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15 Things Highly Focused People Don’t Do

15 Things Highly Focused People Don’t Do

Focus is key to success and happiness in life. The most successful people on this planet are highly focused. They pay attention to the present moment and present tasks. This habit ensures they are fully engaged in activities, get more done properly and deal with adverse life events better. Highly focused people are simply mindful. They don’t do many things that many of us might be prone to do.

1. They don’t gossip.

Highly focused people don’t gossip. They have better, more productive things to do with their time. The only people who engage in this petty behavior are shallow people whose personal lives are not fulfilling enough. Otherwise, why would you even care how someone else is living their life? Gossiping only makes you look jealous and pathetic.

2. They don’t multitask.

Highly focused people don’t multitask. They focus on one thing at a time to boost attentiveness and productivity. Studies have shown that the human brain can handle two complicated tasks without too much trouble because it has two lobes that can divide responsibility equally between the two. However, adding a third task can overwhelm the frontal cortex and increase the number of mistakes you make.

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3. They don’t procrastinate.

Highly focused people don’t procrastinate. Sure, they might be tempted to put off tasks for hours because the tasks are unpleasant or overwhelming, but they somehow manage to push themselves and get what needs to be done DONE when it ought to. In other words, highly focused people know the best time to do something is now, and they do it now—not later.

4. They don’t allow distractions to derail them.

Highly focused people remove all distractions that hinder them from getting quality work done. Whether it is e-mail alerts, social media pop-up notifications or people casually stopping by during work hours, highly focused people stop distractions before they can steal their productive time. They know distractions break concentration, cause stress and derail you from completing tasks and achieving your goals.

5. They don’t seek validation from others.

Highly focused people don’t need your approval because they know their own self-worth. They do things for themselves and believe what they do will advance them in life. They don’t concern themselves with the opinions of others and don’t live up to anyone’s expectations. Focused people simply concentrate on the tasks that promote personal and professional growth.

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6. They don’t entertain disorganization.

Highly focused people hate disorganization. They don’t entertain it because they know it adds stress to our lives, blocks our creativity and costs us valuable time that could be used to get work done. They keep everything in its proper place so they can easily and quickly get it when they need it. You might think you can thrive amidst chaos, but in reality you are only holding yourself back from being as productive and effective as you could be by being disorganized.

7. They don’t give silly excuses not to work.

Highly focused people don’t give silly excuses not to work. They know you can’t always wait for the perfect time and perfect conditions to do things. There may never be such a time. Often you just have to brace yourself and get your feet wet. Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day as Sir Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and President Obama.

8. They don’t eschew risk.

Highly focused people are not afraid to take risks. They know life itself is a risk; nobody is guaranteed tomorrow. They take their chances because those chances may never come again. Playing it safe can keep you safe for now, but hurt you more in the long run. Focused people not only take calculated risks, but also learn from both the positive and negative outcomes of risks.

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9. They don’t dwell on the past.

Highly focused people don’t dwell on the past. They are not defined by the things they did or didn’t do in the past. They simply accept what is, let go of what was and have faith in what could be. Their desire to succeed is much stronger than their fear of failure and so they learn from their mistakes and keep going forward. Mistakes may hurt for a while, but they will make you smarter and stronger in the end.

10. They don’t act rashly.

Highly focused people don’t rush onto things. They take time to think through and weigh options carefully against their core goals and objectives. They know not everything that glitters is gold. Often, they simply choose to take pleasure in their own work, celebrate their accomplishments and relish the good fortunes to come. They don’t abandon their projects and jump onto the next “big” thing. They stick to their goals and stay committed to their dreams through the sunny days and the rainy days.

11. They don’t involve themselves in matters that don’t concern them.

Highly focused people mind their own business. They don’t go meddling in other people’s affairs unless they are specifically called to do so or it is absolutely necessary because it affects them directly. They are fully engaged in their own affairs and content to focus on their own priorities. People who are unable to mind their own business aggravate others and often lose their own sense of direction and self-worth.

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12. They don’t compare themselves to others.

Highly focused people don’t compare themselves to others because they are content with who they are. They know comparing yourself to others serves only to demoralize and make you feel inferior, while in fact you have equal capacity for growth and advancement in life as anybody else. Highly focused people consider the achievement of others to determine what they need to do to replicate similar success. This ensures they are sufficiently motivated and energized to keep pressing towards their goals and dreams.

13. They don’t have unrealistic expectations.

Highly focused people are realistic. They don’t expect a smooth ride all through life or to get things out of situation. Instead, they go into situations with realistic expectations and are prepared for the rough times. They know unrealistic expectations only lead to disappointment and frustration when things don’t go as planned. However, smart, realistic and achievable expectations power you on to fully immerse and apply yourself without the pressure of living up to bad preconceived notions.

14. They don’t say “yes” to everything.

Highly focused people are not people pleasers. They don’t feel the need to say “yes” to everything and everyone just because. They know you can’t always please everyone and sometimes you have to say “no” to people otherwise their priorities might precede your own. Highly focused people, therefore, firmly but gently say “no” to everything that doesn’t support their values or help them achieve their goals. Saying “no” to things that are not a priority allows you to focus on the things that are important.

15. They don’t quit.

Highly focused people are not quitters. They know nobody ever succeeded by being a quitter. The people who succeed and live their dreams are those who work hard and persevere through troubled times. The people who succeed are those who don’t quit. People who are not focused quit when things get a little tough; highly focused people get tough when others quit!

Featured photo credit: Young man using a professional camera via shutterstock.com

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David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

    Reference

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