If you’re one of the .000001% of people on this planet that are naturally good at staying focused on your priorities and completing tasks, please ignore this article and go back to whatever it was you were doing. You rule.
For the rest of us, FOCUS is a monumental challenge. I don’t mean being able to sit in a chair for 30 minutes and read a book; I mean the kind of internal fortitude it takes to prioritize, make a decision, then see it through until it’s done.
We use the term, “DONE DONE”, which means — you guessed it — REALLY DONE.
How many projects have you started that get about half done? Or 90% of the way done?
Why do we do this? Because it’s human nature. It doesn’t require a deep psychological analysis, just a quick qualitative assessment of the world around you will reveal it’s a common problem that doesn’t need to come from not being breastfed or striking out in the little league game. It’s just a fact of life.
Accept it, and improve your habits. There is hope!
Yes, there are ways to manage this natural deficiency we all possess. Here are some ideas to help you cope that I’ve learned over the years:
- Learn to say NO. You don’t have to take on every project that sounds good.
- Know what you’ve already said YES to. Use task software, write them down on a notepad, use a gantt chart, whatever. Just know what’s already in progress (this will empower you to say NO to more).
- PRIORITIZE. Know what needs to be done first, and what can wait until later if needed.
- Have a TIMELINE. When can you get your current list done? Set goals and hold yourself accountable.
- LOOK at the timeline! Don’t write it down and forget — make it part of your morning routine to review your current projects and timelines.
- DO IT! Get the work done. Like going to the gym, you just have to get it done. It’s good for you.
- Learn to say NO (yeah, it’s that important).
It may seem like I’ve oversimplified a very complex, expensive and time consuming challenge, but if you can implement the basic steps above you can become an excellent Executioner: which is key to virtually every aspect of your life, especially business.