To create success in today’s economy you have to have the ability to focus. Ironically, in this economy, being able to focus is extremely difficult. First, there are distractions everywhere. We are inundated on a daily basis with white noise. There are blogs we need to read, videos we need to watch, emails and texts we need to respond to. We are expected to be highly responsive while multi-tasking. And yes, our plates are full. Two, this economy, our competition, and our customers are evolving constantly. We need to be open to changing our plans based on the opportunity and challenges at hand. Third, those new and different ideas we see our competitors doing? We wonder if we should be doing that too. More often than not, with no actual rhyme or reason, we forget our own vision and abandon our goals just to keep up with the Joneses.
Yes, the ability to focus might be a key to creating success, but in today’s fast-paced world it is not easy to do. I was talking with a friend whose personality is a lot like mine. She is high-energy, a driver, loves people, and always has a million projects going at once. We are the type of people who read four books at once, have multiple projects going and rarely if ever actually get our “to-do” list finished. Well, that was me up until a few years ago. Then I realized something had to give.
Having a lot of energy is a good thing, but if you want to hit your goals you have to get things done. To build your business you have to execute. Here is the good news: discipline can be taught. More importantly, it can be learned. I know that because I am living proof.
I laugh when people describe me as Type A. For the majority of my life I was anything but organized. While all my friends would work strategically on their term papers and homework assignments, I was always pulling all-nighters and doing things last minute. Others had college plans and career dreams. I just could not even think about committing to one career goal or actually doing something as boring as making a plan.
Fortunately, I graduated from college. A few years of supporting myself and running my own business created the pain point that something needed to change. Customers were relying on me and supervisors were holding me accountable. I realized that if I did not learn to execute, I would find myself out on the street and out of job. I had to teach myself to get disciplined. Here are the 5 strategies I used. Adopt them to ensure you stay focused, get what you want, and produce results.
Create Success With 5 Strategies:
Take a little time to understand how you learn. Understand what motivates you and what it takes to keep you moving forward. The problem with most time-management or programs on accountability is that they speak to one personality style. How you learn, how you focus, and how you stay motivated is unique to you. For me, I now know early morning is my most productive time, and I need to work in no longer than two-hour increments. So I set my schedule to produce in the mornings, and every two hours (at least) I give myself a break.
Know What You Want
You need to set a goal or have a vision. Now I admit, I used to think this was hokey and a waste of time. But when you have clarity on what you want to accomplish, you give yourself permission to say no to things and clarity of mind to say yes to changing or flexing your plan. In my business, there are so many different ways to “make it”, and I can easily get distracted or burn time and energy taking everyone else’s advice. But by being clear about what I want, I have a litmus test, a way to understand if what people are telling me is right for me or not.
Have A Brain Dump
As professionals, we know to achieve a vision we have hundreds of tasks we need to do. And just thinking about them can be overwhelming. To get started you just need to do a brain dump. Write down everything you can think you need to do, walk away and then come back and prioritize. I do this quarterly in my business, as I can easily get distracted by the number of things that need to get done. Putting it all on paper quiets my mind, and putting them in order of priority ensures I am always working in the most efficient and effective way.
Skinny The Tasks
I cannot work more than two hours without taking a break, so I have to work smart. In other words, if you need to overhaul your website, break it into tasks. Instead of trying to take on the whole project at once, spell out each step. Rewrite the copy for the home page, get two new videos produced, talk to an SEO specialist, and so on. Learning this skill really helped me create success in my current business. I now break all of my tasks down to two-hour increments. It makes me feel that I am making progress and builds my confidence in my ability to get things done.
Reward & Celebrate
This is a must-do to create success. Reward yourself and celebrate each time you accomplish a task. Like even in writing this blog, as soon as I am done I am getting my second cup of coffee. Giving yourself a pat on the back each time you accomplish a task will keep you motivated. It will increase your dedication, and strengthen your ability to being even more disciplined.
Yes, to create success today you have to be disciplined. While it is not easy, the process is simple. Follow these five quick strategies! You will get focused, get what you want, and produce results.