Are You Focusing On What’s Important?

I mentioned Gary Keller and Jay Papasan’s book The One Thing, in one of my other blogs, ‘One thing’ is in reference to an idea. Everyone should pick their own one thing and focus completely on it with no exceptions. Michael Phelps is used as an example in the book as he chose to practice for six hours every day, including Sundays, because he saw that that would give him a 52 day advantage a year over his competitors who were only swimming six days a week. And he became the most successful swimmer and most decorated Olympian of all time with 22 medals.


Steve Jobs was famously ousted from Apple by the then board of directors, before going on to completely revolutionise how Pixar worked, turning it into a company worth £billions. When Apple was in trouble the board of directors knew Steve was the man to turn them around, but insisted that he sell Pixar because they also recognised that he needed to concentrate solely on the one company. And what was one of the first things he did when he re-joined Apple? Dramatically reduce the number of Apple’s products.


So, the one thing means extreme focus and a lot of work – one important thing at a time. The authors suggest that you should use the focusing question: “What is the one thing I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” Answering this question and following through will cause a domino effect which will bring you success.


After you have picked your one thing, your first priority should be protecting the time you use to work with it. The authors suggest you should reserve four hours of non-interrupted time from your day only to work with your one thing. I’d say that four hours is a big ask for most clinic owners, but I would advocate at least 90 minutes a day, preferably first thing before you do anything else.


And that is the key to productivity. Uninterrupted focus. It’s about blocking your time, staying focused on the task at hand, and making sure that all potential distractions have been managed so that they’re less likely to interrupt you or distract you. It’s also about understanding what’s really important to your clinic at that point of its growth.


I always recommend that in the first hour of your day, you don’t open emails or take any calls because if you do, you’re then marching to the beat of somebody else’s drum, just focus on what’s important for your clinic to move forward and then open your emails. That way every day you’ll do something important, no matter what happens after you open your emails.


By Alan S Adams The Clinic Coach