Getting a business off the ground needs laser focus; and once you get it up and running, the focus needs to continue. It is easy, however, to get lost in the sum of all parts and lose the focus as you try to maintain your balance and concentration.
You may have heard Steve Jobs connected with the word focus on more than one occasion. This was because he was so awesome at it.
“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
Know When to Say No
Being a manager or a leader can be difficult as you are dragged in all directions, wanting to please everyone and be seen in all the right places. But sometimes you have to say no to ensure that unnecessary things don’t get in the way of you achieving those all-important business goals. There is nothing wrong with simplicity if it gets the job done.
Know When to Turn Down Great Ideas
You are going to come up with a lot of great business ideas but in reality, you can’t do them all. You will have to decide which ones to tackle and which ones to let go (even for the moment) to take the business up to the next level. Even viable ideas need to be put on the backburner for a while, as hard as that may be. Jobs was famous for coming up with a list of top 10 suggestions, slashing seven and focusing on three.
Know Where Your Focus Lies
Your focus does not need to be on par with Steve Jobs’ focus (clearly it was a little borderline obsessive) but he was on the right track. It is not a decision you make on a Monday morning, switching off focus on Tuesday because something else comes up. You need to know where you are heading every waking moment. While you may get distracted by other ideas, it is imperative that once you have analysed their benefits, you know how to get back on track.
Know Where the Overall Team Focus Lies
Maintaining your own focus may be slightly easier than getting your entire team on board, but it is essential that everyone is operating under the same philosophy. Team meetings should be part of the bi-weekly or monthly schedule to make sure that everyone is on track and knows their part in their overall scheme of things. Get rid of any distractions and allow them to concentrate on the necessary work. Having the support of a solid team behind you is one of the most powerful tools a company can have.
Steve Jobs’ challenged himself every day. He asked himself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I’m about to do today?”
I know! Poignant, right?
It really makes you think about the specificity of what you are doing. If the answer is no, then maybe you need to reassess a little until the answer becomes a resounding yes. Then you will know you are on the right track. Jobs’ focus turned Apple around and with consistent practice, it could benefit you greatly.
Know what drives you and your business at all times and it can help you understand what steps you need to take and what you need to do to achieve them. Use a vision board if necessary. This focus will assure consistency and allow you to manage your time effectively as you go about rocking your day.
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