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Business Unplugged™
This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.

Efficiency, Productivity and Effectiveness: The Focus Fix

Written By: Carol Roth | Comments Off on Efficiency, Productivity and Effectiveness: The Focus Fix

Many people are lamenting that they are working harder than ever.  For some- especially small business owners- this is quite true.  But for others, they may be “working” more hours, but they are not working harder and definitely not working smarter.

Just because you are at a desk or a place of business does not constitute working.  Working requires actually doing work, not just showing up somewhere.  And focus can be just the antidote you are looking for.

If you think you are working too many hours, here are a couple of culprits.


20 years ago, when you went to work, you didn’t have access to the Internet.  You didn’t have a cellular phone.  You couldn’t send text messages to friends and colleagues. You weren’t bombarded with email. The technologies that can make us more productive can also make us a whole hell of a lot less productive.  If you are at work and doing non-work activities online (or doing a little too much “research” for work), then turn off your computer or if you need to have access to the Internet, block certain websites and email access for chunks of time (if you have a Mac, you can use the app Self Control to do this).

Save your technology dalliances for breaks, lunch or after work and you will find yourself getting a whole lot more accomplished.


Another big culprit of the working more issue is a lack of focus.  It’s become en vogue to thumb your nose at a “corporate” job and take on a number of passion projects.  The problem is that switching between different jobs or projects takes extra time and energy.  It is more effective to focus on one thing and do it very well than focus on a whole bunch of things in a half-assed manner.  I have heard this referred to as “broad range incompetence”- that’s not what you want to be known for!

While it may not be viable for you to just do one thing (although you may want to reconsider), try to minimize the number of different areas that you are putting out extra energy for better results and less hours.


What are other culprits that kill your focus?  Any other secrets to improving your focus?  Share below.

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is a judge on the Mark Burnett (Shark Tank, The Voice, Survivor, The Apprentice) produced technology competition series, America's Greatest Makers, airing on TBS and Host of Microsoft's Office Small Business Academy show. Previously, Carol was the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country, and a contributor to CNBC, as well as a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, Fox Business and other stations. Carol's multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011-2015) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth