How many things are you focusing on right now? If you’re anything like most other entrepreneurs, it is probably far too many and it still might not feel like it’s enough. This magpie syndrome that most of us have is both a gift and a curse. We’re idea machines, but it can be so tough keeping our minds on the task in hand. And if we’re focusing on so many different things, are we really focusing at all?
We all want that laser-focus so we can get the most out of our businesses and achieve fulfilment in life. However, we often get caught up in what we feel that we should be doing and not what we actually want or need to do. What is it that you actually want from life? And how are you going to achieve it? You need to be a little bit ruthless with your time and cut out the things that you don’t feel are going to get you nearer to your goals. Remember, only you can define what those goals are.
It’s a great idea to get hold of a notebook or use an app to keep track of the things that you want to achieve during each day. Twenty minutes spent planning your tasks in the morning could save you two hours over the course of your working day. Keeping a visual record of your tasks near you during the day is a fantastic way to overcome procrastination and get the most out of your time.
Our guest on this episode of the number one small business podcast is the co-founder and CEO of Lemonly, John T Meyer. John has his own criteria for deciding if something deserves the required focus. Perhaps it will be different for you, but it’s something to consider as inspiration is a finite resource. We sometimes need to stop doing something to be able to focus on something else. John’s criteria for working out if a project will be fulfilling are:
* 1) Am I learning from this process?
* 2) Am I having fun?
* 3) Do I enjoy working with these people?
Which questions would apply to your goals?
Issue Challenged in this Small Business Podcast:
How can I find the one thing to focus on?
John Meyer is the co-founder and CEO of Lemonly, an innovative visual marketing company that specializes in infographics and data visualization. They aim to make data more digestible for a wider audience and they have worked with a wide variety of clients including the NFL, Smithsonian Museum and The Grammys.
John’s here with us on this episode of your favourite small business podcast to discuss focus and productivity, specifically how we can figure out what is most important to us and what we should be spending our time and energy on.
* Find the 80/20 in your business. Pareto’s Law is a principle that illustrates the uneven balance between inputs and outputs. 80% of the results in your business could come from just 20% of the input. Applying this formula to your business and your life can be incredibly powerful. Grab a piece of paper and draw a T. On the left, write the activities that you do that you feel are a waste of time. On the right, write down the high value activities that you do. These are the activities that really make your business better or life more fulfilled, that really have an impact. You’re probably going to see a lot of rubbish on the left and a few nuggets of gold on the right. This visualization can help you identify what you should be focussing on to improve your life and your business.
* 8 for the Day - Spend 20 minutes to save yourself 2 hours. If you spend 20 minutes planning your day, you could probably save 2 hours. You need to maximize your time as best you can. Try this out – In the morning, write down 8 things (6 professional and 2 personal) that you want to achieve that day. If you do this every day, you will see that your focus and productivity improve.
* Determine your business’ unfair advantage.