How to Achieve Laser Focus

by Susan Varty, Managing Partner

Many people ask me how I have found laser focus in my life and my business. So I have listed some of my “daily mantras” to inspire others.

There is no real secret, only daily decisions that can create lasting life changes.

Some of these daily mantras may not apply to you and that’s okay. Use them for inspiration to think about the daily decisions you want to make to create change in your life.

These continuously help me to keep my laser focus:

Say no (more than yes)

Saying yes, without taking the time for serious consideration, has led to major consequences in my life! Now, when I have an opportunity or option that doesn’t align with what I need to achieve in general, I think about it and usually decline in the most gentle way possible. Sometimes I don’t provide an explanation, and if someone presses for an explanation, I let them know it’s not something aligned with my goals this year.

In business, I have learned how to say no to specific initiatives and projects to keep steering us in one direction, towards one purpose with one message. This has helped me create transformation instead of chaos. Suprisingly, it has also helped me save money to help the business thrive in tough times.

Create small rituals

It’s not enough to encourage good habits. Rituals ensure success and they turn into habits. For example, if I do not have the nightly ritual of chopping up vegetables or other small chores, I end up doing things ad hoc and I am more likely to disrupt established routines (and set me up for mini-failures in preparation).

In business, rituals turn into processes and checklists that we use as a team to ensure that everything we need to get done, gets done.

“Today equals tomorrow”

This means that the small decisions I make today will impact tomorrow. This is very helpful in maintaining my weight. An item I eat today will impact how I feel the next day. Do I want that feeling physically/emotionally? And sometimes I am able to say yes when I make good choices.

For the business, strategic decisions I make today will impact the success or failure of the company tomorrow – so what do I need to do now? Every day?

Delegate

This is a hard one because people may be on their own or in a situation where they have to do what they can themselves. For me, I started with a delegation mind-set even when I couldn’t delegate work. This helped me save money to pay others eventually and document ideas for when I could hand it off to someone else.

For business, Jocko Willink wrote in Leadership, Strategy and Tactics: if a leader wants to be in charge of everything, then he or she should try to be in charge of nothing. He means you should empower your team and build processes so you really aren’t needed for anything other than strategy. This is what scales companies. I always examine what tasks I am doing and how I can put someone else in charge, so I can do my best work.

photo credit: Wonderlane Lama guiding His Holiness Dagchen Rinpoche, Kathmandu, Nepal via photopin (license)

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