What is it? Focus is the ability to concentrate resources, energy and attention to the most pertinent opportunities or threats that a business faces. It is the ability to avoid distractions that could threaten the potential of an organization.
Why is it important? Entrepreneurship requires focus to accomplish the needs of a business at any stage. Business owners face literally hundreds of situations each day that call for attention. These situations range from minor disturbances to major events in the life cycle of a business. The same thought patterns and attributes that allow an entrepreneur to develop ideas that will lead to a successful business cause the entrepreneur to move from one idea to the next without carrying out the initial plan. Focus is a key element that will lead entrepreneurs to complete projects on schedule and at a high level of quality. Focus allows an entrepreneur to concentrate his or her efforts on those situations that may create the most significant results and highest return on investment (ROI) for a business. The lack of focus will often cause the entrepreneur to spend the majority of his or her time attending to less significant details; ultimately leaving little or no time to affect long-lasting, positive results for the organization.
How to get it if you don’t have it? Developing the ability to focus on the most important tasks requires determination and patience. An entrepreneur must identify his or her plan for the future. Once the plan is cemented in place the entrepreneur must then concentrate only on the assignments that lead directly to the ultimate goal. Train yourself to complete one task at a time and avoid the urge to try to undertake too many assignments at once. Ask for assistance from those who are focused and organized. Develop a timetable for tasks and follow it.
How to develop it if you have it? There are simple items that you may employ in order to improve your focus. You should develop a list of projects and assignments needing completion. Each item should then be assigned one of the following priority levels: Urgent and Important, Important but not Urgent, Urgent but not Important, and Unimportant and Not Urgent. Once the tasks have been assigned a priority, start with the Urgent and Important tasks. Begin on the most pressing task and follow it until completion. As you finish a task remove it from the list and move to the next task. Constantly evaluate the tasks on your list and maintain the rating system.