Einstein's Law of Focus: How to Be More Productive, Accomplished, and Fulfilled, Starting TodayAccording to Einstein, what you decide not to do can make all the difference.
BY JEFF HADEN, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, INC.@JEFF_HADEN
Albert Einstein in his study at Princeton, New Jersey, in 1951. Photo: Getty ImagesAfter Albert Einstein graduated from college in 1900, he struggled to find work as a teacher and took a job at the patent office. (Even Einstein had to start somewhere.) He used that job, in time-honored, dues-paying tradition, to cover the bills while he published four groundbreaking scientific papers and earned his PhD in 1906.
By 1912, he was widely known -- at least within the scientific community -- as an accomplished theoretical physicist. Big fish? Sure, but in a really small pond.
So he took a step back and assessed his career. Generally speaking, he was, um, a generalist. What if he focused on one thing? What if he applied non-Euclidian math to his own work on general relativity so it accounted for the effect of gravity? For the next three years, that's what he did. That's all he did. (He later claimed his hair turned white from the stress.)
In 1915, he published his theory of relativity, arguably the greatest scientific accomplishment of the 20th century.
Einstein's Law of FocusAs Cal Newport, author So Good They Can't Ignore You (a book I've given to at least 50 people over the years), writes:
Einstein's push for general relativity highlights an important reality about accomplishment. We are most productive when we focus on a very small number of projects on which we can devote a large amount of attention. Achievements worth achieving require hard work. There is no shortcut. ... Effort, sustained over a long amount of time, is required.
In a perfect world, we would all be Einsteins. We would each have only one, or at most two, projects in the three major spheres of our lives: professional, extracurricular, and personal.
Granted, that's not easy. We all tend to be generalists, even if not by choice. (Starting your own business means wearing many hats.)
Career, family, friends, personal pursuits -- our buckets are full of disparate tasks. So are our bucket lists.
As a result, as Newport writes:
We can no longer focus on a small number of important project, but find ourselves, instead, rushing between an increasingly overwhelming slate full of a variety of obligations. This time fracture can prevent real accomplishment.
Imagine if Einstein maintained a blog, wrote a book, joined a bunch of clubs, and tried to master rowing at the same time he was working on general relativity?
We'd still be living in the age of Newton.
Eventually, you'll be unable to resist the temptation to take on new projects. Goal-scope creep is inevitable for people who expect a lot from themselves. Somewhere along the way, you'll have to go through the whole exercise again.
And that's OK, because it works.
Just ask Warren Buffett.
Buffett's Law of FocusAs Inc. colleague Justin Bariso writes, Buffett walked pilot Mike Flint through a simple exercise:
Buffett reportedly told Flint to focus solely on accomplishing goals 1 through 5, and completely avoid working on goals 6 through 25. (Justin calls it the 25/5 Rule.)
Why? You can't do 25 things well. (I can't do two things well.) Working on 25 things means getting very little done on any of them.
As Justin writes:
It's easy to come up with five things you really want to do. But it's even easier to get distracted from actually making progress on those five goals, because you get caught up in the excitement, the joy, the temporary pleasure of things that simply aren't as important.
Try it. List all your goals: professional, personal, and extracurricular. Pick the two most important in each. Cross out the ones that don't matter, or that are more imagined than actual. (If you claim you want to run a marathon, but you go for a jog only once every week or two, that's a dream, not a goal.)
Then create a plan to knock out the remaining items in each category. Or, if they're ongoing -- like wanting to spend more time with non-nuclear family -- create a plan to ensure that happens regularly.
And then put your head down and focus on the tasks, projects, or goals that really matter.
As Newport writes:
The productivity purge is a necessary piece of project gardening. By doing these regularly, you keep yourself focused on whats important. You get at least one month after every purge in which serious work gets done on a small number of projects.
It's during these focused months, when the Einstein Principle comes into play, that you'll end up making the progress on those activities that might end up becoming life changing.
Sounds good to me.
Alliance Financing Group Delivers
$1,000,000 Accounts Receivable facility and Term Loan
to a company that provides customized delivery
The team at Alliance structured and delivered a $1 MM operating facility and $180M term loan for HD Logistics, a family-owned operation that has been growing by delivering white glove delivery solutions for large bricks and mortar and online retailers. This financing facility was secured based solely on the assets of the company. The financing solutions will provide ample working capital to develop new revenue channels, insulate the company from seasonality, and continue to drive profits and growth.
“Our team of credit experts collaborated with the HD Logistics Family to understand the firm’s goals and secure the necessary liquidity for them to manage growth. HD Logistics is committed to providing best-in-class white glove delivery solutions to its customers and the financing solutions we provided will ensure the company and its customers continue to be well served."
-- James Plewak, Finance Associate, Alliance Financing Group Ltd
Alliance Financing Group Ltd specializes in securing customized solutions for rapidly growing companies across North America who require a unique, timely and tailored financing structure to address their particular needs, especially in situations where conventional capital sources are not an option
Toronto, Canada – 8/29/19 – Alliance Financing Group supplies a $250,000 Accounts Receivable facility to a producer of Mexican food favorites.
The company aims to provide Canadians with true, authentic Mexican fare. The business prides themselves in offering quality, hand-crafted products in the form of corn tortillas and cantina style tortilla chips. The owner took his Grandmother’s recipe from Mexico and developed goods that deviated from other commercial products. Not only do these products offer a pure and simple flavor, they also adhere to today’s dietary trends by being both vegan and gluten-free.
“This start-up food manufacturer began receiving purchase orders from large Canadian retailers. When their current bank was unable to help, Alliance was able to offer a working capital solution to help with their projected rapid growth,” says Paul Morrison, Senior Commercial Financing Consultant.
With Alliance's assistance, the company intends to expand their product line and progress into other major Canadian retailers.
For More Information Please Contact:
Paul J. Morrison - Senior Commercial Financing Consultant
Alliance Financing Group Ltd.
Tel: 905-660-3660 ext.234
Toll Free: 877-660-3660 ext.234
The Ontario government released its Budget 2018 a few days ago, which promised boosts to the tech sector!
The Ontario Government indicated there will be an investment of $350 million in industries like artificial intelligence, 5G wireless communications, autonomous vehicles, advanced computing, and quantum technologies. Best of all the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program is getting a boost. Here’s some more details…
Artificial IntelligenceOntario stressed its support for the AI-focused Vector Institute, with a $30 million investment to prompt students to study AI.
NextAI,an accelerator dedicated to supporting AI-based startups, will be receiving $15 million over the next three years from Ontario.
“These additional resources will allow us to do more to support the growth of new AI ventures in Ontario,” said NEXT Canada CEO Sheldon Levy. “Ontario’s public and private sectors have been working closely together to make this province an emerging leader in the field of artificial intelligence, this announcement strengthens Ontario’s position.”
FinTechThe government shared its plan to open a FinTech Accelerator Office to support FinTech businesses, and inform government policies on creating more growth in the FinTech sector. According to the budget, the Office’s function will offer support with:
The government is committing up to $50 million in venture capital funds focused on life sciences, and plans to leverage additional capital from private-sector partners such as corporations, pension funds, and banks. The province also signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work with Quebec on the development of a joint Life Sciences Venture Capital Fund.
Ontario renewed a 10-year agreement with the University of Guelph, investing over $700 million in agri-food education, research, and innovation.
Investing in CybersecurityThe Ontario budget indicates there will be an investment of $64 million over three years to attract cybersecurity talent to the region, using new recruitment methods that include partnerships with postsecondary institutions. Ontario will also commit to enhancing the cybersecurity of the province’s private financial institutions.
Tax CreditsTo support large businesses investing in research and development, the government has proposed an enhancement to the Ontario Research and Development Tax Credit (ORDTC) which is claimed with SR&ED.
The ORDTC is a 3.5 percent non-refundable tax credit on eligible R&D expenditures; companies that qualify for the ORDTC would be eligible for an enhanced rate of 5.5 percent on expenditures over $1 million in a taxation year. The $1 million threshold would be prorated for short taxation years.
The Ontario Innovation Tax Credit is an eight percent refundable tax credit for small to medium-sized companies on eligible R&D expenditures as part of the SR&ED program. For eligible R&D expenditures incurred on or after March 28, 2018, if a company qualifies for the OITC and has a ratio of R&D expenditures to gross revenues that is:
7 Ways to Boost Your Creativity.
By Victoria Munro
“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns."
~ Edward de Bono
Entrepreneurship and creativity should go together. But it’s easy to get caught up in the daily routine of running a business and handling the related challenges. We can get stuck in a repetitive rut and forget to keep those creative juices flowing. In today’s competitive marketplace, it’s important to keep fanning that flame of creativity within.
Raising your creativity can increase profits, give your fresh motivation and make life and business more enjoyable. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a naturally creative person, you have imaginative, resourceful abilities inside just waiting to be ignited. Below are seven ways to boost your creativity:
1. Input the right stuff. Be thoughtful about what you feed your mind. Make a point to read, watch and listen to creative, innovative, inspiring material. Visit a museum or art gallery, or go places you’ve never been before.“Are you feeding your brain protein every day, or are you just giving it candy? Most Americans sustain their brains solely on candy—that is, useless television shows, news and gossip. Are you stimulating yourself with big ideas and new learning?”
~ Jim Rohn
2. Take a day away to think. No phone, just you, a notebook and a pen. If a day, or even half a day a week, sounds like too much, start with an hour or two. During the week, make note of questions and ideas that come to mind, as well as problems and challenges you run into. Then use your think time to come up with innovative solutions. Keep a journal or notebook to record your thoughts. Taking time out just to think may seem like a waste of time, and it’s not easy. Henry Ford said, “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few people engage in it.”
3. Be ready to capture creative ideas. Always carry a notebook and pen. You never know when you might have a brilliant idea or hear something you’d like to further explore. Write it down quickly; don’t lose it. Leonardo da Vinci was famous for keeping a journal of his ideas. Today, those notebooks containing his creative ideas, drawings, scientific diagrams and genius thoughts are priceless.
4. Exercise your brain—train your mind to think, question and evaluate. Commit to learn something new this year. Take a class. Try something you’ve never done before. Do crossword or Sudoku puzzles. Welcome and ponder ridiculous, off-the-wall ideas rather than judging them. When approaching problems, try to think of solutions that are unique or different.
5. Ask questions. Become curious about the world around you. Stop occasionally, look around and ask why? How? And what if…? Talk to people—perhaps people you wouldn’t normally connect with, ask searching questions, listen attentively and learn from them. Read some books in a totally different genre from your usual fare.
6. View problems as opportunities to be creative. When challenges arise that weren’t in your game plan, see them as possibilities in disguise. After taking his dog for a hike, Velcro® inventor, George de Mestral, returned home covered with burrs. Intrigued, he inspected one of the many burrs in his microscope and saw thousands of tiny hooks that caused it to cling to the loops in the fabric of his pants. As a result, he designed the well-known two-sided fastener—one side with stiff hooks like the burrs and the other side with soft loops.
7. Believe that you are creative. Think of yourself as a creative person. Webster’s Dictionary defines creativity as creative ability or intellectual inventiveness. We all possess this to some extent and we can all improve our ability to create. Becoming more creative will take determination and practice, but the results will be worthwhile and rewarding.
About the Author: Victoria Munro is co-founder (along with husband Dave Block) of Make-it-Fly® LLC, a company dedicated to creating success for small-business owners through creatively designed programs and tools. Victoria has started and run nine different businesses. To receive FREE business success articles with tips to help you with your business, sign up for their award-winning ezine, “In-Flight Refueling,” at: www.Make-it-Fly.com, and receive a free copy of the eBook, Get More Done in Less Time: 101 Quick and Easy Time Tactics & Tips.
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