As a young startup, you probably get to wear many hats. And even if you’re successful enough to have a team of people helping you to build your empire, chances are that you or your team are not yet maximizing your effectiveness and productivity.
Why do I say this? Because most of us struggle to think the right thoughts. And when we don’t think the right thoughts, we can’t be focused and productive enough.
You or your team members are likely spending more time than is necessary thinking thoughts that won’t help you save or make money. Being busy for the sake of being busy is really bad for business.
If there’s one gift I wish more ambitious individuals had, it would be – the ability to know what to think about and the discipline to stick with the right type of thinking.
Nothing will cost you and your business more than unproductive thinking. Consider this – every time you or your team members spend time thinking and discussing things that won’t make you more money, save you money, or enhance the experience of your clients, the truth is, time is being spent on things that only cause your business to stagnate or decline.
A lack of focus at work costs businesses thousands, and at times hundreds of thousands.
In the entrepreneurial jungle where survival isn’t guaranteed, being focused and hyper-productive is critical. Let me show you a simple technique that you can apply to boost your focus and become hyper-productive.
A simple technique to boost focus
Experiment with this technique I picked up from my mentor, called “the big three.”
First, you, as the leader, must decide on the three critical things that you must get done over the next seven days.
Next, I want you to put it down in writing and hold yourself accountable to accomplishing those three big goals.
If you have any team members, I want you to discuss with them what their three big goals are, and if they overlap with yours, then make sure everyone is clear on what they need to deliver and the timelines. Make sure that the team members are aware that you will hold them accountable for completing those three big tasks within seven days.
Everyone involved in the successful operation of your business will have to turn in his or her weekly “three big things” in written form. This helps you ensure that everyone is focused on what’s right for your business.
Here’s a simple example of how this practically plays out.
Let’s assume John, Betty, and I are your remote team members. I live in Europe, and John and Betty live in the U.S. Each week, the first thing we do on Monday morning is we individually send you an email with our “three big priorities for the week.” Diligently, you go over them and respond with appropriate feedback. Perhaps as your content manager, I am working on something that isn’t as hot as a topic or theme you already have in mind because you want to take advantage of a particular event taking place mid-week. That would be a great time to help me course correct and restructure my thinking for the week. The same applies to John and Betty.
One of the key benefits of setting this as part of your culture even if you’re only a team of two or three people at this stage is that it helps you and your people bring yourselves to focus on important things.
Another benefit is that if one of you is working on something that’s good but not necessarily important right now, you can now edit and redirect their energy constructively without wasting time.
This is especially critical for a startup that deals with the selling of intellectual property. It’s easy to see if a carpenter is focused on the right thing, because his job is more manual and physical. But a guy or girl behind a computer could toil away for eight hours a day and get to the end of the week with nothing that jolts the business forward.
That’s why implementing this technique as a founder becomes invaluable. You don’t have to micromanage. All you’re doing is keeping people accountable and steering them toward the desired outcome.
This is a simple technique that you can implement whether you’re working with a small or large team. Remember, the more productive your team is, the more value your clients are going to get. Test it out, and let me know the difference you experience after the first week.