Why you need the F word to move your business forward

Why you need the F word to move your business forward

No, seriously!

It’s a word that I hear time and time again from my clients and prospects.

It’s one of the top 3 problems I work with, when there is a lack of it.

In fact, you probably need a little right now.

Have you guessed what it is? (Come on now, this is a business blog)

The word is FOCUS.

If only you had a bit more of it then life would be so much easier eh?

But how to find it when you don’t even have time to eat your lunch most days!

And all of those brilliant ideas you keep getting – what if one of them turns out to be ‘the one’ that will change everything? You can’t just ignore these, can you?

Well, to be brutal, yes you can. Plus, if you’re not even having time to eat lunch some days then something definitely needs to change and you need to get some focus pronto.

To help you hit the ground running and discover your elusive focus, here are my 5 steps. And, get me, I’ve even managed to make them into an acronym of FOCUS, with a little creative license 😉

First things first

I’ve blatantly pinched this from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a must read if you haven’t already), and I find myself saying it so often I’m tempted to write it out on a prompt card and save my voice!

When you are overwhelmed with too many things to do and don’t know where to start, then remember the mantra ‘first things first’.

What is the one thing you need to do now that will make the biggest difference to your business? If cashflow is a challenge, then you need to be working on only those tasks that bring cash into your business. If time is a challenge, then you need to be working on freeing up your time.

(If you’re not sure how to do either of these then have a scan through some of my previous articles in the blog for loads of tips, or book a quick ‘find out more’ call with me and I’ll help you get started)

One thing at a time

Trying to multi-task in the belief you’ll get more done? Uh-uh! Stop trying to do more than one thing at a time and pick just one to fully focus on.

Dipping in and out of different things confuses your brain and you never get fully into the flow of the job in hand.

Apply this when working on a computer too – aim to only have one window (or equivalent in Mac world) open at a time. This tip alone has done wonders for my productivity and helps me retain my focus.

Chunk up your time

Figure out the important stuff you need to be getting done each week and allocate the time in your diary to do it.

Sounds obvious I know, but are you allocating time each week to work ‘on’ your business?

Put time aside to work on your marketing and exploring the new ideas you have, and make this a priority each week.

Unconnect from the digital world

Okay, so I’m not sure ‘unconnect’ is grammatically correct  but ‘disconnect’  would have messed up my acronym.

Digital distractions are probably the biggest enemy to your focus.

Email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, web browsing etc. etc.

If you don’t already, then if you take nothing else from this article, please, please, please take control of your digital distractions.

By this I mean the following:

  • Turn off any ‘alerts’ you get
  • Have set times when you check each of them
  • Set a time limit, especially on social media, for how long you will spend on there (even use a timer to manage this)
  • Do not keep them open in the background when you are working on something else

Okay, rant over.

Show me the money

Finally, S stands for ‘show me the money’.

One of the phrase I use repeatedly is ‘money generating activities’. As a business owner, this is where you should be spending the bulk of your time.

Each month, week and day ask yourself, ‘what am I doing to bring money into my business’, to help keep your focus on the important.

After all, if you’re not making money then you’re not running a sustainable business.

Let’s sum up – here are the 5 steps to get and keep your focus:

  1. First things first
  2. One thing at a time
  3. Chunk up your time
  4. Unconnect from the digital world
  5. Show me the money

I’d love to hear any thoughts you have on this, and especially any action you’re going to take, so please leave me a comment to let me know.

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Alison Bradford

Alison Bradford is a business coach who works with smart, ambitious business owners to get clarity about how they can grow their business and increase profit. Sign up here to learn 6 easy ways you can boost profit in your business today.
  • Sherita
    Posted at 10:35h, 11 January

    I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I absolutely enjoyed every bit of
    it. I’ve got you book-marked to check out new things you post…

    • Alison Bradford
      Posted at 11:28h, 19 January

      Thanks Sherita 🙂

  • Nicole Kirk
    Posted at 13:08h, 14 January

    Another brilliant blog, thank you Alison!

    One window open though….#impossible ..aside from that, found these tips very helpful in helping me ‘Re-Focus’. Hey look, you could do a ‘Re-Focus’ blog at some point..maybe before the year is through, just to ‘Re-Focus’ on what we set out to achieve in 2014?

    Nicole Kirk
    Twitter : @nicolekirk

    • Alison Bradford
      Posted at 14:31h, 14 January

      Thanks Nicole. Pleased that you enjoyed it 🙂 Good idea to do a follow up ‘re-focus’ one later in the year. Another tip is to schedule in your diary now quarterly reviews of your goals, where you can just take half an hour or so to review your progress etc.