Stay Focused and Move to the Goal

Most of us have had the experience of struggling to do something only to hear someone say, “Focus. You can do this.” This is common in sports and school, yet the idea applies just as aptly in the business arena.

What Does It Mean to Focus?

Basically focus is the main point of attention. In optics one definition is a clear and sharply defined image. Combining these two ideas we have a picture of what it means to stay focused in business. For example, if one moment we’re giving our attention to developing a budget and the next minute we working on a personal matter then we are not staying focused. On the other hand, if we designate a block of time to accomplishing a particular task and stay on it the whole time, then we are focused.

How to Focus

Imagine again you have the responsibility for overseeing the development of a budget. Having a final budget that has been “signed-off-on” by all parties is the end goal. To move to the goal it is imperative that you are totally focused on it. However, that is really too broad so it helps to set intermediate goals. In the posting How to Block Business Distractions I gave an example of the 4 Quadrant Planning method for staying on track. If you are not familiar with that I encourage you to read that posting. Here is an example of that with just three sections completed. Bear in mind this is a rather simplistic example but regardless it should give you an idea of how to stay focused in order to move to the goal.

4 quadrant planning example

What I want you to notice in this is that the Important But Not Urgent section has “Develop assumptions for sales projections” as its only item. Of course other things could be in this area, but for our example I’ll just leave this one. Now note that in the section for Urgent and Important all these items relate to the item under the important but not urgent section. As it relates to the budget “develop assumptions for sales projections” is a goal on the way to the final goal of developing a budget. It is by deliberately making the effort to stay focused on any one of these things until completed that you will move to the goal to “develop assumptions for sales projections” Also notice that the one item under Urgent But Not Important is to be delegated, allowing you to stay focused on what matters most.

A Simple Concept

This is basically a simple concept but it does require discipline and practice to make it a habit. I encourage you to give it a try for an extended period of time as I believe you will find it very helpful.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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