Simon Terry

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Focus

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There are endless distractions. We face an abundance of opportunity to be drawn away from action. Mobile and social technology makes opportunities for distraction continuously in reach. Our effectiveness depends on our ability to focus on the action, not the distraction.

The most effective people are those who manage their focus. Peter Williams in the final talk at Do Lectures Australia summarised much we had learned when he noted that those who do more manage their time in a more focused way. A doer does more of the good stuff and spends less time on the things that waste time. In many of the lectures we heard the importance of being able to focus on what matters most.

I came away from the event with a better sense of focus.

How do you strip away the distractions?

  • Purpose: Clarity of purpose helps you determine whether each moment is contributing to the impact you want to have on the world
  • Presence: The more present you are, the more you see the opportunities to add value in each moment. The more present you are the easier you will catch your own distractions.
  • Create Potential: Be open to fun, chance and serendipity. We need to live chaotic human lives but we must know the difference between surprises that create human potential and those that consume it. When the right door opens, jump through it wholeheartedly.
  • Do First. Solve Later: Worry less about being sure, knowing everything and gaining approval. Doubts, learning and support can all be won on the journey of work. Solving for them too early is a major source of distraction and waste. 
  • Measure and Reflect: Measuring the right impacts and reflection on progress will help you weed out the tasks that don’t add value and do less of them while doing more of what delivers
  • Flow: Lastly, use up your time doing the good stuff. Nothing is better at eliminating distraction than the focus of flow. When you are constantly stretched by acting against a worthy challenge, you will find holding a focus easy.

Finding and holding a focus is at the heart of getting things done. A purposeful focus is how we realise the best of our potential.

What’s your one purposeful focus?


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