Tips for Eliminating Dual Focus

Dual focus is trying to do two things at once and thereby limiting yourself from doing either well.

Here are a few ideas for how to avoid dual focus:

  • Break a project down into smaller steps that feel manageable, then do one step at a time
  • Use this Show Up Every Day Worksheet to set your focused intention.
  • If you’re using a computer, close all the apps besides the ones you need for completing the task at hand.
  • Time Block your day.
  • If you feel stuck, ask yourself if you’re trying to tackle more than one task. If this is true, isolate the one that has the least complexity and start there.
Tips for Eliminating Dual Focus

Action Brings Clarity

Clarity comes through action and experience. Thus, you should focus on getting started and taking action more than you focus on the perfect end result. Optimize for the starting line instead of the finish line.

Instead of committing to a giant, year-long undertaking. Commit to something small and simple so you can get started and get some experience. Then, when you have more clarity about what you are doing and working on, you can continue to mature and build upon that idea, or you can pivot.

Action Brings Clarity

The Law of Tradeoffs

There are 8 Laws of Focus. As we enter the final few months of the year it’s important to remember The Law of Tradeoffs.

As David Allen said, you can do anything but you cannot do everything. In order to give your perpetual devotion to any one thing it will require the perpetual neglect of many other things. Focus, therefore, requires tradeoffs.

You can only focus on so many things at a time. And you can only focus for so many hours during the day. Instead of ignoring the limitation on your energy, embrace it and find ways to routinize and automate the non-trivial areas of your life so that even when you are not giving them your full attention and devotion, they are not being fully neglected.

(“Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”)

The Law of Tradeoffs

How to Overcome Perfectionism

When you set out to make change, or to embark on a bold new venture, there will always be resistance. One common area of resistance is perfectionism and overthinking.

“Perfectionists spend too much time on little difference as the margins at the expense of the important things.” says Ray Dalio.

With a perfectionist mindset, you place too much emphasis on things that don’t matter as much. You focus on reaching an ideal state that is unrealistic at your current state. This can apply to projects and tasks as well as to relationships, experiences, and other areas of responsibility in your life.

A few ways to overcome perfectionism include:

  1. Limit the scope of how much time you are willing to spend on something, and then ship what you have within your timeline.
  2. Give yourself a deadline for when you will decide on something, and then make the best choice you can with the information you have.
  3. Start with your first bad idea or crappy first draft. Use this to create movement and get started, knowing that action and experience will bring more clarity.
How to Overcome Perfectionism

How to implement your strategy

What happens when you have the right goals, and you believe your action plan is dialed in… but your schedule and routines are all out of whack?

How do you solve the problem of: cannot successfully implement the action plan?

You start small. You pick one critical action that is part of your strategy. And you do that one action. Then, repeat. It sounds overly simple, but most functional things are.

How to implement your strategy

Bad ideas build momentum for good work

I once read that anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. Giving yourself permission to stink will make it easier to begin. And starting is often one of the biggest hurdles of all. A crappy first draft of an email newsletter is far better than no draft at all.

Seth Godin wrote that “the only path to amazing runs directly through not-yet-amazing. But not-yet-amazing is a great place to start, because that’s where you are. For now.”

Bad ideas build momentum for good work