Over the years, I’ve experienced a variety of work environments. I have to say that, no matter the environment, if I didn’t put myself in a position where I could focus, I paid the price. By paying the price, I mean that I didn’t reach my best productivity level in whatever I was doing and wasted lots of time that could have been better spent.
This isn’t limited to time and energy, but extends to reaching goals and running a business. How many goals can you have and still make sure you can reach them all? We try to limit our company quarterly goals to just 3 if they are somewhat large so that we retain enough time and energy to achieve them. I have run multiple businesses at once, only to find that the time and thought required to run them just distracted me and I lost focus.
The lack of focus takes away from the power that can be created when you aggregate all of your energy to a central point. Most people know that when light is focused with a magnifying glass onto a surface, it creates a laser so hot it can cut through almost anything, and the same with water. These are perfect examples of pushing on the great big flywheel that Jim Collins discusses in his book Good to Great.
The flywheel, if you’re not familiar, is synonymous with your business. When you and your team are concentrating your efforts all in the same spot on the flywheel, you can push it forward. With the combined effort, the big heavy flywheel starts to move, then spin with ongoing effort and focus. Once its spinning, it gets easier and requires less effort and focus. This, in my opinion, is where businesses start to fall behind. When it gets easier, we get distracted, which brings about less focus on the business, and then a competitor comes up behind you with more focus pushing on their own flywheel.
When I sit down to write my blog, and end up multitasking by taking phone calls and reading emails, I lose the streaming thoughts I had when I sat down to write. So how do I focus and steer clear of getting sucked into things like the black hole of email?
What I do now is close my email, turn my phone on airplane mode and shut the door to my office when it’s time to focus and write my blog. Most of us entrepreneurs have some form of ADD, Dyslexia (this one is me) or both. We also tend to be easily distracted by motion, or things as simple as a messy desk. I recently read an article called “The Single Best Time Management Tip Ever” by Dave Logan. He discovered, after working with a Dyslexic student and seeking some advice, that the key was to devote short 20 minute bursts of pure focus to whatever you’re doing, and then putting it down. By doing this over and over, major work was accomplished.
Thomas Edison was nearly deaf, and his theory was that his lack of hearing was what allowed him to focus so well, which led to so many successful inventions. I am working hard to be FOCUSED because I know that it leads to great business success and great results! How focused are you?