Do you know why you are successful? I know why I am. Since you are reading this post, I expect you want to learn to be more successful too. So let’s get right to it, after this distraction. And another distraction. Wow, so many distractions before we get to the one thing! These distractions are ruining this blog post! Or maybe this is an important demonstration of the point of this post.
The common theme of my greatest successes comes down to one word: Focus.
When I have created the best work, come up with the greatest answers or had the most impact on my clients, I was able to focus completely on the challenge in front of me. The same holds true for personal successes and achievements.
Far too often we take on too many responsibilities concurrently, juggling and reordering them like Lucy and Ethel in the chocolate factory. Focus is about concentrating your energy. Taking on too much dilutes your power, potential and performance.
FOCUS = Focus On Completely Until Solved
Focus means prioritizing. It means scheduling so that everything can be the star for a time. Sometimes that means we focus on projects exclusively for a month. Sometimes it means focusing on a challenge for a couple of days. Or a couple of hours.
Scheduling to eliminate distractions is key. As my friend and excellent business ideator Duane Nelson often says, ‘Multitasking is a myth.’ But it is such a popular idea it could win the Myth America Pageant (if there were such a thing). It’s really a matter of how hard we are able to focus. More focus means greater intensity of thought, deeper evaluation and more intelligent solutions.
When I have won major pieces of new business or created work that helped transform the way a brand behaves and spurred transformational growth, I have been able to clear my plate, my desk and my brainium to get the work done.
As we attack client challenges at my advertising and idea agency, The Weaponry, I am always thinking about focus. I want to deploy the thinking power of each member of our team in a way that drives the greatest client results. That is why we schedule our work so that every project can play center stage for the appropriate amount of time.
It can be tempting to take on as much work as one human can shoulder to show how tough, capable or responsible you are. While seemingly helpful to your team and your employer, this load-it-until-the-axles-bend approach doesn’t lead to the superstar performances you will be most proud of. It may, however, lead to broken axles.
This isn’t just a work thing. Distractions are everywhere. Volunteering, attending events and getting roped into activities in your personal life can detract from your focus too.
Micro focus moves the needle micrometers. Macro focus can move it miles. So if you are looking for greater performance, greater ideas and greater results find a way to get greater focus on the project in front of you.
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