoming communications as necessary.

Schedule Emails As a Task

The most common way for a CEO to have his or her entire morning disappear is to open emails first thing. Answering emails should be scheduled on your To Do list, just like every other task. Avoid the temptation of answering emails as they come in. Instead, schedule your email time for just before lunch and in the late afternoon. Trust me, you’ll be thankful for the amount of time this trick opens up in your day.

Bring Each Task to Completion

Focus on one task at a time. Even though you think you are a talented multi-tasker, the likelihood is that you are human just like the rest of us. When you start a task, continue to work on it until it is done. Much of our time is wasted switching between tasks because we have to spend a few minutes (if not more) figuring out where we left off. Save that time for more important things.

Take Breaks

With so much to do in one day, we often forget the importance of taking breaks. Before you find yourself staring blankly at the screen, take a lap around the office. Use this as an opportunity to connect with your team, or simply take time to yourself. Not only do you deserve it; you need it.

Looking for more business success tips? Check out my blog.

About the Author

With more than three decades of experience in all facets of sales management, customer service, business growth, and staff coordination, Certified Business Coach Greg Emslie is a focused professional with the tools to help you grow and manage your business effectively.

Driven by his ability to implement proven business concepts and help improve teams, Greg affects all areas of the companies he works with, including sales, leadership, profitability, and decision-making. He focuses on improving efficiency and processes for his clients while helping them grow their revenue base.

Ready to begin finding other ways to make your company more productive? Let’s get the conversation started. Contact Greg Emslie for a business strategy discussion today!


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