Weekly Business Idea

September 9, 2016 – What Was I Working On?

Posted on | September 9, 2016 | No Comments

Main Idea:

Do you find yourself getting pulled in 5 directions at once?  At the end of the day, do you look at your to-do list and discover that you haven’t crossed off anything?  Is your to-do list longer?  Are you achieving your goals?  Are you moving the rock up the hill only to discover that you are on the wrong hill?

Expansion of the Idea:

Have you ever gone into a busy restaurant and discovered that the service and food were great?  You add that restaurant to your list of preferred restaurants.  A month or two later, you go into the same restaurant at a slower time and the food came out lukewarm and the service was mediocre.  During peak times, restaurants and businesses are normally focused and as a result their service is better.  When people are focused a lot of work can get done.  When that focus is relaxed just a little bit, the time it takes to do something jumps geometrically.

Focus in all aspects of our businesses (and lives) is required for us to achieve our goals.  Without focus, it is almost impossible to achieve any big goals, such as starting a new business or product line or roll out a new website.  Without focus it is hard to get our normal workload done.  All of us get distracted by so many different things.  If we are trying to do something new, we have a hard time.  And we all have to be trying new things.  We cannot stand still or else our businesses will eventually die.

I heard Chris McChesney speak at the Global Leadership Summit a couple of weeks ago.  He shared a framework for implementing goals.  The key point is that you must have one goal and focus on that one goal.  All of our extra efforts have to be focused on that one thing.  This sounds ridiculous because we all of 50 things that we should be working on.  The key is saying no to good things to focus on the one critical thing.  Once that critical thing is accomplished then you can go to the next critical goal.  The point is that if we have too many goals we end up accomplishing nothing.

All of us know that we need to focus.  The question is “HOW?”

I struggle with this just like most people.  There are times when I am better than others.  I think there are a couple of things that have helped me.

  • Do sprints.  Focus for 1 to 2 hours and then take a break for 15 minutes or so.  Then do another sprint.
  • Force accountability.  Publicly state what you are going to accomplish.  Have someone hold you accountable.  For small business owners this is hard.  But it can be done.
  • Have clear goals and priorities.  Decide what is important and focus on that.
  • Have to-do lists.  I like crossing things off.  Know what is important for you to get done that day.
  • Don’t underestimate your health and fitness.  Sleep, exercise and eating right are critical to being able to focus.
  • Figure out what refreshes you. We need breaks in our lives.

There are unlimited number of things that can help you focus.  Figure out what they are and use them.  Your team, your customers and most importantly your family will be glad when you really get focused.

Points to consider:

  1. Brainstorm with your team or family on how to set up accountability
  2. Set aside 2 hours in the morning or afternoon for focused work.  Try this for a week and see how it works.
  3. Get clear with goals, priorities and work flow.
  4. Read “The Power of Focus” by Canfield, Hansen & Hewitt.
  5. If you are struggling with executing goals, read “The 4 Disciplines of Execution” by McChesney, Covey & Huling.
  6. If you find some tools or systems to help you focus, make them part of your daily and weekly habits.  Be a model for everyone in your business.


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  • About

    These weekly ideas are brought to you by FitzGerald & FitzGerald P.C. For more information about how to use these ideas with your small business contact Tim FitzGerald at trfitz@fitz-net.com.