The Power of Focus

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I recently did an interview with the guys at BlogcastFM where we spoke about a whole range of ideas relating to business principles and blogging. I’ll cover some of the points in more detail over the next few weeks but for now I want to look at one – The Power Of Focus.

I’ll admit it – I have a short attention span. According to some of the personality tests I did as part of my MBA I have the ability to grasp concepts quickly. The downside of this is that I can lose interest in things quickly.

The internet marketing world is awash with ideas to help you make more money – training courses, workshops, e-books etc. Take a look at the Warrior Forum and check out the Warrior Special Offer section – there’s no shortage of stuff there.

Even today I was looking over some files on my hard drive and found some training I’d downloaded but hadn’t finished watching.

The problem in today’s world is not getting the right information – it’s using it!

In the music world it’s called GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome. You want to have the latest guitars or amplifiers because you feel like they’re essential, only to wake up and realise you actually just need to practice more. The best guitar in the world won’t sound good if you can’t play it properly.

In the BlogcastFM interview we talked about how it’s so easy to get distracted. I could spend a day surfing the net, learning about internet marketing, but not putting any of it into practice.

Sometimes it’s easier not to do something. If I’m tired, it’s easier to read forums than it is to focus and write a new article.

The best way I’ve found to focus is to have very clear goals. For instance, this month I’ve set some goals around writing a certain number of articles, planning some guest posts, and creating some videos. I decided at the start of the month that these were important tasks for me to do for the month – more important than lurking in forums or watching too much TV.

The other thing that works is to only focus on one big goal at a time. I own a few different domain names, and have grand plans for all of them. But I also have a finite amount of time. So at the moment, I’m focusing on two blogs only, and putting the others on hold. Before I did this, I found that I was trying to do too many jobs at the same time, and couldn’t focus on any. So for the rest of this year, my major goals centre around these two blogs.

Finally, begin with the end in mind (thanks Stephen Covey). Know what you’re working towards.

I have a strategic vision for this blog that goes way beyond the next six months. I’ve broken that vision down into broad strategies, and those strategies further into goals. So a motivating factor for me in achieving my short term goals is that I know how each goal I achieve gets me closer to my long term vision.

Do you have trouble staying focused? What works for you? How do you get things done?

Leave a comment below and let me know.

Creative Commons License photo credit: andi.vs.zf

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About

Allan lives in Adelaide, South Australia with his wife and two boys. He is the founder of Blogger Business Plan and loves helping bloggers learn how to transform their blogs from hobbies into sustainable businesses.
When he's not blogging or working in his financial planning business, you'll find Allan playing guitar, reading or coaching his son's soccer team.

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4 Responses to The Power of Focus
  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Allan Ward, Allan Ward. Allan Ward said: From my blog The Power of Focus http://bit.ly/axPeg8 #blogging [...]

  2. Momekh
    November 25, 2010 | 3:48 pm

    Focus is a wonderful thing!
    Also a very dangerous one though (maybe we miss out on an opportunity that should have been capitalized upon).
    But yeah, focus leads to a ‘plan’. And a plan – possibly unwritten – is what gets you going.

  3. Summer
    May 10, 2011 | 3:33 am

    Ah, the struggle of focus… I got distracted while just reading this post. Twice. Blame twitter and the hummus I’m currently shoving down my throat.

    This is actually one of my favorite subjects to discuss despite my own struggles with it. Sometimes I’ll try and “trick” myself into working. I’ll pull up a new document and just start typing without even really intending to do anything right that minute. It does occasionally work, I might manage to get about halfway through the article before I decide it’s time to check twitter or email again. But hey, it’s a start!

    Other times, it’s just sheer willpower. I have things I must do because I agreed to do them because they relate to what I want to do with my career…therefore I should have PLENTY of motivation. Right? Sure.

    Focusing on one goal at a time is absolutely a big part of it, too. I also tend to gather a lot of projects on my plate and also read a great deal of material about marketing/branding/SEO/networking/etc, and will get myself so filled with excitement over all of it, I’ll end up overwhelmed and push everything aside until later instead of diving in and getting to work. Just have to break in down into small pieces… one project at a time, one article at a time.

    • Allan Ward
      May 10, 2011 | 12:43 pm

      Hi Summer,

      Thanks for your comments. You sound a lot like me! The curse of the internet is that there’s so much information available that it’s so easy to read a lot and do nothing. I’m still not great at this, but I’m getting better.

      I enjoyed looking at your blog and loved reading your story about the half marathon. Well done.

      Allan

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