Distracted at Work? 3 Simple Tricks to Get You Focused

tips for focusingIn the world of technology, distractions are everywhere. Pinging notifications have a way of popping up on our phones and computers, and then an hour later, we find ourselves trying to remember what it was we were doing in the first place. However, when it comes to staying focused at work, it's just a matter of building good habits that will stand the test of time (or at least get you to the end of the work day). Here are a few tips for focusing amidst the mountain of emails and instant messages that are sure to come your way. 

3 Tips for Focusing At Work:

  1. Set specific goals.

    Part of the reason we get distracted at all at work is that we are bored or overwhelmed by the task at hand. However, knowing your priorities and setting goals can help minimize any attempt at procrastination. One of the best tips for focusing is proper goal setting. Proper goal setting works best when you break down each goal into reasonable time blocked tasks. Outlining all the steps it will take to accomplish what you want and then giving yourself a time limit for each one will help motivate you to meet your potential and fulfill your deadlines.  Make sure the goals you set are SMART; meaning they are specific, measurable, assignable, relevant, and timely. This will ensure that you aren’t overwhelming yourself or wasting time on unattainable projects. Also try tackling the hardest tasks at the beginning of the day when you’re most energized and have loads of time ahead of you, and save the more routine things on your to do list for the end of the day when you’re brain and attention span is winding down. This way you won’t be as stressed or pushed for time on an important project.
  2. Take breaks.

    It’s important to step back every once in a while, and if you do so regularly, you’ll find yourself less prone to give into the little distractions that present themselves throughout the day because you’ve already taken a break. For example, after spending a period of time hard at work, try rewarding yourself by getting up and walking around, grabbing a cup of coffee, filling up your water bottle, or even eating a mid afternoon treat. You can control the temptation to constantly check emails, social media, and text messages by setting aside a specific about of time in your workday for it. Catch up with your peers during lunch, so you don't find yourself chitchatting at your desk instead of working. It also helps if your work space is somewhat enjoyable. So if you can, listen to background music to pump you up or keep your brain relaxed.
  3. Regulate technology.

    \ When you’re in the office, why not make your devices work for you? Take advantage of the many apps out there that can track your time spent on certain sites, and even block those that you are prone to linger on for too long like YouTube or Facebook. Additionally, consider disabling your phone by turning it on silent, or having calls go directly to voicemail so you’re not interrupted unnecessarily during work hours. Keeping any handheld devices in your bag, or face down on your desk so you can’t see if the screen lights up, will also help prevent you from being pulled off track.
At Number8, we believe one of the keys to achieving your business's goals is great IT that supports your company. We help businesses access great IT by connecting them with remote workers that utilize best-practice tools and processes. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!

Books to Inspire Successful Entrepreneurs

September 11, 2017 / in Entrepreneurship, / by Number8

“A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone if it is to keep its edge. That is why I read so much.” - Tyrion Lannister

Yeah, we went there; we opened up this post with a Game of Thrones quote. There simply isn’t a better way to emphasize just how important books are. When you’re an entrepreneur, books are especially helpful. To stay on top of your market you must keep your mind nimble and there’s no better way to do so than exposing yourself to new ideas through books-- whether they are the latest fiction bestseller, a stirring biography, or something more technical and specific to your niche. Want to build a reading list of your own? Check out these books recommended for successful entrepreneurs and get inspired.

Welcome to the Universe: An Astrophysical Tour by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Michael A. Strauss and J. Richard Gott

You probably thought you were done with textbooks after graduation, but this one is worth picking up. Welcome to the Universe was developed as the basis for a Princeton physics course for non-science majors. Full of wit and charm, the material explains the cosmos thoroughly without patronizing the reader. It’s the perfect read for those times when you can’t quit obsessing over the little things and need to be reminded of the big picture.

String Theory by David Foster Wallace

This collection of essays on tennis is the perfect introduction to David Foster Wallace, as noted by Bill Gates himself. Even if you are not a fan of the sport, the gripping prose draws you in and doesn’t let go. Each essay was published separately by various magazines. But after the author’s 2008 suicide, the Library of America compiled them into a handy collection to further solidify his stance as the “greatest tennis writer ever.”

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by don Miguel Ruiz

This is a self-help book for people who hate self-help books. The Four Agreements are simple resolutions that can help a person navigate life in a more mindful, constructive way. The principles have been noted as a primer for cognitive-behavioral therapy. At a mere 168 pages, this is a perfect book to sit down with on those afternoons where your mind is going a million miles a minute and people are driving you crazy.

The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

Turns out, you don’t have to be born with charisma to have it. Author Olivia Fox Cabane uses her years of experience and scientific evidence to back up her claim that anyone can exude the kind of moxie that inspires people. If you want to be a leader, this is a good place to start.

The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley

When it comes to your venture, what keeps you going? Is it your family? Your dreams? Is it the next cup of coffee you’ll have? How about the advancement of the human race and society as a whole? The Rational Optimist makes the argument that trade, market, and commerce are the catalysts behind all of the human prosperity. If that doesn’t appeal to you as an entrepreneur, we’re not sure what will. At Number 8, we are constantly reading from various sources to stay sharp and we encourage any and everyone to do the same. Interested in learning more about Number 8 and how we employ creativity and entrepreneurship? Contact us today. Call us at 502-890-7665 today or visit us online.

10 Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs

May 11, 2017 / in Blog, Entrepreneurship, / by Number8

first time entrepreneurIn today’s world it may seem easier than ever to create your own business. As long as you have access to the Internet, the possibilities are endless. However, there are still many difficulties that come along with being a first time entrepreneur. So, below we have assembled a list of ten tips to help you and your business succeed.

Take Risks

Arguably, just making the decision to pursue an independent career as an entrepreneur is risky in itself. And once you get past that first step, you can’t stop taking risks. No matter how intimidating it is, fear of failing should never stop you from taking your business to its highest potential. Playing it safe doesn’t lead to success.

Be in control

Take initiative, and stand by your decisions. Your employees and coworkers will appreciate a firm vision. Own your ideas and stick to a path that you believe in.

Network among peers

Look for employees among your peers. They are more likely to understand your perspective and be able to support it. Hire people that you admire and will enjoy working with. Surround yourself with people who won’t be afraid to challenge you and teach you. Work with people who you respect and who respect you.  

Ask for help

It is difficult to admit when you don’t have all the answers. But if you feel comfortable around your employees, it may be a little easier to ask for advice. It is important to remember that asking for help does not mean you are no longer in control. Even the most successful CEOs struggle, and the sooner you come to terms with that, the better off your company will be.  

Trust your team

As an entrepreneur, it may be tempting to micromanage all goings on throughout the office. But remember that you hired your employees because of their competency. Trust that they are spending their time wisely. It can be disheartening for employees to feel as though they have no control over their work. Resist the urge to nitpick and instead focus your energy on the big picture.  

Know when to say no, and when to say yes

Don’t take on more than you can handle. But also don’t skip out on potentially lucrative projects. This will become easier the longer you are in the business. As a first time entrepreneur, sometimes the best advice is to just trust your instincts and learn from your mistakes.

Stay organized

Organization is essential to being a successful entrepreneur. It can be as simple as keeping up with a mobile calendar, or as detailed as mapping out plans and projects for years to come. You should know what is ahead and be ready for whatever it may be.    

Be true to your brand

Developing and maintaining a brand helps to promote your business and keep it in the public eye. If marketing isn’t in the forefront of your skillset, it would be worth it to either hire an in-house expert or outsource through other companies.  

Save money, but don’t be afraid to splurge on the necessities

As a first time entrepreneur, you probably aren’t generating a large profit yet and should be wise about how you spend money. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean holding onto every last dime. Depending on the type of business, you may need to invest quite a bit of money into technology. If you invest in quality equipment from the beginning, the cost will pay for itself once you attract clients.   

Be accountable

There are many benefits of being your own boss, but sometimes it means being tough on yourself. If you can hold yourself accountable, keep your promises, and consistently follow through with goals, then your employees will too. Set an example, and be the boss that you would want to work for.   At Number8, we understand and support those who want to pursue their own career path as an entrepreneur. We also offer tech support services for new businesses. Learn more about the work we do, and how we can help your company succeed by clicking here, or give us a call at (502) 890-7665!  

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