In a day when we have cell phones tethered to our being and an email Inbox that never stops dinging, focus is not easy to master.
But it’s really the only way anything of substance is created and maintained, from business plans, to marketing strategies, to blog posts.
I’ve had friends and clients over the years that can’t quite get a handle on this focus thing. They want to be all things to all people.
They think that by offering a broad selection of product they’ll swamp the market, when in reality they’re diluting their message and impact to the point that no one really cares.
Focus is hard. Sometimes, focus seems impossible. I know. I’ve been there (and still struggle with it).
You need a mantra. A daily question to ask yourself in order to keep you on the right track:
What Will I Say NO To, Today?
Focus means that something has to give. Some things that you’d really like to do, or take care of, or help with, must fall away.
It almost always means saying NO to someone you care about.
But until you start saying NO, you’ll never have the focus you need for the big success you dream about. You may end up with a handful of small successes, but not one of them will have any long-term impact.
I know, I know – it’s hard at first, but it definitely gets easier the more you do it. That’s because every time you do say it, your load gets just a little bit lighter. And you get a little less angry with yourself. And a little less depressed.
EXERCISE: Sit down and make a list of all the demands on your time and energy – home, family, business, staff, friends, organizations. Take 3 of those demands and say NO – not just to yourself, but out loud to the person who needs to hear it.
Then be bold and write down how it made you feel in the Comments section below. Does your load feel a little lighter already?