8 Ways You Can Focus on the Important

IDENTIFY THE FOUR AREAS OF YOUR LIFE THAT ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO YOU.


For most of use the most important things can be compressed into family, work, health and _____? The last will be unique to you, for me it's travel/freedom.

I find that in your select priorities to have only one be of a professional aspect. For me right now, my work managing the growth of my websites and YouTube channel as well as maintaining my freelance work on Fiverr.

The aspect I still do that is an old identity is teaching English. As my largest website is in the ESL space I believe it necessary to still teach class in order to maintain relevance.

With that said, what are you holding onto that is not serving you? What things are on that edge, where it's getting to a point to discard them so you can focus on the more important aspects.

For me, here are some ways you can focus on the important.

  • Learn to say no
  • Eliminate things you can't do in moderation
  • Give yourself 4 hour blocks of time
  • Turn off social media distractions
  • Know your wheel house
  • Make time for the things that are important
  • Stop talking, start doing
  • Learn and apply
  • Relax and enjoy leisure time

LEARN TO SAY NO.

Learning to say no should be a way of life. Saying "no" is difficult for two different reasons. First, we want to be liked. We want to be a team player, we want to help. But saying no is in fact a way to establish your time as valuable. No, I can't hit up that bar with you tonight, no I can't take that weekend trip either. No, I need to do the important work that moves the proverbial needle.

The second is if you're a slave. I'm no slave you'll say! Well if you have a job and you can't negotiate because you have no lateral move - you're a slave. 

Learning to say no is not simply some feel good non-sense. It's learning how to put your self in a position where you can negotiate with an employer and those around you. It's not easy, we're not taught how to do this but you must learn.

ELIMINATE THINGS YOU CAN'T DO IN MODERATION.

I'm not a one dimensional work-a-holic like Gary V. I like to have a life filled with multiple things at 80% instead of just one thing at 120%.

I touched on this in my why you should quit playing video games post, if there is something you can't do in moderation it's time for you to flat out quit that thing.

The reason is because it will consume more than 80%. You'll have a hobby or activity where you end up wasting too much time on that negatively effects your income, health and overall importance.

Pay attention to your behavior. Look at where you're addicted to something. Tinder, drugs, video games, whatever. Then stop it. Now. Today.

GIVE YOURSELF 4 HOUR BLOCKS OF TIME.

Give yourself 4 hours, you'll likely only be working 3 of those 4 hours and wasting 1 hour getting set up. But those 3 hours of work will be productive.

If find giving myself 4 hour blocks of time to work best. It's more than enough time to focus on what I need to do without it being too short and annoying where I have to stop and do something else.

Back when I lived in Bangkok, I was teaching English most mornings at 11:30-12:30 online. Then again at 5-9, four days a week. I loved doing the 5-9 thing, but I stopped the 11:30-12:30 time slot because it controlled the day too much and really prevented my momentum towards other things.

At the time, I wanted to make online teaching one of many income streams but it was basically 80% of my income. So the imperative for me during this time was to work on other things and lay the foundations for later success (which I've done).

The reason 11:30-12:30 sucked, was that I could not go anywhere. I'm up at 8:30, by the time I get to a cool spot in BKK it's 9:30, then at 10:30 I would have to leave to make sure I could get home in time. Basically wasting hours of my day.

Once I eliminated this one hour, I was able to go to a co-working spot or cafe by 9:30/10 and flat out work will 1:00-1:30. Then eat, then go home to do my 5-9.

TURN OFF DISTRACTIONS.

Keep your phone away from you. Then, when you begin working online. Do the main thing you wanted to do first. Do the things that move the proverbial needle first. Like editing a video, writing a keyword targeted blog post etc.

I only say this because this is how I spend my days and I love it. But I do find myself getting distracted with social media messaging, checking my affiliate marketing earnings. email, just busy work that does not make a difference.

Do these mindless activities after you're done with the main thing.

KNOW YOUR WHEEL HOUSE.

Provide value. You do that by becoming good at something and knowing where that value is. Then, staying in your wheel house so to speak. My pro YouTube channel makes 1k in ad revenue and hundreds of dollars in affiliate commissions and product sales.

It's where I provide the biggest impact and where my focus is. I keep this blog and my edge of David YouTube channel as strictly a hobby because I know my wheel house. I'm not willing to do the work required to make this blog and YouTube channel in a business nor do I want to. But, I found my thing here with casual travel vids and updates. I don't veer into topics I have no sophistication on.

Focus on your value as that is what is important. 

MAKE TIME FOR IMPORTANT THINGS.


Many people spend less than 2 hours a week on their important work, and the rest of the time they’re distracted or at a job they don’t enjoy working at. You have to make time to work on what you’ve determined is important to you. If you want to be a writer, you have to write every single day for at least a few hours (if not more.) If you want to be a photographer, you have to shoot every single day for at least a few hours (if not more.) If you want to be a YouTuber, you have to be first make 100 mediocre videos before you develop competence.

You can’t expect to get good at anything if you’re a weekend warrior. Yes, this may mean you have to quit your job.

STOP TALKING AND START DOING.


Make it clear to yourself what you want. Be specific. Then shut up and do it. By shut up, don't tell people you're going to do something because then you sort of feel like you do it without doing it.

While some think others will hold you accountable, the honest truth is no one cares that much. Hold yourself accountable by doing instead of talking. Don't tell me about your "podcast" you're starting that you've not yet started.

Start it, launch 5 episodes then tell me about how you're starting a podcast.

LEARN AND APPLY IS A WAY OF LIFE

You have to study the subject of your priorities regularly. If you’re a creator, read as much as you can about creativity. If you’re a cook, read as much as you can about cooking. Subscribe to blogs that share common interests with you. Read real books! Books are amazing creatures full of ideas; they will cause your mind to grow. 

Investigate whether there are classes you can take in your area, or online, which will help you learn more about what is important to you. You will never stop learning, so keep consuming information that will help you. I promise you, it is the most important element.

Conclusion


Improve your focus. Have an ideal to work towards, a hell to run away from. Eliminate bad behaviors as best you can and do the work.

focus