Ever find yourself working harder and harder with fewer results?
I think I’m safe to say that we’ve all experienced that dilemma before.

When sales volumes slide downwards, or appointments drop in frequency, do you find yourself slipping into panic mode? It’s difficult not to. You think that “surely if I just work harder and work more hours I can turn things around”–not necessarily.
In the end you come away exhausted and disappointed with the results.

Often we forget that “Effort” does not automatically translate into Success.
This is when you remind yourself about the difference between Effort and Focused Energy.

Focused Energy is action with a direction in mind.

Notice that “having a direction in mind” is the key to being focused vs. expending lots of energy in effort only.  

Many days I find myself spending a lot of hours in front of my computer “working”, but often I’m not as focused as I should be. Sometimes I check my emails, or Facebook and Twitter too often…or I get caught up in “busy work” tasks, instead of concentrating on a time sensitive project that is more urgent.

We all know the “rules” of how to focus…work in 30-minute intervals…turn off social media and emails…ignore the dishes, etc. But the real trick is to decide to focus before you begin.

Before you ever sit down at you desk, decide which project you will focus on, and for how long. When distractions pop up, remind yourself of your focus and quickly decide which takes priority- determined by the direction you want to go.

I have a routine that works for me. Every night, I look through my tasks for the next day and decide what takes priority and determine my workflow. Then the next morning, I go right to my tasks as pre-determined. This keeps me from getting side tracked right out of the gate (working at home gives one lots of options – like laundry and dishes).

What you’ll soon notice, as you use more Focused Energy instead of just lots of hours and Effort, is that the time you spend working will make a bigger impact on your achievements. Of course it all still takes hard work – but you’ll find yourself working smarter with bigger results and more efficient use of time.

I would be interested to hear what ways you keep yourself focused and on task in your daily chores. I hope you’ll take a moment to add your comments below–I’d love to hear from you!