Lessons About Focus
May 21, 2021
Any goal can be reached by following a good methodology. It means defining the goal, planning out the steps to achieve it and then doing the work. Hoping for the best is part of the process, but success only comes from taking the correct steps.
For years, I wanted to grow my presence on social media. I read books about it and watched dozens of tutorial YouTube videos. Sure, I already posted on social media and often engaged with others on those platforms, but it wasn’t growing. I tried hiring an assistant to take over but could never find the right person. And any time I put in a little effort, it felt like such a time-sucking chore. It was only when I deployed a methodology that I accomplished my goal of creating a decent social media presence.
Whether your goal is to write a book, save money or even become an entrepreneur, focus is important – and thankfully it can be learned. Here are some pointers:
- Define. There is a big difference between a wish and a goal. After all, anybody can say they want a better body. But this vague wish can only turn into a goal when you define what “better” means. Do you want to be a bodybuilder or have your jeans fit well?
- Process. It is a mistake to set a goal without considering the processes, actions, behaviors and habits that will get you there. When setting a good methodology, outline what you can do every day to take a new step towards your goal.
- Feedback. This part of a process is rarely discussed, but so important. No matter how many books you read there will always be people who can show you how to improve. When I decided to boost my social media presence, I accidentally created an alternate Instagram account which was messing up the search results. A UK company helped audit my strategy which revealed the problem, something I would never have seen on my own. In the book, Talent Is Overrated, Geoff Colvin underlined the importance of feedback when practicing a skill. Athletes get feedback from coaches, companies get feedback from customers and students get feedback from their teachers. Colvin says that without feedback there will always be a limit on your performance.
- Tools. A good process requires using the right tools. I always use a social media scheduling tool, but for a long time I didn’t have one for Instagram. When I finally found a robust tool, it helped immensely to improve my social media presence.
- Traction. A crucial step in any process is to figure out which numbers to track. Losing weight is an excellent wish, but it’s not specific enough to be a goal. That would require defining the amount of weight you hope to lose and on what timeline. Once you know these factors, you can start to gather the data you need.
Implementing this above process for my social media goal took about two weeks to get right. I had to divert plenty of time and energy away from other priorities to do so and didn’t see any real payoffs for months. But when the dividends did start to arrive, those initial two weeks seemed like a small investment in hindsight. That’s the benefit of a good methodology.