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Can Focusing Be This Simple?

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My daily routine involves reading the Wall Street Journal while having my first cup of coffee. During my “read”, I always find my way to the daily “Pepper…And Salt” illustration (yup, it’s a cartoon). This past week addressed the concept of focus in a very powerful yet simple way.

While wearing “The Cone” may not be a fashionable approach, the message – being focused – is important for each of us. What do you do each day to establish and maintain your focus on getting the right things done?

For starters, stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus – discipline yourself – to start each day working on those tasks that have the highest reward/payoff. The fact is, you can only properly focus on only a few “key” tasks at one time.

Related: Do You Have the Courage?

Here are the 4 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the “right” things done:

  1. Start each day with this question. “What is the one thing that I can/should/must do today that will get me closer to my goal or desired result?” Work on that thing during the day.
  2. Create a daily list of things to do. Work on the top 1 to 3 tasks that meet the test as “high value”. Stick with them and celebrate when you get to check something off.
  3. Take small, less than 10-minute breaks throughout the day. Maybe take the dog for a walk and use that time to first clear your mind and then validate that you are working on the right things.
  4. Learn to say “no” to those things (and people) that drain you of time and focus. You know what/who they are. The silly stuff that “looks good” but does “no good”. Or, the person who asks, “Have you got a minute?”

Time to take Toby for a walk! Until next week…

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