in , , ,

Busy is NOT Productive – Part 1: Focus

a high focus photo of a bird representing productive habits

Join Thousands of CEOs Getting Free Daily Business Coaching Videos

Want practical tips, strategies and ideas that our clients use to scale their businesses?  We invite you to sign up for our free daily business coaching videos where you’ll get in-the-trenches insights that drive huge results.  Click here to sign up.

We live in an extraordinary time of innovation. Our world is evolving at a historic rate… And it’s having a big impact on our ability to be productive.

EVERY business – yours too – is undergoing a major transformation, from the way people use their product/service to the way people buy (most people just don’t consciously recognize the changes).

This is The Information Age.  

Digital information continues to change as new technologies, user devices, and methods of interaction (with other humans and devices) enter our world at a rapid rate. 

To put that into perspective, more data has been created in the past couple years than in the entire previous history of the human race!

Heck, if you just look at YouTube, 500 HOURS of video is uploaded every minute!

…And this trend is getting exponentially larger.

Understand this:

Several years ago, Saudi Oil Minister Sheikh Yamani said,

“The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.”

We’re not (and never will be) in danger of running out of information – however, there’s a bigger problem.

We are in danger of being completely overwhelmed by the information we have...

I see this trend happening working with entrepreneurs every day, and it’s causing things like:

  • Lack of direction
  • Lack of focus
  • Overwhelm
  • Frustration
  • Reduced productivity 

Maybe you can relate.

Look… As entrepreneurs, we’re experts at multitasking and juggling many balls in the air. We try to do everything… And we’re busy.  

Very busy.  

Many of us work 80-hour weeks. 

Herein lies the problem…

Nowadays, just saying you’re “busy” is a badge of honor.

The busier you are – somehow that’s supposed to be something worth bragging about.

I just don’t get it…  

I had a guy tell me how, once a week, he slept under the desk in his office (rather than go home) because he was so “busy.”  

Once he finished sharing this with me, he paused with a grin and waited for me to pat him on the back and tell him how wonderful he was…

…Instead I told him: “Well, it sounds like you don’t have a good grasp on your priorities.”

Let’s just say that he called me a few choice words, and I didn’t make a new friend at that moment. I wasn’t looking for a friend, though, I was simply looking to help him get better results. The truth hurts.

Being busy is an epidemic in inefficiency.

“The truth is that we are not too busy; we just have too many choices to make clear priorities.”

— Damon Brown 

“Busy” doesn’t equate to “productive.”

The busiest entrepreneurs are often the least productive people I know. That’s why someone can pull an 18-hour day, and at the end of it, still feel like they got nothing accomplished. 


Because rather than focusing on the actions that matter most, they’re focused on the other stuff that they think is important – but in reality, is unnecessary. They think they are being productive, but they are just making themselves busy.

When Steve Jobs came back to Apple (after getting fired), he eliminated 70% of Apple’s products… A year later, the company went from losses of $1.04 billion to a $309 million profit.

Jobs had focus, and knew what was most important.

Right now, you have more opportunities available to you than any other time in history…

More opportunities to generate leads…

To convert those leads into sales…

More opportunities to get repeat business…

To generate referrals…

More opportunities to increase average customer value…

More… More… More!

Having more opportunities may sound like a good strategy, but most of us forget that it takes time, energy, money, and resources to chase each one.

In the book “The One Thing,” Gary Keller says our brain is like the Central Processing Unit (CPU) of a computer. The more applications and functions running on your computer, the slower the computer and less optimal your operating capacity.

The brain thrives on our ability to focus… Yet we’re constantly complicating things. We create HUGE “to-do” and “should-do” lists, when in fact, our success happens more quickly and efficiently when we simplify and focus.

I’ve been called an asshole, a jerk, and been told I was “mean” for calling entrepreneurs out on their bullshit.

But you should know that I can trace all the MILLIONS I’ve helped my clients make over the years by breaking one of the cardinal coaching rules. 


And today, more than ever, this is true.

Sure, over the years I’ve given you many strategies, ideas, tactics, techniques, and systems for growing a business and being more productive – and I’ll continue to do so.  

I know a lot about what works because I work with dozens of different business owners in over 55+ industries.

However, one point that often gets lost inside of all these strategies is that your growth is NOT a result of just getting more information.

It’s your ACTIONS that determine your OUTCOME – and it’s the result of the outcomes that improve your productive actions.

Your growth is a result of taking the most important ACTION – right now – to achieve your goal, and then using the results of this action to multiply your core focus.

You don’t need more information…

Or more tactics…

You don’t need more things to do…

You only need to simply your thinking to focus on the right thing to do.

Steve Jobs figured this out years ago when he said:

“That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”     

Today, Apple is the first and only trillion dollar company – and a major testament to their success is simplicity and focus.

The company is made up of 4 main product lines: iPhone, Mac, iPad, and iWatch – with size as the only major variation in models.  

Yet Apple is even simpler than meets the eye…

Each of Apple’s products all work together as one.  

The iPhone is instantly connected to the MacBook, iPad, iWatch, etc. for a seamless integration. And all accessories (like iTunes) are simply designed to further enhance and improve the user experience.

This is contrary to the popular approach of having a new product/new service for every angle.

But the point isn’t really about cutting back on your products/services – it’s about SIMPLICITY AND FOCUS AS A GROWTH STRATEGY.

This reinforces the concept:

“Less is More.”

what now?

Continue reading for more resourceful information.