This month's topic is Focus.
Focus means to become able to see clearly or pay particular attention to.
Focus is the number one skill you need to develop to increase productivity. (It's so important that I am hosting a workshop on Jan 11th to help you build out your most productive year ever!)
Picture this: you’re in the middle of working on a project, then, all of a sudden… your phone rings. Long after you’ve wrapped up the call, you’re scrolling through LinkedIn, then Facebook, then Instagram. Now, you're checking up on your texts. When you finally remember what you were originally doing, you don’t have any of the concentration you had before.
It doesn’t matter what job you have, we are all distracted.
With all the moving parts, it can be difficult to maintain focus. Quickly, try to recall what happened in a meeting yesterday… a little foggy right?
On average, we are distracted 47% of the day.
That’s HALF of your day!
Being focused means noticing something is “off” with a client in a meeting and asking more questions. It means being a leader who feels an employee is disengaged and having a conversation to understand why before they leave (when you need them most).
When you start to focus, you realize you can get more done in less time. And there’s a fair correlation between people being focused and achieving their goals.
Ability consists of the skills to execute on the job and discipline to stay on schedule. Many of us have the ability to get our jobs done, but we don’t have the ability to focus on the RIGHT activities.
So, how do we create the discipline to focus? How do you restructure your brain for more focus?
I’ve mentioned it before, but I want to reiterate that I worked a 20-hour work week, while in a corporate sales job. I worked in NC, DC and NYC in different sales roles for over 12 years and was top 1%. It wasn’t luck, it was my discipline around focus.
Today I am an entrepreneur, mother, and community activist and I work about a 10-hour week.
We can have a 20-hour work week by focusing, not from working harder.
This is NOT an advertisement on how to do it all.
It’s the opposite. It’s a reminder that you can’t get anything done when you are doing it all!
Focus: it means picking one thing at a time to draw your attention to. It means fully listening to the peer or employee or client in front of you and using that information to ask a productive question that reduces the amount of time you have. It means being able to complete a strategic plan without checking email or text messages.
So, how do I do it?
I simplify my life so I can focus. I am intentional about where I spend my time and energy.
For instance - working out, eating healthy, gardening, and quality time with my family fuel me.
Things that don’t:
Fashion- I rarely go shopping. I buy high quality items that last me forever, and I kind of have a uniform, which makes getting ready every day easy.
Cooking- I have figured out how to make a few things really well in my instapot (like juicy chicken breast) and basically make the same things with different seasons or dressings. I spend two hours on Sunday to meal prep for the week.
TV- I haven’t owned a TV in 17 years. Literally, a guy I was dating bought me one because he thought it was so weird. (And I gave it to my friend when we broke up.) Maybe I’ll stream something every once in a while, but it's when I choose to watch something specific, meaning I am intentional about the time I spend.
I’m not telling you to not be into fashion, cooking or TV; instead, during this month of focus, I’d like you to become more aware of the places you spend your time and simplify your life so you have more time and energy to focus on the things that really matter.
When you cut out the things that don’t really matter, you have a lot more time for the things that do.
Or simply the space in your schedule to rest so when you need energy, you have it.
How this relates to my business (and things you can try too!):
I check email only 2 times a day and finish one email completely before moving on to something else.
I don’t get sucked into social media like Twitter or Linkedin. Instead, I use a tool to automate posts and I reply to them from the tool.
I know I am most creative in the beginning of the week and schedule strategy/planning for Monday and Tuesday mornings.
I only work on something (or focus) for about 30 minutes before I take a performance break or switch to something else.
How can you create more focus:
*SIT practice- it’s shown that concentration practices build our ability to focus and concentrate in our neocortex.
Below is one of the techniques we’ll introduce in our
on Jan 11th:
● Write out all the important goals for 2022 (Try to limit it to six Personal and/or Professional total).
● Then, write out the six or less milestones or things you need to do to accomplish each of those goals (You should have six goals with 36 or less actions or milestones).
● For each month of the year, pick three or less of the milestones/ actions to accomplish.
This does not mean not doing anything else, but it does mean prioritizing high impact activities. Instead of doing ALL the things, we are going to focus on a few things. By focusing each month on three or less milestones or actions, you will achieve some high impact goals by the end of 2022.
If you want to improve your focus and create your most productive year ever, join our workshop on Jan11th @ 1pm PST/4pm EST.
Want to improve your team's ability to focus, contact me to learn more about our popular corporate programs.