“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” — Brian Tracy
Focus is the leadership skill of creating clarity.
If you want to get better results, you need to hone in on doable things.
A lot of great ideas are actually pretty fuzzy until you zoom in on them and identify specific actions you can take, and specific time frames.
If you’re feeling a lack of focus, you can ask yourself ‘What will I do?” and “When will I do it?.”
These questions will help you sharpen your focus, turn ideas into results, and inspiration into action.
In The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership, Joelle K. Jay shares a technique to sharpen your focus and create more clarity.
Choose Specific Commitments
Choose what you can do about it. That’s how you bring a fuzzy idea into focus and turn it into results.
“When you set up to take a photograph, you choose the settings to create the exact image you want. In finding your focus, you choose the specific commitments you will make for the results you seek. The questions to ask to make those commitments are ‘What will you do?’ and ‘When will you do it?’”
Ask, “What Will I Do?”
You need to consider what you’ll actually do and you need a place to start.
“When you ask yourself ‘What will I do?’ you’re looking for a place to start. Let’s say you have a focus area called ‘financial growth.’ Right now you are in debt, and you want to be making money. You’ll know you’re successful when you’ve got 12 consecutive reports showing your company to be in the black. The question, ‘What will you do?’ forces you to consider how you’ll get there. Will you eliminate debt? Make an acquisition? Sell more? Spend less? Invest? Your answer is your commitment.”
Ask, “When Will I Do It?”
Having a specific time frame will help keep you motivated and focused. After all, you can’t run a marathon “forever.”
“When you ask yourself ‘When will I do it?’ you’re setting a time frame. When will each focus area be complete? You can set milestones of any kind. You might describe where you want to be in several days, weeks, months, or years — or by the end of the summer, or by the time the merger goes through, or by your 50th birthday. Long term, short term, it doesn’t matter as long as you have a time frame that will keep you motivated and focused.”
If you want more clarity, practice the art of getting specific.
The more you practice, the better you’ll get at sharpening your focus.
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Image by Vladimir Fedotov.