What Do You Need if You Can’t Stay Focused, According to Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett?


We can’t usually focus on one thing at a time and must multitask in every situation. You’re probably multitasking as you read this. Is there music in your ears or in the background? Have you opened a different website or email? Is there another person speaking to you? There is always something begging for our attention.

But what if we are solely committed to performing one activity at a time? What if we genuinely concentrated on just one item at a time—a business issue, a task, a conversation? What if we could say no to less productive tasks?

In this case, we would make better decisions because we were more focused and flexible. Furthermore, the more effectively we can solve problems, the more productive we become.

I am Gordon Grigg, a business coach from Nashville. I’ll help you reach your goals faster, be more productive, and value your time by teaching you to say “no” more often.

In reality, the most successful people are patient, avoid multitasking, and stick to the proverb “one step at a time.” They prefer to say “no.”

Earl Miller, an MIT neuroscientist, explained that the modern world is bad for your brain. As a result, you can’t stay focused, divide your attention between many different projects, do shoddy work, and take longer to reach your goals.

According to Tim Ferriss:

“The common characteristic of people who have the most time and the highest income is the ability to focus on one task at a time.”

Steve Jobs agrees with this. At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in 1997, Steve Jobs gave some excellent tips about managing your focus:

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

– Steve Jobs

In this conversation Jobs held with the gathering of developers at WWDC in 1997, you can sense the urgency of the product line’s need for reduction and focus on the best products.

The lesson here is that, no matter what industry you work in, you can’t stay focused if you are not okay with frequently saying “no” and throwing away most of what you make.

Following this advice, Apple reduced the number of products by 70 percent. So, Apple focused on making fewer products with great designs, saying “no” to products with medium or simple designs.

Nike CEO Mark Parker spoke with Steve Jobs shortly after taking over as CEO and working on Nike+ with Apple. He asked Steve for any suggestions.

See the answer in this short video.

So Steve told him that Nike produces top-quality products and a lot of garbage. He told them to say “no,” get rid of the bad items, and focus on the good ones.

Billionaire Warren Buffett shares this mindset too. He once said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say “no” to almost everything.”

Yes, it’s easy to get carried away by all the possibilities, no matter what you’re developing, whether a profession, a network, or a list of goals for the new year. You may say “yes” and accept many exciting new tasks at work, go to a different networking event every Friday without fail, or set objectives for your finances, friendships, fitness, and spirituality.

The problem is that nobody can do it all. You’ll burn out working on those projects, and none will succeed. You can’t stay focused, maintain, and grow the new relationships you make every week. By the end of the year, you won’t have completed any of those 10, 20, or 100 goals since they will all compete for your attention.

What you avoid makes the difference between mediocre results and exceptional ones.

It’s simple to decline lousy opportunities and focus on good possibilities if you know how to say “no” to them.

Continue reading to see some of the benefits you will gain by simply saying “no” and focusing on tasks and products that will bring you extraordinary results.


Saying “No” Helps you Focus and Achieve Results

How to stay focused

I had many goals, such as learning German, playing the piano, volunteering for a charity, etc.

But, unfortunately, that’s too many wishes, and I can’t stay focused on them. In addition, I didn’t have enough spare time.

So instead, I said “no” and focused on my business since I knew I could do better there. As a result, I hired more than 1,200 people, ran multiple operations, and became one of Nashville’s top home builders.

Now I can share my experience as a business coach in Nashville and help other business owners succeed without making mistakes.

I will help you find your “best primary goal” and stick to it, even if other chances seem profitable. If you want to be able to say “no” more frequently, you need to concentrate on one task at a time. Then, when you master it, you can move on to the next, as I did.

Most of the time, not everyone will appreciate you saying “no.” But know that it will boost your confidence because people will respect you for it and help you start enjoying your views.

Saying “No” More Frequently Can help you Value Your Time

How to stay focused

Saying “no” quickly and “yes” slowly both apply.

Having to say yes takes time. Time is created by refusing.

Never consent immediately. Give yourself some room at all times. Put it into law.

Never agree just because you should. If you decide to accept, give yourself a good explanation.

Try completing the following phrase each time you say yes to discover how frequently you say yes for the incorrect reasons:

I am choosing to say yes because…

After answering this honestly the first few times, you’ll know how frequently you say yes for the wrong reasons and why you can’t stay focused on the more critical tasks.

Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft, discovered an important lesson after meeting Buffett. Buffett’s calendar was largely empty.

The fact that you have scheduled every minute of your day is not a sign of your success.

Turning down possibilities isn’t the only meaning of saying “no.” It also entails giving one task your full attention rather than attempting to multitask.

You can enter a flow state by removing distractions, increasing your productivity tenfold. In addition, you may prioritize your time, which, as the saying goes, is more valuable than money, by reducing your list of priorities.

I will help you make time your most valuable resource. You will not waste it by saying “no” more frequently. As a result, you will cut out the noise and concentrate on what matters.

Having a “No” Mindset

Having a “no” mindset entails more than just saying the word. It is the rejection of distractions, pointless opportunities, skeptics, and inner uncertainties. It helps you figure out your priorities and how much you want to focus on.

Although it might seem bad, nothing could be further from the truth. Putting one foot in front of the other while everyone else attempts to appease others is what it means to adopt a “no” mindset. Or, in the instance of Steve Jobs, saving a business and putting it on the path to becoming worth a trillion dollars.

You need me as a business coach to help you set a “no” mindset when you can’t stay focused.

As your business consultant, I, Gordon Grigg, will help you achieve your goals faster. So don’t waste time and money on shiny objects that are not productive.

Today’s business environment is changing monthly, and what you learned and planned just a few months ago may not apply today.

So, if you want faster success in your business, contact me or call (615) 630-9114 now, and we can take the conversation forward.

Scroll to Top