How To Narrow Your Focus To Maximize Impact

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What stresses you out?

The chatter in your mind? The unrelenting “to-do” list? The noise of request and busy work?

We all face a daily battle. Where do I put my time and energy?

I'm sure you've heard it before, perhaps dozens of times, narrow your focus! I'd like to provide a sure-fire way to narrow your focus for maximum impact.

First, on a sheet of paper, brain dump everything on your mind and on your master list. Get it out, write it down!

Second, create three buckets:
Bucket one: Write what you must do today.
Bucket two: MVP (most valuable and profitable) use of time and your MVP clients.
Bucket three: Write your lower value tasks that drain your time and energy.

Now, focus on your three MVP activities— your high-value tasks.

Once you've decided what to focus on, focus as if your entire business depends on it because your business does depend on it! 

Push yourself to focus 80% of your energies on your time allotted to your three high-value tasks. Yes, 80%!!!

What do I do with the other tasks?
Batch up small tasks for later in the day. Also, learn to outsource, eliminate, and delegate.

Here's several reminder tips that have helped me stay focused:
1. Check email three times per day for higher performance (early morning, mid-day, and evening)
2. Turn off instant messenger
3. Work disconnected (my personal favorite)
I shut off… YES, shut off… my mobile connection for up to 90-minutes each day to focus and rock results.
4. Every “yes” to a request or calendar appointment/event better be an MVP (most valuable and profitable)
NOTE: Just yesterday, I respectfully said, “no thank you,” to a request that was not an MVP. Thank you to my Executive Assistant, Jamie, for these reminders.
5. Limit length of phone appointments
On the front end of each call, I identify my “hard stop” for the call.
6. Remove junk mail and limit time on social media

As an Executive Leadership Coach and Keynote Speaker on high performance leadership, I often remind personal leaders of two powerful truths:

1. There is a 24/7 battlefield for your mind — your thoughts. Be intentional, control your thoughts, and what you put in mind.
Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”

2. There is a 24/7 battlefield for your time. Focus your energies on your desired outcomes and MVP activities. Time is short— don't waste opportunities you've been given.

Final challenge: What steps are you taking (or going to take) towards narrowing your focus and having the greatest impact?

— Steve Gutzler

Steve Gutzler is the President of Leadership Quest, a Seattle based Leadership Development company. Steve is a dynamic, highly sought after speaker and executive leadership coach who has delivered over 2500 presentations, to a who’s who list of clients including, Pandora Radio, Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Cisco, Starwood Corporation, U.S. Security Administration, and Oxford Financial to name just a few.

The purpose of Leadership Quest is to help professionals develop their personal leadership, vision and emotional intelligence. Everyday I strive to help leaders and teams achieve their desired goals in sales productivity, leadership, time maximization, and life-balance. 

Copyright © 2017 *Leadership Quest LLC, All rights reserved.

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Steve Gutzler
Having coached and trained CEOs, Presidents, professional athletes, and world-class organizations, Steve’s insights have gained a reputation around the world as an authority on high performance leadership, emotional intelligence for exceptional leadership, growing leaders at every level, and accelerated sales success.