14 Apr Focus: The Game Changer
To do two things at once is to do neither. Publilius Syrus
My husband is a car guy. One might even say he’s obsessed with cars. We’re looking at getting a new car next year so he’s been educating me on some of our options.
We’ve looked at regular cars, but we’ve also entertained some electric cars, just for fun.
Performance is a big deal to him. He weighs how many seconds it takes a car to go from “0-60” greatly. I was surprised to learn that one of the particular electric cars we talked about is touted to be the fastest production sedan made. I had no idea.
As we were walking into a restaurant the other night I noticed a car that had HYBRID written on it, so I asked him if that would be an option for us. I asked whether it was a regular car or electric (That’s how car illiterate I am).
He said dismissively, “It’s trying to be both so it’s not exceptional at either.”
Which reminded me of a theme I’ve seen everywhere lately. A concept I’m paying a lot of attention to: FOCUS.
I’m reading The ONE Thing by Gary Keller and the entire premise of the book is based on the same principle my husband identified with the hybrid.(If you happen to drive a hybrid please don’t be offended. It is not an option for him because of what he’s looking to get out of a car).
The big idea of the book is summed up in the Russian proverb…
If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.
I have seen this played out in my life over and over again. I’ve been guilty of chasing too many things at once to end up catching none. I meet with and talk to a lot of women and I hear the same thing time and time again. We can never seem to get on top of everything. We all have multiple passions. There are so many worthy causes and opportunities to be involved in but if we’re not careful we end up spread too thin.
Instead of zoning in on ONE thing and doing it really well, we try to keep too many plates spinning. And we’re good at it!! We’re master multi-taskers, but if we’re not careful, our strength can become our weakness. Sure, we can do many things, but should we be?
Would we accomplish more if we spent the majority of our energy focused in one direction?
Within the context of our businesses, we get caught up working on lots of different aspects of the business but not making much progress in any one area.
In the book, Keller proposes we regularly ask ourselves a Focusing Question. I started doing this and have seen amazing results in a very short time.
The question is:
What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?
We have so many areas of our business that need attention. All of us do. But this focusing question helps us to get to the ONE thing that really deserves all of our energy. By focusing on this ONE thing it may even eliminate the need for some other things.
For our business, we realized the ONE thing we needed most was more employees. Business is booming and we realized—by asking this focusing question—many of our other issues would be solved if we just had more people. Recruiting, hiring, and onboarding became our sole focus as soon as we realized it, almost to the exclusion of all else.
We’d been looking for employees but we weren’t making much progress on rounding out our team. Since it has become our focus we’ve hired several people, and have more coming on board soon.
There were days in the past week we could have been working on other things but the focusing question kept bringing us back to our greatest need and became a GAME-CHANGER.
If we want to grow sales we need an expanded healthy team in order to handle it. If we want a happy and productive crew we need more people so the ones we have won’t be burned out. While we could be focusing on several areas of the business while recruiting it would take us longer to develop the team like we need to in order to sustain future growth.
This concept can be used on the big picture or even in your daily routines. Instead of priding yourself on being a master multitasker— try a different approach. Try intense focus on ONE thing and then move to the next ONE thing and so on and so on. You may just find by doing the ONE thing you eliminate the need for some of the others!
Do you find yourself spread too thin, a jack of all trades but a master of none? Try applying this focusing question to get extraordinary results and once you do we’d love to hear about it!
With wishes for a focused and productive week,