Anne Fisher, Fortune
“Focus is cash in the economics of attention.”
Merlin Mann, 43 Folders
“You = your calendar”
How you spend your time tells everyone what is important to you. When you are your own boss, and maybe even the only one in the company, no one tells you when to or how to focus on the most important things. Focus is a do it yourself project. So, how’s your focus?
It takes time to develop this skill. It takes locked door, no interruption time. An hour a week would make a huge difference. Pick one day per week, and
- Get up one hour early,
- Close up shop one hour early or open an hour late,
- Skip lunch,
- Schedule a meeting with yourself,
- Give up an hour of TV or internet, or
- Hire or bribe someone to sit in for you.
How do you spend the time? Here are four steps you can use to improve your focus.
- Set a clear vision. Know what results you want from your business. How do you want it to look in 1 year, 5 years, or 10 years? (See Simplified Business Plans for the Real World for some ideas.)
- Decide which tasks are important income producers. What do you do in your business that uses your unique talents? These are the ones for you to keep and focus on. (See Focus on your IPAs: Income Producing Activities.)
- Delegate some of the other tasks. If you have other people in your business, start letting them take on more of the “other” tasks. If you are the only one in the business, start being creative in your delegating. (See 10 Ways to Delegate Without Hiring Staff.)
- Stop doing some tasks. Make some careful choices. Ask, “what would happen if I just didn’t do this?” Think through the consequences, and give up some things. (See Getting Things Done.)
If what’s important to you is revealed by your calendar, then isn’t improving your business worth one hour of focused time per week?
- About the Author
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.