Have you ever noticed that entrepreneurs, are among the most creative people on the planet? Whenever I go to a meetup or forum, I’m always dazzled and inspired by their ideas, their energy, their capacity to predict the future and create new things. They are all wonderful, even essential qualities for first time startup founders. However all these traits are ultimately ineffective, without focus.
The world is filled with opportunities and there are many good ideas floating around that you can emulate. However…You will need focus to accomplish milestones and sustain real momentum towards your targeted goals. How will you get it? Listed below are the three things I consider most significant to maintaining focus if you are running a Startup.
1. Get regular daily rest.
We are now aware from the experts that study sleep science, that missing just one single night’s sleep minimises your cognitive capacity to exactly the same extent as being on the alcohol limit. Moreover, when we’re sleep deprived, we tend to be much more vulnerable to rigid, stereotyped thinking. Our tired brain cleaves to easy answers, lacking the power (or glucose) to find innovative ones. If you wish to have the ability to think creatively about your organization’s goals, get some rest.
2. Don’t use strategy to hedge your bets
Many startup founders are guilty of deploying multi-pronged strategies as an effective solution to balance risk. The thinking here is that you will always have a fallback position should something go wrong. Most companies are resource-constrained and also have neither the money nor individuals to tackle several opportunities at the same time. Too easily, success in a single effort subsidizes failure in another, with the effect that neither truly thrive and evolve into achievement and return. Having a “balanced portfolio” approach is actually saying to the market and investors, My team and I can’t really decide which direction to take. When VCs describe their “walking dead” firms, they’re invariably discussing poorly directed ones that tried to accomplish everything. “Walking dead ” firms are also identified by still appearing to be in business but lack the financial resources to attract new investments on board.
Although focusing on one technique at the same time might feel dangerously risky, the truth is that when the strategy fails, you discover the root causes quickly and can then change course.
3. Don’t Get Distracted.
Not everyone is a multitasker. True, most organisations these days, are placing a high value on maximising productivity with minimal resources and are keen to identify and retain employees with “multi-tasking” abilities. Our brains do have a limited capacity and many people fundamentally do not multitask. They are able to task switch, jumping rapidly in one thing to some other, but that is exhausting and inefficient. Learn instead to ‘mono-task’: Select a task and focus on it until it really is finally complete. You will discover that ultimately, this is actually efficient and less exhausting. In the event that you chair a meeting, ensure you leave the mobile devices switched off. Employ a form of ‘techno-discipline’ and stick with it. Always ask the question, “am I being effective?
Image credit via Luke
Hayden Richards is Contributor of IntelligentHQ. He specialises in finance, trading, investment, and technology, with expertise in both buy-side, sell-side. Contributing and advising various global corporations, Hayden is a thought leader, researching on global regulatory subjects, digital, social media strategies and new trends for Businesses, Capital Markets and Financial Services.
Aside from the articles, interviews and content he writes for IntelligentHQ, Hayden is also a content curator for capital markets, analytic platforms and business industry emerging trends. An avid new media explorer Hayden is driven by a passion for business development, innovation, social business, Tech Trading, payments and eCommerce. A native Trinidadian, Hayden is also a veteran, having served with the Royal Air Force Reserves for the past 10 years.
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