Use These 8 Focus Tactics to Become Your Most Productive Self Yet
Learn where to focus for maximum success.
Every day, entrepreneurs must manage a million issues and tasks related to the running of a business. Staying on top of things can feel overwhelming at times, and watching other people seemingly handle the challenges with ease makes it all the more frustrating. What's their secret?
As American author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four-hour days.” Being able to focus is one of the keys to success, but it requires more than just zeroing in on the task at hand — though that’s part of it. It’s about learning where to put your focus.
Learning where to focus has had a tremendous impact on my success. I no longer focus on what isn’t going right, irritations or obstacles in my path. Instead, I place my focus on what will really take me where I want to go. Here are some of the key places to focus — and where not to focus — that I teach in my trainings.
1. Focus on what you can change, not what you can’t
You can’t change the weather, the economy or the fact that your top salesperson went off to work for a competitor. What you can change is your response to it. Every circumstance, no matter how discouraging it looks, comes with an opportunity waiting to be discovered. Put your focus on finding it.
2. Focus on past successes, not past failures
Once you’ve figured out the lessons from a failure, forget about it. Focusing on that past failure will only drain your confidence and make you fearful. Your focus needs to be on succeeding, not on “not failing again.” You’re playing to win, not to “not lose.”
3. One thing at a time
Make sure your focus stays on what you need to do in this moment, not the totality of everything you need to do. Studies have shown that if you focus on one thing at a time exclusively, you actually get more done than if you try to multi-task.
4. Focus on solutions, not excuses or blaming
Making up excuses for why the problem happened (or, even worse, focusing on finding someone to blame) is a total waste of time. And focusing on “how bad” the problem is simply zaps your energy. Instead, look that challenge squarely in the eye and put your focus on creating solutions.
5. Focus on actions, not distractions
Texts, emails, calls, people who want to chat — how much time do these things eat up in a day? How much value you get out of them compared to the value you’d get from actions you should be taking instead? If you can’t totally ignore your distractions, schedule them for certain blocks of time in the day. Don’t let them encroach on times when you need to focus on action.
6. Focus on what is yours to do, not what others do
If you’ve given your marketing over to someone in your organization, let him or her do it. If you’ve turned the bookkeeping over to an accountant, let the accountant take care of it. Yes, this business is your baby, and you’ll need to track others’ work for you. But once you feel confident about the person you’ve delegated to, focus on what others can’t do for your business that only you can do.
7. Focus on what you can give, not what you can get
To really succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to make sure that you are giving your clients and customers more than they expected and more than anyone else. Your focus needs to be on them, not yourself and your own success. I know it sounds backwards, but it’s true. The more you give, the more you’ll get.
Related: 5 Reasons You Need to Be Giving Back
8. Focus on the "why," not the "what"
We all have goals for what we want. But if you focus on “more money” or “more sales” without being crystal clear about why you want those things, somewhere along the line, you’ll run out of steam. When you focus on your true "why," you find yourself leaping out of bed in the morning with almost limitless energy and inspiration.
So, ask yourself, “Where am I directing my focus? Is it on what will bring success or on things that don’t serve me?” The good news is that we can always choose where we put our efforts.
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