I have written several times about focus, keeping it simple and staying on track. I’m doing it yet again, with a different twist. Why? Because we need to hear this information over and over again. That is how it gets into our minds, then into our actions. Then our regular actions become habits. Our regular habits become how we work in our businesses each day. Every one of us has to determine how what we learn applies to us. Each of us has to determine how we are going to apply it in our daily activities, which in turn, will benefit our business activities.
Staying focused on a task is the only way that task will be accomplished. If we need to make phone calls for the day, and we are constantly being distracted by other duties, by the internet, by incoming phone calls, emails, texts, etc., the phone calls will go unmade. Accomplishing the task seems to become heavier and heavier. I’ve heard it said that at times the phone can seem as though it weighs 500 pounds to us. That is true, especially if we’ve put off picking it up over and over again. It is by picking it up to make the calls that we realize it is not heavy at all.
Doing our necessary tasks every day, even when we’re not feeling up to it, is what helps us to develop a routine. In turn, developing a routine can help us learn how to concentrate, because we know that at a certain time every day, we have a particular task to accomplish. If we need to make ten phone calls, staying focused on those ten calls is the only way they will get done. Make your list of people to call and determine what time to make the calls. Don’t stop until you are done. If you get another call, either let it to go voice mail, or answer it and tell the person you are working and will return the call later. Do it every day.
Duplicating the success of others helps us learn how to concentrate. When we are reading about how others have accomplished things, we can study how they have done it. That takes a measure of concentration and focus. “You must study the principles until they are a part of you.”, says Clive Buchanan in the Introduction of his book, ‘18 Steps to Greatness‘. Learn what they have done, then duplicate it. If you spend 15 minutes or so each day reading things that inspire you, then meditate and think about how to apply those principles, you will benefit.
Each of us must take responsibility for our own actions or lack of actions. The book ‘Study Is Hard Work’, by William H. Armstrong, says: “It is the responsibility of the student to be interested. No one can be interested for you…” – from Awake Magazine, 9/22/98, written for young people in an article called ‘Young People Ask . .. How Can I Keep My Mind on Things?’ Although it was specifically written for young people, we can all benefit from the advice. No one can stay focused for us. There are others who can continuously remind us that we need to do it, but ultimately, we are the only ones who can work on our own concentration and focus. Going back to the example of making our phone calls, we are the one who has be interested in calling the people on our list if we are the person who is going to make the call. That will take concentration, focus and single-mindedness for that task.
So, what’s the twist? Connect keeping it simple (focus=concentration) with duplication and responsibility. Remember these three points:
- Do it every day.
- Take responsibility.
Let me know how it goes. I’m constantly working on this.