“Concentration of power is the ability to focus on and accomplish your most vital priorities.”
Charles R. Hobbs, Time Power
“There’s just so much going on right now!” is the lament I’ve heard from almost every client in the past few days. Whether dealing with a rush of amazing opportunities, facing a personal crisis or trying to respond to the needs of loved ones, many of us feel pulled in endless directions at this time of year.
Fall is a key season in our business cycle. It’s when the rubber meets the road in accomplishing our goals for the year. It’s also ‘harvest time,’ the opportunity to reap the fruits of all the seeds of the dream we planted earlier in the year.
But, to do this takes focus. Making choices. Saying “No” (at least for now).
This can be tough for us creative entrepreneurs. We’re naturally passionate about so many things, and our passion attracts wonderful opportunities. We want to pursue all of them, now.
To succeed in your business, you’ll need to dig deep and harness your power of focus. If you don’t, you’ll be busy but unfulfilled. You might achieve a lot, but feel unproductive. Ultimately, you’ll miss the mark in making the unique, valuable contribution you’re meant to make.
When you have the ability to focus, you’ll produce your most optimal effect. You’ll shift yourself out of trivialities into what’s most meaningful. And when you accomplish what matters most to you and your business dream, you’ll experience a self-esteem you cannot get any other way.
If you’re feeling scattered, confused or swirling with opportunities, take 15 minutes right now to use these two steps to concentrate your power.
Use 80/20 thinking
You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, attributed to the Italian economist Pareto. He gave us the insight that 20 percent of our actions produce 80 percent of our best results. Using this 80/20 thinking is essential to focussing your creative energy and producing results that have real impact.
However, it takes a lot of self-honesty to identify what’s really worth going for in your business. And it takes determination to avoid getting caught up in running after what momentarily catches your interest instead of diving into the real work that needs to be done.
Start by jotting down all the projects, commitments and possibilities you could do in the next 90 days. Now, from all these electrifying ideas, which matter most? What will make the most immediate, important difference toward your business dream for this year? What you’re looking for are three business-building projects that will spell out genuine progress in the next few weeks. This might be tough because it will mean setting aside some compelling possibilities, for now. Listen to your deep wise self and be courageous in making choices and taking charge.
Practice saying “No”
Now that you’ve identified your vitally important priorities, the next step is to honour them. And this usually means developing your ability to say “No. ”
If this is difficult for you, think of it like building a muscle. The ability to exercise this “No” muscle is the main obstacle that prevents most people from living their business dream. Each time you bravely say “No,” you’ll build your capacity to be in charge of what truly matters to you. Over time, you’ll trust yourself to say “No,” firmly and with grace. Starting today, give yourself permission to radically simplify as you let go of projects, re-choose commitments, and decline invitations.
As you engage your concentration of power and live with congruency between your deepest commitments and your actions, you’ll experience high personal productivity, true business success, and the most satisfying form of self-fulfillment.
This is from Give Your Dream a Plan: 7 Questions to Ignite Extraordinary Results in Your Business. Release date: October 2011