Focus is defined as the center of our activity or attention. While that sounds simple enough, today’s non-stop, all-connected, 24/7, global village can keep us forever preoccupied. It’s that endless information stream that often distracts us from accomplishing our goals. Winning in the marketplace is achieved when we limit our action steps to those which directly impact our bottom line. Everything else is just a runaway squirrel.
Here’s the way tennis superstar, Venus Williams sums her approach to the business of winning. “I don’t focus on what I’m up against. I focus on my goals and try to ignore the rest.”
Simply put, focus is a choice. Each day, we must choose to say yes to the actions that truly move our strategic vision and goals forward and say no to everything else. “No” to the things that get in the way of what we’re working to accomplish each day. Bring a singular focus to the job. Avoid situations that may distract. Life may not get a whole lot easier with focus in mind, but you’ll most certainly be more productive.
“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” --Steve Jobs, founder of Apple
Reclaiming your ability to focus will allow you to reap substantial rewards both in the quantity and quality of your performance. Keeping your eye on the prize by keeping distractions at bay produces real, tangible results. A commitment to mindful focus each and every day promises the satisfaction of achieving not only your professional, but personal goals, too.
And the squirrels? Nuts to them!
Heike Heemann, business coach and advisor, brings over 20 years of business experience to her blog.