Every minute of every day our brains are filled with thoughts. These range from client deadlines, to-dos, calls, meetings, appointments and ideas, to errands, the friends we need to call, the family commitments we have for the week, the things we’ve forgotten to do but still need to do, and on it goes.
With so much action going on all the time, it can become almost impossible to focus on the task at hand. To help you be more clear and precise, here are three ways to gain more clarity in business.
1. Go back to basics
It is easy to get distracted in business. From the regular interruptions of phone, email and social media, to watching what competitors are doing, listening to every bit of customer feedback and innovating products and services to meet market demand. However, we can lose sight of what we want to achieve in the day, week, month, year and beyond.
When this happens, it’s important to go back to basics. Look at the key markets you are targeting. Have they changed or do they need to change? Profile your current and ideal customers, remembering that your market should be an inch wide (targeted and specific) and a mile deep (lots of interested customers).
Then look over your points of difference, your key messages, your brand positioning, your business SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats), why you do what you do and what you want to achieve. These business and marketing basics will give you more clarity on your business and help you establish the direction you want and need to take.
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By over complicating tasks and processes, failing to reduce wastes and inefficiencies, refusing to give up control and not delegating or outsourcing, we leave ourselves bogged down in task overload, unable to see beyond our own to-do list.
With complication being the enemy of clarity and creativity, you should look to simplify. As you go about your day, always be asking: “Is there any easier or quicker way to do this?” By simplifying, you’ll reduce the time and money spent, giving yourself more brainpower to prioritise and focus on what you really need to be doing.
3. Purge your thoughts
If you are becoming increasingly distracted by thoughts going a million miles an hour, take five to 10 minutes to write down everything that is running through your head.
As tempting as it can be, this is not the time to develop your ideas further or put them into action. You are simply purging your thoughts and ideas to increase your focus and clarity, with the added bonus of providing a point of reference for later.
What are your tricks for gaining more clarity?