Tony's Tip of the Month! - JUNE '11

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I frequently hear people talk about how they have difficulty staying on target in their business ventures. These are usually the same people who don’t check their e-mails, don’t check phone messages and have a messy desk. I know it can be difficult some times to stay on track particularly when it seems you have a million things to do. But it is absolutely essential to stay focused on your goal to get what you want.

Let me read from an article posted on Articles by Zen Habits website written by contributor Jonathan Mead. (Link to original article)


There’s an old Confucius saying that goes ‘If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.’ This is especially true when forming new habits and trying to be more productive, but how many times do we do exactly the opposite?

We try to do as much as possible to grow, learn and better ourselves. We read books, blogs, and soak up all sorts of information on creating new habits. The fact is, a lot of this effort is in vain. Our attention is pulled in so many directions, that our energy is spread too thin.

It doesn’t help much that our lives have become increasingly complex. We have more ways to communicate than ever before: face-to-face, phone, e-mail, instant messaging, twitter, blogging, etc. We have more tools to get work done, but our energy is diminished after being pulled in a million directions.

If we know that we need to focus, why don’t we use what we already know? If we supposedly know how to change, why don’t we change? If we know what’s wrong, why don’t we fix it?

I think the answer to this question is a little more complex than what can be looked at in a simple blog post. But in short, I think the answer is a matter of energy. It’s not a lack of confidence, but the lack of ability to make a serious commitment. Commitment isn’t just thinking about really wanting something. It’s not just reading something on a few different blogs and thinking “oh yeah, I’ve read that a few times, I know.” Reading or seeing something isn’t enough. You have to put your energy behind it enough to be able to move from point a to point z. If you’re trying to hit points c, s, q, y and t (which might represent other goals you have) you’ll get distracted. You lose focus and your energy fizzles.

If changing your habits and your life means only focusing on one thing at a time, how do you defend yourself from productivity, ADHD? Here are 10 tools to help you:

Deep focus instead of multi-tasking. We often kid ourselves thinking that we’re getting more done by multi-tasking, but we often end up just spending a lot of time spinning our wheels. Try to focus on one thing deeply, instead of spreading your attention across multiple tasks.

Wrap up tasks that are easily completed. Most of the time” I’m having trouble staying focused” is because there a bunch of little things on my mind that I know I need to do. Write down everything that can be completed in less than 10 minutes and finish everything on the list before you start on a project that requires more focus. You simply batch everything together that requires ten minutes of time or less.

Stay in the now. As much as you can, practice focusing your attention on the present moment.

Respond, don’t react. Our tendency to react to what seems “urgent” hurts us in the long run. Block out time in your day for the things that are really important.

Feng shui your workspace. What’s the most important thing to you? What are you really passionate about? Get a cork board that has your goals and inspirational quotes about selling that speaks to you. Having these “attention reinforcements” helps you to stay focused on what is most important to you.

Give yourself a meaningful purpose. You’ll have a hard time staying focused if you feel the work you’re doing isn’t meaningful. If you’re having trouble staying focused at a job you’re not passionate about, it’s likely because you have no interest in the work you’re doing. There’s no motivation for you other than a paycheck. Find a career that has meaning and gives you a sense of purpose and your motivation and focus will naturally increase.

Distinguish between urgent and important. We often spend most of our time doing things that seem important, but really aren’t. They are just urgent. This doesn’t really make sense, because it would seem things that are important, should be urgent, right? If you want to do meaningful things, if you want to accomplish things that will have a long-term impact, focus on the important.

Visualize how you want your day to evolve. If you don’t really know exactly how you want your day to go, how can you expect it to go the way you want it to? In order to combat random events and unknowns keeping you from doing what’s important, take time to visualize how you want your day to go. Pay attention when you visualize certain things to how they make you feel. Use positive visualization to control how you will react when certain events come up that detract you from keeping focused.

Practice single pointed focus. It’s hard to imagine staying focused when there are so many possibilities of things you could be doing. Sometimes priorities aren’t enough to keep you motivated, it’s just a matter of flexing your focusing muscles.

Practice mindfulness. This seems so simple, but it’s often the most difficult thing to do. Practice focus in the everyday things you do, and it will start spilling over in to your work.


I think these are very good points for many aspects of your business and your everyday life as well. With a plan of focus you can translate these points into your business and the rewards will flow.

To recap some of the high points, here are some strategies for helping you stay focused:

  • Prioritize tasks into what is important and urgent. Accomplish these first, then complete others.

  • Clean up your workspace and concentrate on one project at a time.

  • If you work at home and you are confronted with numerous noise interruptions, earplugs may help improve your focus on the task at hand.

  • Privacy. If you work from home try to isolate yourself in a room or space that is quiet See if you can relocate to another area of your house if space permits.

  • Temperature control. Keep your heating and cooling system at a comfortable level for you.

  • Review your work area on a regular basis to decide if it still works for you. Create solutions that will provide for a better work environment. Move your files, do your computer maintenance, organize your database, or put a pleasant photo on your desk.

  • Take care of yourself, and provide positive feedback with your accomplishments. Don’t give in to the negativity that sometimes comes with the process.

  • Stop fighting the tide. Learn to accept and expect interruptions. Instead of getting frustrated, just go with the flow.

  • Anticipate and be prepared, but don’t look too far ahead.

  •  Step back; take a deep breath. Smile! Now you’re ready to get back in the game!

"Focus on your potential instead of your limitations." - Alan Loy McGinnis

We’ve talked about how important the “F” word is to your business. Of course that word is “focus”.

Now here’s a thought for you!

What’s a word that begins with “F” and ends with “K”!

Give up?



Why? What word did you think it was?

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