How to Focus Your Business and Make More Money

Most of us are totally unaware of how much our lack of focus impacts our lives and our businesses yet the impact is huge!

Among many things, lack of focus:

  • Damages relationships
  • Results in missing sales opportunities
  • Increases our cost of doing business
  • Derails us from our vision
  • Impacts our ability to achieve goals
  • Results in increased work hours and workload

Essentially, lack of focus is, at best, a drag on our business and, at worst, will bring our business to its knees!

I think all of us can recall a time in our lives and/or businesses when our lack of focus cost us something. If not, maybe some of these examples will jog your memories!

How Do You Track Your Strategic Priorities?

Recently I came across a nice little tool called the QPM or Quarterly Priority Management. It is essentially a simple table that can be used to effectively manage progress against your top five strategic objectives.

The QPM tool itself comes from Kraig Kramers in his book CEO Tools: The Nuts-N-Bolts for Every Manager’s Success (Book & CD) although it is not a unique idea. I have also seen very similar tools from Les Hewitt in The Power of Focus Tenth Anniversary Edition: How to Hit Your Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Absolute Confidence and Certainty (7 Day Focus) and Bill Hybels and his book Axiom: Powerful Leadership Proverbs (6 by 6 concept – Axiom 16). However, the QPM tool is uniquely focused on monitoring your top five strategic objectives and the progress against those objectives each quarter. The following table is an example of this.

Do You Suffer From Continuous Partial Attention Syndrome?

In today’s environment of continuous connectivity, we are literally bombarded with interruptions from the time we wake up until we go to bed. There are some of us who are even interrupted in our sleep as we cannot seem to disconnect from the online world. We get email alerts, news alerts, banking alerts, weather alerts, traffic alerts, investment alerts, text messages, instant messages, Facebook messages, RSS feed updates, LinkedIn updates, GroupOn alerts, meeting notices, phone calls, cellphone calls and on and on. It is actually quite amazing that we are able to function at all with this many distractions!

Linda Stone has coined a term for this state of perpetual interruption. She calls it “Continuous Partial Attention”. Essentially, all the interruptions throughout our days are resulting in very few moments where we are able to concentrate fully and deeply on the tasks at hand. This results in us living in a state of Continuous Partial Attention. We are rarely in an environment without something interrupting us every few minutes…even on an airplane (which is where I wrote this post) we have been interrupted approximately 5 times in the last 20 minutes with rather meaningless announcements by our well meaning flight attendants.