Focus. Are you doing your best work?

by | Aug 18, 2022

Keep(ing) Focus By Nick Roud

How many times during a day do you lose focus? 

One, two, ten, twenty times be honest with yourself and be honest as you read todays leadership blog. What is that number and is it enabling you to do your job better? 

Who are you becoming and is it the direction you want to head? That is a yes/no question and it must be answered. 

This is not a trick question in fact it is something I have thought long and hard about and still something that takes daily work on. I ask my clients to work through a focus process during our coaching work.

It’s an important question to really double down on and understand your ability to use time to your advantage. I have struggled for many years with focus, to the point now that I have things which I call zones set up for my day. 

Zones include

  • Me time, 

  • coaching one on one, 

  • writing, 

  • reading, 

  • playing with the kids, 

  • Walking –  breathing etc

  • creating. 

Sure it’s not perfect – it is evolving and it will never be perfect and I don’t want it to be,  I am ok with that. I am becoming more intune with my work patterns and where I am able to really be myself. Take last month, I decided after a deep look in the mirror that a couple of key things in my business needed to be addressed, it involved conversations and it involved stepping out of my natural comfort zone. I had noticed that certain things were not enabling my clients to get the very best results and I could not control certain things, now I can, now I have the capability to do and this will massively support my coaching clients. Had I not spent the zone time thinking about this, had I not had the zone time to really address it, I can assure you it would have carried on bugging the hell out of me and knowing me as well as I do it would have damaged my pure enjoyment of the work I do, coach successful CEO, executive and emerging leaders. Lesson learnt if you are not putting time into your day to focus you might lose sight of the important work that must be achieved.

We need time to think, to pause and to focus.

I read recently a beautiful book by Cal Newport {Deep Work} where in it he writes about being laser focused on one thing, completing or progressing that one thing before moving onto the next thing. I’d encourage you to pick up a copy and see how or if it impacts your work. 

How many screens have you got open right now? How many times have you lost focus and glanced to something else? Start to notice your ability to be present and I encourage you to turn out all distractions as you start to develop this focus muscle. 

As an introvert who loves nothing more than working one-to-one with a person and really getting to work, I am becoming more aware of how focused I am with my day, my week, my life. Sure I day-dream, sure I find myself losing focus but having the ability to pause, regroup and re focus is a huge positive impact on my work and I have noticed a positive shift.

Successful CEOs struggle with focus. I have asked many CEs around the world how often do you lose focus and the large percentage of them say regularly. They share with me the amount of time that they actually get to do their own work, to think etc – typically they make a huge number of decisions, large and small each and every day, they move quickly and move from one topic to the next quickly.  

An area we work on during the coaching engagement is time spent on things and we measure the impact. I believe deeply that if you are not actively measuring something it’s hard to gauge its impact. 

For many new managers they share with me similar thoughts. How capturing time to process things, time to look out and time to actually plan is not enabling them to be successful. They, like the CE, are running, sometimes sprinting from one thing to another. They get frustrated quickly that thought and focus are not given to specific aspects of work. 

focus and simplicity…………once you get their you can move mountains
— Steve Jobs

We live in a time where convenience is on our door step, call for it and it will be delivered, bored with a show – change the channel without even getting out of your chair, books – don’t read it cover to cover download an app that shares the high points that you might want to take away. Rather than go outside for a bike ride sit on your wind trainer, plug in a location in any part of the world and you are transformed their in a second. Focus time is being drilled into us all with the enablment of technology and whether we like it or not its coming at us more every single day. 

In order for us to take back a little control I’d encourage you to look at where and how you are focusing on things. Understand that to focus you need to be present and having distraction around you might hinder your ability to do your greatest work. 

I read recently that a well know CEO would take himself away for a month (to his cabin) away from internet, wifi, phone coverage etc and read. Just read. He would spend the much needed time to think – to focus on his thoughts. He would live a very minimal life for those four weeks. This was where he did his best work and would come back not only refresh but present to others and thier needs. 

As leaders you must ensure you are taking the time to look after your own needs – your own time and your own thoughts if you are truly to be in a position to be of service to others. 

The word focus means pay particular attention to

As we close out today’s leadership blog I would love you to pay particular attention to your leadership focus. Is it enabling you or holding you back?

Author Nick Roud is a global award winning executive coach who is hired by successful CEOs, executives and emerging leaders around the world. His work is evidence and researched based along with a ROI record that see’s 100% of his clients improve as a leader when engaged with Nick for more than 6 months. Nick only coaches one on one and his focus is leadership coaching.


For a confidential conversation about your leadership coaching needs, call Nick on +6421375630 or email him

Nick Roud

Nick Roud

Executive Leadership Coach

Nick is the Chairman of Nick Roud Coaching and a Global Award Winning Executive Coach. Nick holds the highest coaching qualification MCEC. His clients are typically Chief Executive Officers, Executives and Emerging Leaders. Nick’s office is based in Auckland, New Zealand and he travels extensively around the world to coach his clients. You can contact Nick directly on +6421375630