The Secret To Focus | by Guest Author Ruby McGuire

The Secret to Focus - Not as exciting as you might thinkFocus – a little word with amazing power.

How does your business day normally go? I used to be like a butterfly, flitting from one thing to the next. You know what it's like, you open one tab or read one post and before you know it you've gone down a rabbit hole.

It all changed for me about a year ago when I read a book called "The One Thing" by Gary Keller, and everything changed. The book is about, well you've probably already guessed it, doing one thing at a time! It's a great read.

When working with my clients, we talk about working smarter, not harder. And this is what happens when we use the power of focus. You didn't leave a 9-5 to work even harder in your own business, did you? I know I didn't!

But what's the secret to focusing when there are so many things out there grabbing your attention?

Plan!

Oh I know, it's not a very exciting secret. You're probably yawning already, but seriously this is where it all starts. So, using the word FOCUS as an acronym, let's make this happen!

F – Forget things that don't matter

Don't waste your life on the small stuff that doesn't matter! There will always be things on your to-do list that don't really need doing. They are those 'maybe one day jobs'. As you look at your 'To Do' list ask yourself, "Will it matter in 1 week, 1 month, 1 year's time if I don't do this?" If the answer is 'no', then take it off your list.

Remember all the time you're doing the little jobs that don't really matter, you could be having calls to bring in more clients.

Tips: Does it have to be done by you? Can it be ditched, delayed or delegated? These time-saving questions can be the difference between getting the important stuff done - and not.

O – One thing

Focus on ONE thing. We're generally not very good at this. We have lots of different things on the go and don't focus on any of them very well. Instead choose ONE thing to work on and see it through to completion, before moving onto the next shiny object.

The shift to doing only one thing has made an enormous difference to my business. Was it easy? Absolutely not, I have to constantly refocus myself (you'll often hear me tutting at my desk where I notice I'm getting distracted!). But I keep at it because it's worth it.

Tips: I recommend you turn off notifications and sign out of different apps to pull it off, but it's worth the effort. You'll feel clear and calm about what you're doing, and each time that task you're working on gets your undivided attention, you'll do a better job of it - and probably complete it faster too!

Focus, focus, focus – ONE single task at a time!

C – Clarity

Get absolutely crystal clear on what you want to achieve in your business.

It's easy to think, "I already have a plan", but what I see is that the plan is often not clear enough. This lack of clarity is what leads us to sit down at our desk and get distracted. A plan should be well enough defined so that when you sit down at your desk, you KNOW what to work on first.

I plan my time now in 3 month blocks, and because of that I've had to become super-duper clear on what I'm doing or it won't happen. I use the fabulous Coaching Tools Company 3-Month Business Plan so that I have clear action steps on what I need to do on a daily basis.

If you don't have a plan, then do some brainstorming and get it!

Editor's note: The 3 Month Business Planner.pdf (3 pages) that Ruby mentions was a gift for newsletter readers to celebrate The Coaching Tools Company 5 Year Anniversary - in 2013! Thanks to Ruby, we've refreshed it, and made it available again here (free) for a limited time!

U – Unsubscribe and Ungroup!

Unsubscribe from things that don't support growth in your business, whether it's following too many people on Facebook, being in too many groups on LinkedIn, on too many mailing lists etc.

Give yourself the space to focus. Make the time you spend online quality time so that you can focus.

One mistake I see a lot of my clients make is trying to be in too many online groups at a time - and after a while they get overwhelmed. While it seems good for being visible, it's not about being everywhere to get your business seen, but to spend quality time connecting with people. Much better to spend time in 3 -5 groups, really engage in those groups and get noticed.

S – Serve

Make your goal service. Remember that "Focus" means you have more time to serve your wonderful clients. Hey, isn't that why you wanted to be a coach in the first place?

Wrap up:

We may think we're wired to do lots of different jobs at once, but the opposite is actually true. Focus makes us happier and less stressed. Focus also means we get more done, and we get to do more of what matters - like serve our clients. What's the secret to focusing? Plan. Here's a quick re-cap of the acronym to help you:

  • F - Forget things that don't matter
  • O - Choose ONE thing and see it through to completion before moving onto the next
  • C - Get absolute clarity (create a plan)
  • U - Unsubscribe from things that don't support growth in your business
  • S - Serve. This is why you're doing all of this in the first place. Your dream clients need you!

Ruby McGuire

Contributing Author: Ruby McGuire, Visibility Diva, aka Queen of Connection, is a mum, wife, cappuccino lover and introvert. She helps unseen solopreneurs step up and shine on/offline so they can make money doing what they love. She's a Co-Author of Awaken Your True Potential, a Trainer, EFT Practitioner, writes for International Coaching News and heads up Business Support for IIC & M's Invenio Magazine. If you liked this article you might like her podcast show, Rock Your Fabulous Biz. You can find Ruby at her pretty online home, www.rubymcguire.com on Facebook. Failing that she may be satisfying her obsession of pinning on Pinterest!

So what about you? Are you ready to start working on your mindset, and stop being invisible? Let's work on visibility to get you more profitable. It's time that you and your fabulous business were seen, both on and offline. If fear is the thing holding you back, then you'll love my new programme, Fearless Visibility Divas – it's time to become a fearlessly visible, fiercely profitable, and hugely impactful solopreneur.

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3 Comments

  1. Virginia Reeves

    Ruby - thanks for a very well explained method to use FOCUS in our activities. Will certainly help with planning, de-cluttering, minimizing, and making better choices.

    Reply
    • Emma-Louise

      Thank-you for taking the time to comment Virginia! Ruby will be pleased that you found her article helpful - I'll let her know 🙂 Warmly, Emma-Louise

      Reply

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