Desperation for growth can lead to counterproductive actions. A big and common one having too many ideas in too many directions.
We read too many books, watch too many videos, start too many projects.
Take, for example, you have one major goal.
Because of urgency and stress, we decide to put into motion 3–5 different ideas to increase our chances of success. But 3–5 different ideas means our energy and attention are split.
And with splitting up our energy, we don’t create any daily habits or routines. And without habits, we don’t have momentum, nor compounding interest…
Thus every day or week we muster up willpower and cognitive efforts of decision and choice between all our ideas. And in conclusion, the progress among the various activities is all very slow. Weeks or months or years go by before we can honestly gather enough data points to even evaluate the ideas to even realize if they are working or not.
THIS ^ is a very common pitfall.
It’s sad and strange because it all springs from good intentions, but a false belief that doing more is better than doing less.
In reality, I don’t think many of us even get to the conclusion of the weakness of this model, because the same thinking that said... “let’s try 3–5 things,” will think and say the same thing after the first few weeks in when no real progress shows up.
THIS ^ is how I used to think and act.
It’s an addiction.
But it feels like productivity because you’re always busy.
It feels like “massive action” but in reality, it’s “passive action.”
Imagine this Alternative Strategy: Single-Minded Focus
You still have one main goal. And you still have 3–5 ideas that could help you meet your goal. However, instead of putting 5 different projects in motion, you do them one at a time.
You pick one strategy, and with single-minded focus, you dedicate daily time and energy to developing that idea.
With daily efforts, you gain momentum day after day, and the effort and energy need is reduced as muscle memory and pattern recognition is generated…
Finally, in a relatively short time, you discover if the idea is working or not.
If it’s not a good idea, you drop it completely and NEVER feel tempted to consider it again. ( Compared to when you multitasked ideas, you always have the question of whether or not you really squeezed all the juice out of the idea. )
What if you struggle with single-minded focus?
We live at a time when focus is tough, attention is scarce, and distraction is constant. You must be vigilant to guard and protect your mind. Meditation and mindfulness is skyrocketing because fighting for control of our minds is a full-time job!
So, yes I HIGHLY recommend you develop a daily practice to strengthen your consciousness. ie, don’t fall into social media binges… Strengthen your ability to return to your focus. Strengthen your mental acuity allow random thoughts to pass through your mind, but not change your mind.
Yet, in addition.
You can also learn to leverage accountability.
Don’t only rely on willpower and personal private decisions.
Invite other people to help you focus
Accountability is not for the weak. It’s for the wise and strong. To lean only on oneself is weak and limiting, but leaning on others makes you strong because you tap into the ability of others.
Like the false belief that multitasking leads you to faster success… keeping our single-minded focus private is also limiting.
The more important a goal is, the more necessary it is to have accountability.
Once you’re on a roll, created a habit, or built momentum, then you no longer need as much accountability. But any new endeavor, any change of behavior will to aided by sharing the goal and the focus with some type of weekly reflection and disclosure.
As an entrepreneur who never really had a partner, or team, or boss, this has always been a challenge. To be honest… entrepreneurship often leads people to reject relationships and accountability. However… I’ve come to learn that they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
You can be fully free and independent while also leveraging relationships and accountability. In fact, this is key to real success and growth.
Accountability from the top, bottom, or side can lead to breaking through limitations like nothing else. Even as an entrepreneur.
TOP: Could be mentors, coaches or advisors.
SIDE: Could be peers, friends, partners or masterminds.
BOTTOM: Could be assistants, employees, or contractors.
All of which can help you with single-minded focus in their own unique way.
THIS ^ is honestly an idea I am exploring with an app I am building. I feel it is the secret that has kept me stuck for years in a freelancer/entrepreneur limbo.
So much potential is wasted by (1) Doing too multiple things at once and (2) Doing everything alone without TOP/SIDE/BOTTOM accountability.
Simple, but not easy.
Single-minded focus and accountability.
I dare you to apply these two ideas for just 1 month and see how much more productive your weeks are.
If you’re interested in learning about my upcoming app, join the waiting list at https://arvellcraig.com/cofocus
Create a Great Day! — AC