Everything Becomes Easier If You Have This

by Jason Kotecki on · 25 comments

One of the biggest bar­ri­ers to suc­cess — in any­thing — is lack of focus.

That we might be unfo­cused is also a hard thing to admit about ourselves.

Because being focused seems too lim­it­ing — too small. We’re cre­ated for great­ness, right?

“I want to get debt-free AND lose weight AND train for a half-marathon AND watch less television!”

“I have an awe­some prod­uct that can help any­one — I want the whole world to know about it!”

Wor­thy goals, to be sure. But when we spread our resources too thin, we end up falling short every­where. If you’re hav­ing trou­ble gain­ing trac­tion in some area of your life, per­haps it’s because you’re lack­ing focus.

A few years ago, a speak­ing col­league shared that he’d been strug­gling to get his busi­ness to grow. Try as he might, he could never get any of his four profit cen­ters to exceed any­thing but mea­ger growth. Then he took a dif­fer­ent tack. He focused all of his atten­tion on just one of the rev­enue streams, vir­tu­ally ignor­ing the other ones. The area he focused on grew like a magic beanstalk. Even more amaz­ingly, the other three areas grew as well!

He explained that if you drive one thing to the moon, the rest will come along for the ride.

A per­son who has focused on get­ting more dis­ci­plined with her per­sonal finances and mar­veled at how she sud­denly starts eat­ing bet­ter has seen this phe­nom­e­non first hand.

My speak­ing friend inspired me to do the same. At the time, our busi­ness had a lot of dif­fer­ent things going on and we had a new baby join our fam­ily. We were going in what seemed like a mil­lion dif­fer­ent direc­tions. We had a retail store, an online store, a mem­ber­ship pro­gram and a speak­ing busi­ness. My wife and I elim­i­nated a few things entirely and decided to focus on speak­ing, since that was our most prof­itable endeavor at the time. Much to our delight, our speak­ing busi­ness shot through the roof and the remain­ing rev­enue streams improved as well. Mean­while, we decreased our expenses, were less stressed, and our life became a whole lot simpler.

For me, it became a pow­er­ful les­son in focus that I’ve never forgotten.

Focus isn’t easy, but the more focused you are, the eas­ier every­thing else becomes.


by Jason Kotecki

Jason Kotecki is an artist, author, and pro­fes­sional speaker. Jason and his wife Kim (a for­mer kinder­garten teacher) make it their mis­sion in life to fight Adul­ti­tis and help peo­ple use strate­gies from child­hood to design lives with less stress and more fun. Stop by www.KimandJason.com for more tips for escap­ing adulthood.
Jason Kotecki
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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Chrysta Bairre January 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

I LOVE this article!

My goal word for 2012 is release and for me this is about simplifying my life and letting go of limiting thoughts, behaviors and actions. I chose release as my goal word because I have experienced the progress I can make when I stop spreading myself too thin and focus on just one thing.

Everything appears to fall into place because I stop struggling and allow myself to do one thing at a time, and let everything else be. I find I’m more effective at the thing I focus on, and the ease of not over-burdening myself makes me more effective overall. I stop pushing and start interacting with life.

Thanks for the awesome reminder to focus on what’s important and keep it simple!

Chrysta
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 13, 2012 at 11:15 am

Hey Chrysta — great word! Very empowering and inspiring! This quote from Steve Jobs is one of my new favorites: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
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Melody | Deliberate Receiving January 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

EEEEK! I just announced a whole host of products I’ll be bringing out in 2012. LOL. My focus for 2012 will be in finally monetizing my blog (it’s been all free up till now…) Although, I’m very careful not to spread myself too thin (anymore). So a lot of the stuff I’m doing will be largely passive.

I tend to be so focused, it’s scary. I neglect everything else (for the most part) until what I’m working on is complete or a success. Then, I move on to the next. I’ve always been that way and finally realized this was an asset. While I don’t tend to have a lot of balance on a daily basis, I do over the week and month. I work like a passionate demon for a few days, then take time off to do other stuff. It does work. My pure focus on one thing allows me to get a lot more done in that time than I otherwise would. :)

Thanks for this. It made me think about my plans and ultimately, I think I’m good. Yay!

Hugs,
Melody
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi Melody, Sounds like you have an unorthodox style that works pretty well. Hooray for focus!
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Cindy January 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Such an inspiring article! It gave me power to go on with my resolutions for the new year, to reach a higher traffic rate with my blog. I already got to know that my biggest mistake was also the lack of focus. I just wanted to do too many things at the same time, but I should focus only one thing at the moment.
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Glad to hear it, Cindy! Hope your traffic soars to the moon!
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Evan January 14, 2012 at 12:24 am

I think focus is essential. I think playing around and looking about can be a very valuable step on the road to focus.
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Noel January 14, 2012 at 8:25 am

Hi Jason, “focus on 1 thing and put all of your effort to it and success will follow”, this is quite new and interesting to me. We often thought multitasking is cool as if it proof our capabilities but now it’s the other way round. Mm.. Gonna try this approach for my 2012 goals. Thanks for sharing yours and your friend’s experiences!

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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm

Yeah, we hold up multitasking on a pretty high level. But it’s for no good reason. It’s been scientifically proven that we can’t actually do two things at once; what’s really happening is that we are switching focus between two (or more) things very quickly, giving us the false impression that we are multitasking. The problem is that we are much less effective this way, because our brains is constantly having to regroup each time we switch focus. It’s very inefficient!
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Steven | The Emotion Machine January 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

Couldn’t agree more! Focus is will-power. One thing I would like to re-iterate is that because our mental resources are limited, we should only focus on one thing at a time. In addition, we should also allow ourselves to occasionally de-focus and relax. Trying to be focused 24/7 is draining, but if you become supremely focused for short periods of time then you can get a lot done.
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Great follow-up, Steven. It’s definitely important to have downtime and let your brain day dream!
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Jody - Fit at 54 January 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I definitely needed this & need to focus on a few more important things rather than spread myself out – thank you!
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David Stevens January 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

Hi Jason,
My ‘focus’ is not necessarily the ‘problem’……I find it easy to focus however invariably on too many things at once….that’s my problem…..or is it? Thank you for this .
be good to yourself
David
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:17 pm

I too often struggle with having too many things to focus on. I have so many ideas and so much I want to accomplish! I have tried to remind myself that just because something is good and worthy, doesn’t mean a) it has to be done right now, or b) it has to be done by me. Easier said than done, but I’m working on it!
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Betsy at Zen Mama January 15, 2012 at 9:15 am

Hi Jason,
First of all, LOVE the photo! You’ve inspired me (along with the rest of Lance’s writers) to focus on my book that I have coming out this summer. Thanks so much! I’ll check out your site.
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thanks Betsy! I had fun with the photo :) Best of luck with the new book!!!
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Cathy | Treatment Talk January 15, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Hi Jason,

Very good post. It is so easy, especially with all the online distractions, to lose focus. Time is scare for everyone when they have a business online and other family obligations. You’ve inspired me to think about the one area I would like to focus on to help me move forward.
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Yes, the online world brings us lots of great tools, but tons of distractions as well, Cathy. I have the phrase, “With great power comes great responsibility” echoing in my head…
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Megan Bord January 16, 2012 at 7:33 am

I love that idea — that when we become more focused in one area of our lives, the other areas sort of come along, too. You’ve certainly inspired me to stick with this focus thing! Thanks, Jason.

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Jason of Kim & Jason January 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Thank YO Megan…It sure seems unintuitive, but it does work!
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David Rodwell January 17, 2012 at 9:15 pm

This is dead on. Anytime I’ve set out in life to accomplish something and failed was because I didn’t know how to form a viable plan and garner the drive and enthusiasm to see it followed through! Focusing efforts on one too many things can break down morale and inhibit resolve. Great piece to start the new year to help those stay on track with their resolutions!
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 18, 2012 at 10:04 am

Hey thanks, David!
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Jen January 21, 2012 at 10:47 am

Hi Jason! I’m a little late getting to this read, but SO glad I did.
First of all, love your little guys at the beginning of the article! Makes me want to sneak into my 8 year old’s room and play legos by myself:)

And such good tidbits of wisdom throughout this post. I agree that focusing on one main thing is crucial for all around success and less stress. Sometimes I have a hard time doing that, I have so many different and varied interests and I want to do them all!
Thanks for the valuable reminder! I sure enjoyed reading this.
Happy Weekend!
Jen
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Jason of Kim & Jason January 21, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Jen — you are SO not alone! I have way too many ideas and too little time! (And people sometimes wonder why I watch so little tv :)

Thanks for the nice comment!
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Andrew Walker March 6, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Yep, I agree with you. When you can focus well on your objectives, you’ll be able to reach them no matter what I guess. Because to focus is the hardest thing to do.
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