I’ve been thinking a lot about focus lately. And if you’ve been reading my blog over the past few months, you may have noticed the thread of focus/determination/self-discipline weaving through a lot of my posts.
Part of the reason stems from the new level that I’ve reached in my business. I’m at the point where I don’t need to do any marketing to get new clients for the next few years. I just show up and write and all is good. And although I recognize that this is an enviable place to be in business, and it’s taken some focus to get here, I’ve also come to realize that I miss the hungry drive of my early business efforts.
Waaaay back when I started my business, I HAD to focus to write so I could make enough money to eat and pay the bills. And there is still SOME focus in my day-to-day business today (I’m not eating bonbons in bed) but I don’t have as much riding on the results as when I was first starting out and it’s had a noticeable impact in what I do.
I’ve found it too easy to show up and do the minimum of what is required. I’ve found it too easy to make excuses for not doing things or for letting things drop. Not only is client work being affected but so are joint ventures and personal projects like my book, home renovations, and my fitness. Even habits like what I eat or when I get out of bed in the morning — all of which are tied to focus — are impacted. There are times when I’m very busy (sometimes to the point of burnout) but I realize that I’m not necessarily busy with the right things at the right time. And my business is shifting (away from freelance writing for financial and real estate clients and toward work that is published under my own name), so some of this focusing problem is from my changing goals. And I’m wired to get excited about new things for a while until the project shifts from “new” to that middle, slogging dip, and then I lose interest.
So there are a lot of things that are keeping me from focusing to achieve my goals. I’m often unfocused or I’m focused on the wrong things or I quickly lose focus.
I want the focus of my early business and the success of today. (Yes, I want my cake and I want to eat it, too).
These thoughts about focus had been simmering on low for a while, not fully formed, until I started following the Olympics this year. I realized (possibly for the first time) that the athletes competing were just regular people who happened to have A LOT of focus. That focus inspired them to make sacrifices and overcome setbacks so they could compete.
It shone a mirror on me as I wondered what I could achieve if I not only regained the focus I lost but also achieved the level of focus that helped people get to the Olympics.
I’ve tried to regain my focus lately in a few different ways. For example, you might have noticed that I’ve started trying to write 10,000 words at least one day each week. Some success on that front reminded me of how good it felt to focus on something, work hard, and achieve what I was focused on.
And now I’m ready to take it to the next level. I need to get educated about focus, break some bad habits, adopt some good habits, and figure out what the right things are to focus on. I need to rewire my brain to focus sharply on the right things at the right time and to stay with it until completion. I need to sharpen my focus so that setbacks and obstacles and distractions don’t stop me in my tracks.
To that end, I’m starting a 30 days of focus challenge. It’s a personal challenge in which I’m “focusing on focus” (and the determination, self-discipline, drive, productivity, etc. that are all related to focus). I’ll be blogging exclusively about focus for the entire month, including tips and skills and ideas about focus, along with updates of what I’m working on and how it’s going.
I’m going to list the work I want to do in the month and post daily updates about my progress. (Warning: It won’t be very exciting to read). If you feel like participating, I’d love to have some company on this journey toward greater productivity. Here’s a list of what I want to achieve this month. Feel free to post your own list in the comments section below.
30 DAYS OF FOCUS TASK LIST
The following list is the list of professional and personal goals I’d like to achieve this month.
- Restart a client’s ebook about neighborhood-specific real estate investing
- Complete the above ebook
- Restart a client’s ebook about virtual wholesaling
- Complete the above ebook
- Restart a client’s ebook about a specific technology for real estate investing
- Complete the above ebook
- Restart a client’s direct marketing copy
- Finish the first draft of my book
- Complete a business plan for a client
- Complete a joint venture project for GraphiteInvesting.com
- Publish 25 articles on an internet magazine that I contribute to
- Catch up on overdue content to be published on a joint venture real estate blog
- Complete all of the September content for the above joint venture real estate blog
- Complete an email sequence and free report for one of my joint ventures — FreeVideoSqueezePage.com
- Restart regular emails at FreeVideoSqueezePage
- Complete all of the September content for my mortgage loan client (approx. 2000 words)
- Complete all of the September content for my credit repair client (approx. 5000 words)
- Complete all of the September content for my real estate investing client (approx. 12000 words)
- Schedule daily episodes through the end of the year at HowToInvest.TV
- Complete all of the September content for an investing website that I contribute to
- Fix a broken website (which used to earn some money but broke down at the beginning of summer) so it starts to earn money again.
- Finish bathroom renovation
- Restart my workout routine (3 sets of circuit training with 20 lb weights, 3 times per week)
That’s everything right now… but there might be more added as the month goes on.
So my goal is: Learn to focus better and focus on completing these tasks.
My 30 days of focus starts NOW!