Ron Howard and I are about the same age. I remember him as Opie on The Andy Griffith Show. I’ve followed his road to career success since then. I think he is a fantastic director.
Not too long ago, I saw an interview with Ron Howard in which he discussed the importance of focus. He said that he works hard to identify the most important task he has every day, and then to do whatever he needs to do to accomplish that task. This is great common sense career advice.
I give some similar career advice on focus in Tweet 87 in my career success book Success Tweets. “Break large projects into small chunks. They are not so overwhelming that way. Set mini milestones for yourself.”
Jill Koenig, one of my on line friends, posted this bit of career success wisdom on focus her Facebook page a couple of months ago…
“To accomplish big things, you must do the small things. This overcomes inertia. To accomplish the small things, visualize the big picture outcome. This overcomes overwhelm.”
That’s focus; and its exactly the kind of career advice I’m talking about in Tweet 87 and what Ron Howard means when he says, you need to focus on the most important thing you can do today. Small steps and mini milestones will help you overcome the inertia that can stop you from beginning a big project. At the same time, you need to keep focused on the big picture to avoid being overwhelmed by the sheer number of small tasks involved in completing a big project.
I’ve written 14 books. Writing a book is a huge a project. It can be difficult to get started. I’ve found that breaking down the writing process into manageable chunks helps me focus, get started, and keep my momentum. Success Tweets is my latest book. Here’s how I went about writing it.
First, I created an overall model of career success. This model had four main components:
- Clarify the purpose and direction for your life and career.
- Commit to taking personal responsibility for your career success.
- Build unshakeable self confidence.
- Get competent in four areas: creating positive personal impact, outstanding performance, dynamic communication and relationship building.
Then the hard work started. I took all of this career success advice and broke it into 141 tweets. Writing a good tweet that communicates is not as easy as it seems. I had to really focus my attention on getting my thoughts across in 140 characters.
This process worked for me, primarily because I broke down the overwhelmingly large project of writing a book into a series of small steps that were relatively easy to accomplish. Then I got up every day and focused on the most important task I had to do to move Success Tweets one step closer to completion.
Her’s a bonus piece of career advice on focus. I always start large projects late in the afternoon. I do this to create momentum. Even though there are times when I barely scratch the surface of the project, I get up the next day ready to go because I have accomplished something on it and have momentum on my side. I also don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what’s most important that day – it’s the task I’m in the middle of. Try this the next time you are faced with a big project. It works.
The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Successful people are good at taking on and accomplishing big projects. They follow the career advice in Tweet 87 in Success Tweets. “Break large projects into small chunks. They are not so overwhelming that way. Set mini milestones for yourself.” Ron Howard is right when he suggests that you identify the most important task (a small chunk of a big project) on which you need to focus every day. Jill Koenig nails it when she says, “To accomplish big things, you must do the small things. This overcomes inertia. To accomplish the small things, visualize the big picture outcome. This overcomes overwhelm.” Small steps in the right direction are the best way to maintain focus and get big things done. Starting big projects late in the afternoon helps you identify what’s important the next day.
That’s my career advice on the importance of focus. What do you think? Please take a minute to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us. As always, thanks for reading.