Having Trouble Focusing? You Could Be Facing 1 of These 7 Problems

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

For busy entrepreneurs with loaded schedules and brimming task lists, there’s nothing more frustrating than having the time to work but being so unable to focus that they feel that they’re getting nothing done. If it’s any consolation, know that your situation is hardly unique: even in a task as simple as reading, the average mind wanders from the task at hand anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of the time, according to Canadian researcher Jonathan Schooler.

But knowing that most entrepreneurs and professionals have trouble focusing doesn’t exactly help with your problem. If you want to improve your focus on a daily basis, and correct the chronic distractions you face, you’ll first need to determine the root cause of the issue.

So, if focus is a major concern in your work,the reason is likely one or more of these root causes:

1. Sleep deprivation

A recent study by the Cognitive Neuroscience Society further explored this effect, noting that its primary effect is on selective attention — in other words, your ability to focus on one information source while ignoring another. Those who were sleep deprived had trouble differentiating between the two sources. Sound familiar? The solution here is to prioritize your sleep schedule, and get a full night’s rest as often as possible.

2. Distractions

You can eliminate these distractions for yourself by using a browser app that disallows distracting websites, or by turning off your phone.

3. No priorities

If this is your problem, you’ll need to work to establish a firmer system of prioritization.

4. Stress

5. Lifestyle factors

If you skip out on exercise and all your meals are either vending machine snacks or fast food, you won’t have the energy to focus on what needs to get done.

6. A chaotic environment

You can control this variable by establishing firmer communication standards and trying to keep your work environment more organized.

7. ADHD

How many of these focus-corruptors can you identify with? Chances are, if you experience focus problems chronically, there’s more than one cause. Fortunately, each of these problems has an achievable solution, or at least a way to mitigate its effects.

The better you understand how your mind, body, and environment work together, the more control you’ll be able to exert, and the more focused you’ll be on a day-to-day basis.

For more content like this, be sure to check out my podcast, The Entrepreneur Cast!

CEO of EmailAnalytics (emailanalytics.com), a productivity tool that visualizes team email activity, and measures email response time. Check out the free trial!