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Exercise A Laser Focus on Your Business

Sara Schafer

January 11, 2021

Prioritize your efforts to transform your business

When you woke up today, did you have a single priority? Did you know exactly what to tackle first, because it is the most important aspect for your business? Most likely not.

“Does this ‘tyranny of the urgent’ feel like shooting at a fluffle of rabbits versus aiming at one trophy buck?” asks Mark Faust, business author and columnist for AgPro. “The difference between taking a few shots at a half dozen rabbits versus zeroing your sights on a giant buck is an apt metaphor for transforming a business.”

Most businesses suffer due to a lack of focus, Faust says. This leads to wasted time, lower profits and stagnant business models.

Consider your farm’s profit centers. Which ones generate the most profit? Could you improve your financial standing by increasing your team’s focus on just one?

“A business or individual never has just one objective,” Faust says. “To be effective, though, select only one objective to be the most important for your business.”

Priority is Not Plural

Business leaders will always have longer to-do lists than they can realistically achieve, explains Brian Moran, a productivity expert and author. So, they must develop a clear vision and prioritize.

Set a short list of the most important goals for your business. Will this year be when you beat your previous cost of production levels or reduce employee turnover? Think about where your team’s efforts will have the strongest ROI.

“Less is more,” Moran says. “Most plans have too much in them. One goal is better than two and two goals are better than three.”

Without a focused objective, people easily gravitate to what they’ve always done, Moran says. A leader’s role is to set a practical but demanding timeline around these few important goals. If a deadline is too far off, it’s easy to delay action. Plan to accomplish a goal in the least number of small steps.

“Tiny little actions can have a profound effect when repeated time and time again,” he says.

Remember the 80-20 Rule

“Around 80% of your results come from 20% of what you do,” says Danny Klinefelter, Texas A&M University professor emeritus. His advice: prioritize. Delegate or hire it out; you can’t do it all.

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