We all know the definition of Assume, so let’s make sure in business or as an athlete we truly understand the definition of Focus.
Focus is giving a lot of attention to One Particular Thing. May I suggest it be that one thing you want to be GREAT at!
Winning a squirt gun battle is probably not at the top of your list, but most of us fail to Focus at all. Not because we couldn’t do it, but because we “Choose not to.” Think about it. We are at dinner with the family, in a business meeting, or working on an important project and all it takes is a beep or a buzz from our mobile device to divert our attention. With each beep or buzz our ability to be great begins slipping further and further away. True, we can get back to what we were doing… once we take this call or respond to an email, tweet, or whatever… but what we lost was TIC, TIC…Time. It is also been proven, without focus, it is very difficult to become good at anything, much less be GREAT! What is sad, the choice is Always Ours.
Walter Isaacson wrote in the Harvard Gazette, Bill Gates “would sometimes fall asleep at the terminal…in the middle of a line of code…doze for an hour or two…open his eyes, squint at the screen…[then] resume precisely where he’d left off.” He and two other colleagues ignored “everything except the task at hand,” remaining focused for 8 weeks and the rest became history.
The beginnings of what is now Microsoft.
So just how focused are we and do we want to be successful? Since our chance of winning the lottery is one in 175 million, we need to identify our dream, eliminate distractions and start FOCUSING on it. We need to detach ourselves from all the diversions and institute a form of Time Management. Time to focus on what we want to be great at, and yes, even set aside time to have a squirt gun battle or two. At a minimum use Time Management to mentally get prepared the night before by organizing an hour-by-hour approach to what you need to accomplish the following day. Here’s four musts if you want to be successful at Great at anything.
- Mental preparation is not a time for multi-tasking! True, the problem is what our brains are very capable of doing; observing billions of things going on around us. It is OUR Job to select the one action we want our brains to FOCUS on.
- Kill instant distractions – Turn off ALL MOBILE Devices!
- Close your mind of all unnecessary issues – Let everyone know you are busy. Even ignore your friends, disregarding all issues unrelated to the task at hand.
- Eliminate things you cannot control. Just do your job!
Keep a Journal. Its a form of Lessons Learned, but over time as we absorb what we write, we also recognize what is successful, why it is successful, and what is not. Use the journal to establish present and future goals.
- Try new things. What happened?
- Recognize habits of successful people you meet with. Make them your own
Pick your Friends wisely. The choice is always ours, so doesn’t it make sense to hang with those who are interested in the same goals. So, surround yourself with friends who have similar purpose in life.
- Learn to say no – especially to things counter to what you are trying to accomplish
- Recognize and talk with the Quality Individuals –
Become absorbed as Billy Chapel, played by Kevin Costner in “For the Love of the Game.”
Until next blog, “Clear the Mechanism”