[Update: Retitled post to accurately reflect content.]
Clients often want help sharpening their focus - getting more done on the stuff that counts while reducing stress and working fewer hours. Back in 2000, Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt published The Power of Focus: What the Worlds Greatest Achievers Know about The Secret of Financial Freedom and Success. That book is chock full of strategies to help you focus.
The authors set out to help us achieve better results and a more balanced life and become happier. They offer ten strategies, which I will summarize here. (For the details, buy the book. And buy the book anyway, because much of the value is in the exercises at the end of each chapter.)
Adopt successful habits. Most of our behavior is habitual. Successful habits breed success, and vice versa. Figure out which habits are getting in the way of your success, come up with replacement habits that will drive success, and determine actions to make the habits reality.
Do what you do best, and let other folks do the rest. Using StrengthsFinder and other tools, figure out what you do well, and learn how to do it even better. As much as possible, say no to other stuff. (See my Seven Ds of Inbox Happiness for ideas on how to do this.) Set boundaries and let people know what those boundaries are.
Get clear on your goals, and put your efforts toward those goals. The authors offer ten attributes of successful goals: they are yours, they are meaningful, they are specific and measurable, they are flexible, they are challenging and exciting, they fit with your values, they are balanced, they are realistic, they include what you will contribute/give back, and they are supported. They also provide a nice prioritizing tool (p. 75) that you might find useful.
Create balance, using the B-ALERT system: create a Blueprint (plan) for every day, take Action on the items on the blueprint, Learn a little every day, Exercise a bit every day, Relax - take a nap to rejuvenate, and spend a few minutes every day Thinking reflectively about what went well and what you learned.
Build your relationships, and learn how to avoid toxic people. Look for mentors. Consider pulling together a Mastermind group.
Build your self-confidence by finishing unfinished business and then confronting your fears. Strategies include staying aware of what you do well, reading inspiring books about inspiring people, doing something to remind yourself that others are even worse off than you are, collecting a support team, getting things done that move you a bit further toward your goals, and taking good care of yourself.
Ask for what you want. Ask for information, ask for business, ask for endorsements, ask for referrals, ask for more business, ask to renegotiate and ask for feedback.
Persist. Success is like the old merry-go-round toys in playgrounds - it takes repeated pushes to get it really spinning quickly.
Make a decision and ACT! Do something!
Discover why you are here (alive) and live toward that purpose.