Small Business Articles from Make-it-Fly®
to Help You Stay Focused
Part Three of a Three-Part
Key #3: Focus Your Thoughts:
Take Time to Think
By Victoria Munro
Focused thoughts are powerful, like the intensified light in a laser beam. Author and speaker Lee J. Colan, Ph.D. describes this well:
“Consider two sources of energy: the sun and a laser. The sun is a powerful source of energy. It showers the earth with billions of kilowatts of energy every hour. Yet, with a hat and some sunscreen, you can bask in the sunlight for hours with few negative effects. On the other hand, a laser is a weak source of energy. A laser takes a few watts of energy and focuses them in a cohesive stream of light. But with a laser, you can drill a hole in a diamond or defeat a cancer. That’s the power of focus!”
Schedule regular time each day or each week to think about and focus on what is truly important to you. This isn’t time wasted. In our fast-paced lives where multitasking has become the norm, our thoughts easily become scattered and muddled. Focused, uninterrupted time spent clarifying ideas, brainstorming solutions, reflecting on decisions and planning for the future can move you light years ahead.
Choose a Place to Think
Find somewhere quiet, away from distractions. If you can’t find a good think place at the office or home, try the local library or a corner in a hotel lobby. I used to drive daily to my secret think place in a park overlooking a lake, turn off my cell phone and take out a pad of paper and pen to record my thoughts and bright ideas.
Be open to new ideas. Don’t assume that everything in your business is the best it can be – always be thinking of possible improvements.
Pictures are powerful – think in pictures. Ask yourself, “What would a perfect solution to this problem look like?” Imagine it.
Challenge the Status Quo
Just because you’ve always done something a particular way, or because everyone else does it that way, doesn’t mean it can’t be further enhanced. Be innovative and resourceful—put your imagination to work and come up with better, more productive, fun or faster ways of doing things. List and weigh the merits of many possible solutions to problems.
Beware of Negative or Restrictive Thoughts
It’s easy to suppose that something can’t be done, just because it’s never been done before. If the Wright brothers had believed that flight was impossible for man, they never would have worked so hard to build the first flying machine.
Take Time Out to Think
Rags-to-riches millionaire and philanthropist Peter
Daniels has created successful ventures around the world.
In The Power of Focus, authors Jack Canfield,
Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt write, “When asked
what turned his life from triple indebtedness to unprecedented
success, he (Peter Daniels) replied, ‘I
scheduled time to think. In fact, I reserve one day
a week on my calendar just to think. All of my greatest
ideas, opportunities and money-making ventures started
with the days I took off to think.’”
If a day, or even half a day a week, sounds like too much, start with an hour or two. During the week, make note of questions and ideas that come to mind, as well as problems and challenges you run into. Then use your think time to come up with imaginative solutions. Keep a journal or notebook to record your thoughts.
“Focused thinking removes distractions and mental clutter so that you can concentrate on an issue and think with clarity. That’s crucial, because if you don’t know what the target is, how will you ever hit it?” – John C. Maxwell, Thinking for a Change
During your think time, focus on your
goals and what is important to you—what you value
and care about most. Focused
thinking will prove an excellent investment of your
time and yield a harvest of rewards you’ll enjoy!
© 2005-2007 Victoria Munro.
for printable version.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is
co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for
small-business owners through creatively designed programs
and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different
businesses. To receive FREE business success articles
with tips to help you with your business, sign up for
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