Are You Free To Focus On Your Business?
Are you focused? Are you productive? Do you read books, download countless apps, and take courses on the subjects? What if I were to tell you those are exactly the things which can hold you back in business? Well, I am.
First, being laser-focused is good at times. Certainly, if you’re an athlete preparing for a race or a surgeon heading into an operating room you’d better be 100 percent focused on the task at hand. The majority of us don’t need as much free time to focus as we think. In fact, it’s often the distraction which provides such great insight and ideas.
In a Business Insider article, numerous experts weigh in on the proven research and findings of why it is so important not to focus and take a break. If an overwhelming 72 percent of people get their best ideas in the shower why are we focused so much on being focused?
It’s because you’re working to do so many things you force yourself to power through to get to the next task. Stopping and taking a break isn’t an option. You’ve got deadlines to meet, proposals to send out, meetings on your calendar and one momentum shift could completely ruin your entire schedule. Did it ever occur to you that you’re doing too much?
Second, the idea that it is your job to be productive is wrong most of the time. Do you work on a production or assembly line? Are you paid for the number products you create in an hour or a day? If you do, then yes productivity is your job. For the rest of you, it’s not.
Think about this for a moment. Productivity hasn’t always been an issue for the executive workforce. Now it’s almost impossible to avoid. What has changed? The use of administrative professionals. There was a time when an executive would never type up anything, send his own memos, make his copies, schedule his own travel, and the list goes on and on. Now that is has become easier and so many administrative tasks can be done by the executive they do. Every minute adds up, every moment they stop to take care of administrative tasks is not only time not doing what they should, but also time wasted because studies have shown it can take 25 minutes to get back on track once you’ve been distracted.
Our culture shifted the same way. There was a time when everyone sat around the dinner table to eat. The thought of not having dinner at a specified time meant you went hungry or had a cold meal. There were no microwaves and a lack of takeout or fast food restaurants also meant there weren’t a lot of options.
The more convenient food has become, TV dinners, fast food, delivery, instant meals, etc. the less of a necessity dinner time became. Now we have movements to get back to having family dinners, eating healthy, and speak to one another face to face. It seems crazy, but it’s true.
The way we measure productivity is flawed. People checking their BlackBerry over dinner is not the measure of productivity. – Tim Ferriss
Productivity has become the same and yet what it takes to be productive and focus on your business is exactly what is holding you back. How much time do you spend trying to implement new processes, reading, working the apps, updating the systems? My favorite is the retreats people attend so they can be more productive. They spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars to go away and feel great because they are doing so much high level and big picture work and creative thinking. Yet they don’t realize when they get back the momentum is gone because they’ve reentered the daily grind of productivity and doing their best to focus. It’s backward.
Your job is not to be free so you can focus more or be more productive. Your job is to create the freedom to think and implement, create new ideas and strategies, manage, grow, scale, and be sustainable. If you’re so focused on sending out emails and stuck in the endless hamster wheel of productivity. When are you free to do what matters and create?
Guess what? No matter how many emails you answer today you’ll have more to answer tomorrow. Don’t be fooled. Your job is not to be the most focused or productive person. It is your administrative assistant or virtual assistant’s job.
Because you can’t do it all yourself….Melissa Smith, The PVA is the bestselling author of Hire the Right Virtual Assistant and host of the Admin to VA Summit. To learn more about working with a Virtual Assistant contact Melissa here.