Have you heard the term “attention unit” before? An attention unit is one little bit of space taken up in your head. Kind of like memory in your computer. Focus provides the purpose that glues together our attention and gives us what we want personally and in our business.
We have all heard about the studies that have been released saying that we really are not good at multi-tasking and it does more harm than good for us. I can tell you from firsthand experience that interruptions lead to a list of unfinished tasks. Both these show that divided attention and shallow focus do not get us where we really, truly want to be.
We want to be productive. We want to get ahead. That takes action, but while constantly treading through the same end of the pool is action, it does not make the difference we need.
Action plus attention and focus drives results
The things that happen – good or bad – in our lives are those things we focus our attention on most deeply. Let me give you an example.
I have a friend with a medical condition that, for her, is best controlled by diet. She says she has always had an on-going battle with the scale, but decided last year to change her focus when it came to weight and health. Instead of paying attention to the numbers on the scale or logging time at the gym, she was going to focus her attention on what she put in her mouth, her sleep patterns, how many steps she took each day, and how she felt. By the end of the year she was much healthier and went through her days with greater energy and enthusiasm. She learned what a good practice was for her and what didn’t benefit her overall goal. She did lose a few pounds, but the real payoff was that she felt good for the first time in a long time. She was focusing on health – not necessarily just the numbers that reflect her weight.
What is the one thing you will focus on going forward?
She was working on a lot of different areas – diet, exercise, sleep, water intake, etc. But her main focus was being healthy. Everything she did went back to that one purpose – to feel better, healthier. The same thing can happen with your personal and professional goals.
You might want to be a better leader, better business owner, or generate more business. The thing is that you cannot have fourteen separate goals and expect to achieve them. When you have different focuses, you are constantly changing gears – spending your attention units in a variety of stores.
However, you can have one focus like being more profitable and then determine several key aspects to making that happen such as
- networking to identify prospects,
- change systems and processes within the business to free up time,
- reduce expenses, and
- activate a marketing strategy
While these are all different areas in the business that require attention and will cost you attention units, keeping them all focused on the goal of increasing profits gives you the purpose and focus you need to keep your efforts aligned and get you to your goal.
Don’t set yourself up for failure by diluting your attention, your efforts, and your purpose. Keep it all focused and spend your attention units on those activities that will be productive and profitable for you and your business. Controlling the spending of your attention units is equally as important as controlling the spending of money in your business.