Focus is critical if you want to be productive yet it is easy to (a) lose focus; and (b) make others lose their focus. Focus can be the difference between success and failure, between life and death, and even on an everyday basis its influence is significant.
If you are focused you can be super productive … and conversely if you let your mind wander, then your output will reflect as much. If you have deadlines, quotas or just expectations on you, then you will need to apply focus.
We can use focus to improve our success, or we can apply focus on the wrong things and under perform. So, focus is important at so many levels in our lives.
In 2011 I fought in a charity boxing match to raise funds for cancer research, the event was called Fight for the Cure(it was a great event, for a great cause). I had never boxed before and one thing you learn when you get into a boxing ring with someone who is intent on bashing your brains in, is that you need focus! You are totally focused on your opponent and how you are going to win the fight. Everything around you is lost because if not, you can be in big trouble. This is an extreme example of the importance of focus. (Yeah, that’s me, focused, in the picture!)
“You get what you focus on, so focus on what you want.”
I ride powerful motorcycles, that are capable of incredible acceleration and top speeds that would see me locked up if I ever was crazy enough to go that fast! When you ride any two wheeled vehicle you need to be very focused, not only on your bike and the road, but also on all of the other vehicles around you. The cost of losing focus when riding a fast bike can be extreme. It is one of the reasons that I like to ride. I need total focus on riding, so can’t take up mind space with other things, which gives me a break from the regular day to day business issues.
When executing on a business strategy it is very simple to get distracted by the “noise” … and that is a great way to NOT hit your targets. You get distracted by the HR issues in your group, the paperwork issues of month end, the “needy client” that never really gives you much business anyway, the weather, the news … anything but the thing that is going to make your business a success. This is extremely common with start-ups, and it would not surprise me much to see “lack of focus” as a primary reason why small businesses fail. The owner gets wrapped up in the “glamour” of being a business owner, they get swept along by the endless opportunities that they have, they spend time living the high life instead of rolling up their sleeves, watching the pennies and executing on their plan!
The way to be successful, in anything, is to have a plan and to execute on it with TOTAL focus … not be distracted by anything from your goal. If you are an entrepreneur, a small business owner, a salesperson or anyone charged with developing a business you can’t afford to take your eye off that goal. It could be a revenue target, market share, product penetration rate, or any other goal … every day you should be focused on that goal and what it will take to meet and exceed it.
THAT is how you avoid getting “knocked out” or “road kill” in the business world!