August 27, 2014

Press The Focus Button

My camera has an auto focus button on it, a perfect gift for the amateur photographer. Once I turn this feature on, I can point the camera on the person that I want to photograph and get a clear shot.  At first, however, it’s blurry. So, holding the camera steady, I wait a second. Once the camera has time to focus, I get my shot and I can share it with friends and family whenever I want.

focus eye

In business, we’re a lot like that camera.

The Clear Shot

John Mariotti in “It Takes 5 Cs to Spell Success,”  says:

“Your purpose, plan and actions must be clear.”

But it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with ideas, work loads and other people’s personal and professional drama. So, how do you get back to the clear thoughts and the smart plans that follow?

You Press the Focus Button

Overwhelm is when “you see all kinds of options and opportunities, but it just doesn’t come together.” At least that’s how Ivana Taylor defines it in “How To Turn Stress Into a Killer Brainstorm.”  Overwhelm is a sign that you need a mental shift and if you don’t make the mental adjustment, it can derail your plans. And that’ll leave you stuck and stranded.  But you can do some things to make it right again, and even better than it was before.

Free Up Some Space

Free up some space in your head by taking a walk to dream and think it through. Walk until you calm down into a stroll and a smile.  The purpose is to shift from the nervous energy that comes with overwhelm. When you clear up some space in your mind, then fresh ideas can emerge - as well as the ability to connect the dots between the ideas that you already have.

Feed Your Creativity

I often get overwhelmed close to meal times and when I get like that I tend to move in circles — being busy but accomplishing little.  So pause a minute. Grab a snack. Feed yourself and let your brilliance come back.

Focus Your Energy

Focus it on one task, one person, one mission for the next block of time. Ivana suggests that you “sit down quietly and put yourself in their place.”  By focusing on one client, with a name and face,  you’ll be able to spot the gaps in your strategy and address them.  Don’t let overwhelm control the moment. Focus on what matters the most. Ivana’s exercise can help you get back to that productive place.

Focus is Powerful, Now Share it

Without clear thoughts and smart plans, you cannot effectively lead your team.  In “What JCPenney And Motrin Can Teach You About Communication,” Yvonne DiVita mentions “the power of a collective focus.”  While she’s discussing how a small unified group of customers caused JCPenny and Motrin to change their ads, collective focus holds true for any group.

Once you get focused, then you can focus your team. And it’s the team committed to the same goal that accomplishes the most.

Quick Recap:

  • Hit your focus button.
  • Get your clear shot.
  • Share it with your team.
  • Move your business forward.

Focus Photo via Shutterstock

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Jamillah Warner


Jamillah Warner Jamillah Warner (Ms.J), a poet with a passion for business, is a Georgia-based writer and speaker and the Marketing Coordinator at Nobuko Solutions. She also provides marketing and communication quick tips in her getCLEAR! MicroNewsletter.

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