One trait most successful entrepreneurs possess is laser focus.
Though unless they are naturally blessed with it, they will strive to develop it. Why? Because they have learned how powerful it is when you integrate focus into everything you do.
Some of the benefits of developing focus are:
- 1. The most obvious are increased speed, productivity, and efficiency in your work. Basically, you can knock out better work, faster leaving you free to pursue the things you never seem to find time for! How many great ideas have fallen by the wayside because you did not have enough margin in your life to turn them into a working project?
- 2. Less obvious is the sense of accomplishment that focus will give you. Nobody likes to reach the end of their day not having reached the end of their to-do list. It feels good to check items off and have a clean slate at the end of the day. Feeling successful breeds more success. Woohoo!
- 3. A benefit to you, indirectly, is the benefit to your customers and clients. When you are properly focused, working in an environment tailored to your needs, and have done the steps to be mentally prepared, your work will be more prolific, but so much more effective. A better product equals happy customers, which leads to increased business. Everybody wins!
So, why would you not be interested in developing better focus if success is the goal? It’s a freebie that will make all the difference in your level of success. Let me illustrate to you what a huge difference it can make.
Here is a Facebook post I wrote back in January before I made the smart move to actually implement all I know about productivity. Knowing and doing are two different things, you know. So, after this post, I got serious.
How I Write.
Well, kinda. When I write, I just spill words onto whatever is close by to write them on. Decided to start writing in an official writing block of time tho. Ya know…get more disciplined about it.
This is how it went…..
1. Decide to write.
2. Spend five minutes patting myself on the back because I’m gonna corral the beast to enter the writing zone. I expect great things.
3. Get comfortable on the love seat cuz it has the best view. All important thing for writers, ya know. The view must inspire.
4. Look at the time. Wow, right on time. Pat myself on the back again. Smile…..this is gonna be such a productive session.
5. Open a new text document. Stare at page for five minutes thinking about what to write about. Gee, when I’m doing mindless tasks but can’t type, I write brilliantly in my head on bazillions of topics, but now, staring at a black page, I don’t know which one to run with. Never mind the massive amounts of half-finished work on my hard drive. This view deserves brand new, truly inspired words. And it is the quiet of the morning….the ideal time for inspired writing. So, new document it is.
6. Stare out window to await inspiration.
7. Go date the unwritten piece so if the computer shuts down unexpectedly, it will be saved and I’ll know how to find it, maybe.
8. Yikes, when did I last run maintenance on this computer? Might wanna do that. Don’t wanna take a chance on losing all this brilliant writing.
9. Go open and run program. Check phone to be sure I have the ringer on. Decide I need a pillow for my lower back. Run and get that and settle in.
10. Look at time and realize it’s been awhile since I poked the fire, so I get up to tend the wood stove before I write. I could get so lost in my writing that I forget and it goes out.
11. Upon standing, realize I better go get rid of some coffee or I’ll be flowing in my writing session and need to pee. So off to the potty I go.
12. Come out of bathroom and can’t remember why I had gotten up to begin with. Think about it as I wander around looking for a trigger. Go to stand by the wood stove for warmth. Aha ha! Wood stove! That was it.
13. Mess with the fire for five minutes.
14. Sit back down in front of that delicious view, settling the bum so I’m supremely comfy, reach for my coffee mug…..sigh. It’s almost half empty. I can’t start a writing session without a full mug of coffee. Sigh again, get up and top off coffee. Wonder if I should pee again since it is a full cup and decide against it. It is writing time.
15. Snuggle my butt back into writing position. Take a sip of coffee. Now, where was I? See blank page and remember….inspiration. I was about to stare at trees and seek inspiration.
16. Watch the birds feeding and think about what lessons we can learn from them. Uh oh. The bird feeder is all the way down to about a third full. And it’s morning when they go through it so quickly. I need them for inspiration. I’d better go feed them.
17. Find cape and flip flops, step outside to feed the birds, realize it is not cold so I go put my cape up.
18. Step back outside. He heard me. Here comes Pookie the cat for his morning loving.
19. He is wrapped around my legs meowing for loving the whole time I am filling the bird feeder. Fill the feeder, look at him and feel guilty. Poor thing has been outside all alone all night long and it was cold and all he wants is a few minutes of loving.
20. He is all purrs as I settle down to hold him in my lap and pet him. Brrrrrrrrr. If I am gonna give him his official morning loving and get it out of the way, I need my cape. It’s not as warm as it seemed. Put the cat down, go back inside to get my cape.
21. Go sit back down on the porch and call for Pookie. He is pissed cuz I only petted him a moment then put him down. Takes three minutes to persuade him to come get back in my lap.
22. Sit and pet the cat for ten minutes. Sorry, Pookie….it is my official writing time. See ya later.
23. Go back inside, throwing cape on the back of the love seat, remember to poke the fire ( another pat on the back), check my coffee levels, mash my bladder….naw, I’m okay, it’ll hold a while longer.
24. Settle into my writing spot, plump pillow behind my back and see the cape laying there. Sigh. How can I expect Hannah to pick up after herself when I am not setting the example. I go put the cape away, again.
25. Settle in again. Classical music in the background….check. Ideal view….check. Coffee…check. Facebook muted so I am not tempted to see who is dinging me….check. Stare at blank page.
26. Birds. That’s it…I was gonna write something related to birds. Something profoundly wise and helpful. Something with impact. Type “Birds make me think.”
27. Glance at the clock. Freak the heck out. I have five minutes to finish up this amazing message that will burn from within, once I find it. Breathe, Carol. Rein it in. Make a calm decision. Gonna write or gonna stay on schedule?
28. Think I will go poke the fire and think about it. Today’s to-do list is taunting me in the background. I’d have to hurry and it would be no good to try and write now.
29. Go write down “Birds” in planner for my next writing block.
Yep, yep, yep….that is a true story. From this morning.
Now, when I posted that, most people found it amusing, but there is nothing funny about having a desire to do something and not being able to wrangle your mind well enough to accomplish it. I don’t enjoy being frustrated, so I applied what I knew.
Now, let’s fast forward to how my writing time went today!
My timer goes off on my iPhone to let me know to switch gears in five minutes. I wrap up what I was doing, gather my writing tools, refill my coffee, go to the bathroom, and tend the fire. I’ve already given the cat his morning loving and the birds are all fed. Took the dog potty. Sound off on my phone and computer.
I sit down in my designated writing spot. It has the most inspiring view, inside and out the window. I am surrounded by things that move me. The only sound is that of the birds and the breeze in the trees.
Mentally, I am relaxed, but sharp… my mind is prepared to do its stuff. I was careful to do my self-care, soul-nurturing routine of music and nature “therapy”. Then I dumped the stuff rambling through my brain into a purge journal.so there isn’t anything nagging at the back of my mind. It’s all been dealt wit or is written down to be dealt with.
I am able to start writing about five minutes into my pondering time. Forty-five minutes later, the piece is complete. It flowed out naturally. In one hour, I created content ready to use after proofing. No stress, no tears of frustration, no being angry with myself for not being able to produce what I need at will. I have the extreme satisfaction of checking that off of my to-do list….and by golly, I am right on time!
Feeling like a champion, I check that task off and ready myself for the next.
This is a true story. THAT is what developing focus will do for you. In our next post, we are going to start teaching you exactly HOW to get that kind of focus working in your life. It is not as challenging as you might think, once you know how. Is maintaining focus a struggle for you too? What tools have you found work for you to keep you focused and productive?