Think Different Theory

How to Create Massive Focus by Doing Less


In this episode, I’m going to talk about focus, how to stay focused, and creating massive focus by doing less. Productivity is important to all of us, especially for entrepreneurs, because our productivity determines whether or not we will succeed in achieving our business goals.


Most of us think that being busy is being productive, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Focus is what anyone needs to be productive every single day, but it takes a lot of commitment to create, just like how we create habits, and I will teach exactly how to do that.

Here are the key topics discussed in this episode:

  • Focus equals a higher productivity (03:45)
  • 13 things in the list, only one thing done (07:57)
  • Productivity is not busyness (09:05)
  • Creating focus by doing less (10:09)
  • Doing three major tasks a day to avoid distractions (12:55)
  • Focus doesn’t happen overnight (18:04)


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June 10, 2019


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00:00          The Transcript Is Auto Generated And May Contain Spelling And Grammar Errors

00:00          Okay, brain. Today we’re going to stay focused, and we’re gonna get lots done. We’re going to write emails, and go live, and make sales calls, and build a sales funnel, and do market research, and reply to emails, and reply to Facebook messages, and create content, and do accounting, and watch three hours of training. Tik Tik Tik Tik Tik Tik Tik.. 12 hours later. Okay, brain. Today we didn’t complete any of those things. We applied to most of the messages, but… I posted once on Facebook today. Does that sound like you? I want to show you how to stop that forever.

00:35          You are now entering a new paradigm.

00:35          So, here’s my issue. I wanted to find the answers to life’s biggest questions. Things like, how do I become happy and live with purpose? How do I make more money doing what I love, and what does it mean to be truly successful in all areas of life? My name is Josh Forti, @JoshForti on Instagram, and I ask life’s biggest questions and share the answers with you. My goal is to help you find purpose, happiness, and open your mind to new realms of possibility by helping you think differently about everything you do, know, and understand. On this podcast, we think different, we dream bigger, and we live in a world without limits. This is a new paradigm. Welcome to The Think Different Theory.

01:16          What is going on guys? Welcome back to another episode of The Think Different Theory. My name is Josh Forti. And, I gotta be honest with you. This morning, I woke up, and there is one thing that I did not want to do this morning. I tell you, it was like, the last thing in the world that I wanted to do. In fact, I didn’t want to do it so bad that, there’s just about anything else that I would have rather done this morning than this, I would’ve rather, I don’t know, jumped into a bucket of ice, or something… I don’t know, a lot of things I would’ve done rather than this. And that was, I did not want to work out this morning, go for a run. That’s my working out. It’s going for a run. I had just gotten back on Saturday of last week. I went wakeboarding, and wakesurfing, and jet skiing, and tubing all day, down in Florida, and I have been so freaking dead sore.

02:05          I mean like, to the point where like, on Monday yesterday, I could barely freaking move. I was to the point where it hurt to put on gym shorts, because I was pulling so hard, so this morning, when I woke up and I got out of bed, it was like, the last thing in the entire world that I wanted to do. However, it is the one thing that I absolutely knew I needed to do if I wanted my day to go well. Now you might be thinking, “Okay, Josh, if you… what do you mean? Like, just because you missed exercising means your day can’t go well. That’s kind of bogus.” Nope, no, listen, listen. It’s the one thing that I know I needed for my day to go well, because last night, what I wrote down for the things that I needed to do today, number one was go for a run.

02:57          That was the number one thing. I had three things that I needed to do today. That’s it. Just three things. Number one, I needed to go for a run. Number two, there was a final project that I needed to finish, and number three, I needed to record podcast episodes. Those are the only three things that I had to do today. I know you might be like, “Josh, that sounds like you can get that done pretty fast. I mean, holy cow, that’s not a very busy schedule.” I know, it’s not, but it is what allows me to get stuff done. It is what allows me to stay focused, and I know how habits work, and I know how staying focused works. Why? Because I’ve studied the brain, and I’ve studied the effects on this in my life. I have had an incredibly, incredibly productive day today. I mean like, I’m telling you what… like I got my running done, I got the funnel stuff done in awesome fashion, the podcasts are turning out great.

03:45          I have gotten it done with a high quality day. I have good energy, I am focused and I just feel alive and on top of the world. But guess what? That only happened because I went for a run today. Instead of choosing to go sleep in further and do what my body wanted me to do. Now on this episode, we’re going to be talking about focus and we’re gonna be talking about how to stay focused and create massive focus by doing less. And here’s this important lesson that I learned. C, I did an experiment and here’s why. I know that if I would not have gone running today, my entire day would have been different. See, I didn’t experiment with myself one time. This was actually not that long ago, maybe six months, seven months ago or so, towards the beginning of this year. And I did an experiment where I wrote down at the beginning of each day three things that I needed to do the next day.

04:36          And the first one was, well, for the sake of the square, and there’s actually two different ones that I switched up. But for the sake of this conversation, half of the time that I did it, the first thing that I needed to do was go run. Okay, go running. I wrote that the top of my list. I always plan the day before the next day and I said, I need to go running today. And you know what? Every time that I started my day out with, the number one thing that I put at the top of my list running, I had a productive day every single time, every single day that I did not start out my day with the number one thing that was on my list. In this case it was running. I did not have near as a productive day as I did the days that I did and some of the days that I basically got nothing done.

05:19          And you’re like, Josh, what is doing one thing in the morning like running, have anything to do with your focus and getting things done at the rest of the day. Now, most people would talk about habits and how habits are formed and everything, but I want to talk about focus here. All right. And I want to talk about doing only three things a day and actually doing less to help you create focus. Isn’t it fascinating experiment because I looked at this and I went, this is so interesting. If I did this with something else, would I have the same effect or is it just running? And so at the end of that experiment, I went and did the second half of that experiment when I did something else right away in the morning. And at the top of my list, I wrote down the one thing that I needed to do first thing right off the of my, uh, the bat.

05:58          And I said, this is the one thing that I’m going to do in the morning. Okay. First thing. And I went and did that every single time I did that had a productive day. Why? Because what came right after that was the next thing that I needed to do. So I have three things. Whenever I, I’m going to go work for the day. I want to have a productive day from start to finish. I’m working all day, not a half day or anything like that. When I go have a full day, I always have three main things that I need to get done before the day is over, just three. Then he’d be like, okay, Josh, what does the three things have to do with tying, like tying it in with the one thing in the morning that you do or how do you write these things down or how does it all work?

06:36          Let me explain because that’s a great question. I’m going to loop this all back together. Here’s what I used to do and when I did this running first thing in the morning, did not help. Doing that one thing in the morning did not help until I switched. So here was what I used to do and maybe maybe this is what you do a lot as well. See, we often mistake productivity with business, so a typical day for me when I wanted to stay focused and get a lot done in a day used to look like this [inaudible] all right, brain. Today, we’re going to be focused and we’re going to get a lot done. We’re going to write emails, we’re going to go live, we’re going to make sales calls. We’re going to build a funnel where do market research. We’re going to reply to emails and Facebook messages.

07:20          We’re going to create content. We’re going to do our accounting and our books and I’m going to do three hours of studying and that’s what I would write down. You know what I would do? I’d wake up the next morning and none of it would get done. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. 12 hours later, nothing. I may have gotten some emails done. When I look back, I might’ve started writing an email. I might have gone live, but it probably wasn’t that great. I definitely didn’t finish building a funnel. I didn’t finish my market research. I didn’t finish replying to all my emails. I didn’t finish creating content. I didn’t watch three hours of training and maybe watched 30 minutes of it and I would get to the end of the day. It’d be like, I was going to do so many things today and I didn’t even get one done, or I only got one done.

07:57          How do I plan 13 things on my day and only get one of them done? And so then my thought process was, well tomorrow I’ll do the second half of it. So I’d write everything down. I’m going to do all these second half of all of these things, and guess what? The next day would come and tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick. 12 hours later, nothing. I’m like, how do I even run a business? I feel like I’m gonna go bankrupt or broke. I’m not even making progress. I have 13 things on my list. It’s been three days. I’ve gotten one thing done. How does this work? And so I thought, all right, I did this thing where you know, everybody talks about this. Well if you win the morning, right, if you just win the morning, that’s going to set the tone for the rest of the day. And that’s true to a certain extent.

08:31          That really helps when you have a good morning, when you stayed focused in the morning, you win that day, you’re going to have a much better day. But see, here’s the thing. I would go and I would write out all these things. I’m going to write emails, I’m going to go live, I’m gonna make sales calls, I’d build funnel. I do all these different things, right? And so what I would do is I would take that list and then at the very top of the list, I’d write down one thing in the morning that I thought I could do. I’m going to go running and then the running is going to set my expectations for the rest of the day. And you know what happened? I went running and then I got my first thing done right away. I’m going on my second thing done. And then the third thing kind of then fourth, fifth, sixth.

09:05          Then I kind of fell back into the pattern of everything and I was like, what on earth? Why can I not seem to get these things done? I’m trying to win my morning. I’m planning out tomorrow. Today, I’m going through this whole entire process of everything, but I cannot seem to get things done and that is why I should say completed. Never saw thought. I figured I never was able to get things completed. Why? Well, because just like you, I often mistake productivity for business. Okay. In my head and in your head and in most entrepreneurs or people’s heads just in general or even entrepreneurs, just everybody in general, your head is, as long as we’re staying busy in our head, we justify whatever it is that we’re doing. How many times have you gone in and you’ve started a project in about 15 minutes into it or 20 minutes into it when you’re supposed to be writing an email or whatever, you find yourself on Instagram replying to DM’s or scrolling through people’s photos and you justify it by going while I’m, you know, networking, I’m doing market research or these things aren’t important.

10:09          Right? I got to reply to these people’s messages. I might as well do it now. Or you try to take a break on something and then you go do something else and then you never end up coming back to it and you go, I’ll do it tomorrow or I’ll do it this weekend. Why? Because we’re mistaking business for productivity. Where’s making business for staying focused? Well, guess what? I changed one thing in my habit and I have noticed that when I do this in my life and I’m not able to do it every day, I’m not perfect at this. I don’t always do it, but I did this one thing in my life are made this one change to what I just told you to do. Everything in my life changed and that was, I only do three core things per day. I’ve created focus simply by doing less.

10:51          Now creating focus takes place a lot like creating habits. I want to explain that. We’re going to go into the, into more detail on what I mean by just three things a day. When you want to create a habit, how do you create a habit? You create a habit by doing something repetitively over and over and over and over and over and over again, right? Every single day you’re going to do something, it’s going to turn into a habit. If you just do one thing a day, it’s going to change. Eventually you’re going to go and you’re gonna have one new habit and then you have another new habit and you’re going to have another new habit is compound interest. In fact, over time where eventually going to have a completely new set of habits. We’ll focus is this exact same thing as the exact same way?

11:26          Why? Because focus is a habit. You’ve got to get into the habit of constantly focusing. Now, let me ask you something else. If you know in your mind that you’ve got 17 projects to do in a day or 13 projects to do in a day, chances are in fact, I would venture to say 99.9% of the time when you’re working on project number one or two of those 13 or 17 other projects that you have, there’s going to be other projects that are easier. There’s going to be other projects on there that are more fun. There’s going to be other projects on there that you’re just need to get distracted from this current one and want to go do, or that are going to grab your attention. So what naturally happens, you start the first project, you go through and then you go, oh man, this one’s getting hard.

12:10          I’ll come back to this. I got to take a break real quick. And then you jump over to the next easiest thing and you knock that out and then that part and you don’t, you don’t actually go and finish completing that or you can’t complete that because part one’s not done or project one’s not done. And so you come back and you go, I’ll go to the next one. And you started doing all of these half projects and somehow you find yourself three hours later down the rabbit hole of youtube and you’re watching youtube videos that you have no idea how you got there because as a recommended video on a recommended video and then all of a sudden you look up and it’s seven o’clock at night. And you go, where did the day go? Why? Because in your head, as long as you’re staying busy, your okay and your head, you’re confusing, busy with productive and it’s really easy to get distracted.

12:55          When you give yourself 17 tasks to get distracted by, it’s a whole lot harder to get distracted when you give yourself three tasks to go and get distracted and not get distracted by. So what you do is you go and you say, okay, I’m going to give myself three tasks for the day. That’s it. When those three tests are done, my day is over and I can go do whatever else I want and now you might be liking. Okay Josh, well how do I know which tasks to do first? How did you pick running? Why is, you know, is that on there? So for me, I always have three major tasks in day. And then I have one fourth one, which is the first thing that I do every morning, which is run. Okay, got to go for a run if I want to stay focused.

13:40          So I know when I look at my three tasks or in my case for tasks, I analyze it one of two ways. I either look at it and go, which one has to be done first, which, which one do I have to complete in order for the other ones to be completed? If there isn’t any of those, if obviously if there is that, I have to do that one first, that ones first and the next one, the next one and you’re done. But if there’s not, if it doesn’t matter which order you do them in, then I like to do whatever is heaviest right away. The hard part of things right away. First thing in the morning. Why? Because after I wake up and I run, I am most likely to be focused first thing in the morning. It’s a whole lot harder for me to stay focused in the afternoon once I’m tired already a little bit, lot more people online in the afternoon, a lot more people to talk to an afternoon.

14:32          A lot more things you can do in the afternoon. But if I go and I go, okay, what’s the order have to do them in no particular order. Great. What is the hardest one? The biggest one? The thing that I must get done first. That’s the one that I’m going to start with and then I go, I do my run and I naturally go do the next thing. Why? Because I know that there’s only three and if I’ve got eight hours in a day, I’m not going to go spend 30 minutes on 17 different projects because I don’t have 17 different projects. I only have three so even if I don’t start with the one project that I know I need to start, guess what’s going to happen. I’m going to go to one of the other ones and only so much time can elapse before I have to go back and finish the other two.

15:16          And if I just don’t allow myself to go to any of those other things, then you’re going to get the three things that you need done. I also make sure that any project that I need to do in the morning is not on a phone. You’ve got to be on a computer or away from a phone and you close out all social media on a phone. What happens? You could be doing a project in the middle of your phone at 10 o’clock in the morning and you get a text or a phone call or an email or a message or Facebook notification or Instagram notification or a snapchat or a Twitter or a youtube. Like so many distractions. So what? You take your phone, turn it off, put it in the other room, you come in, you stay focused. So now you’ve gone, you’ve removed your phone, you’ve gone through and all you gotta do is start with that one project. Now let me ask you something.

16:02          You might say, Josh, I have a lot more things to do than just three things today. How do I decide which three to do? Ha Ha, I have so many things to do is we, oh, if I’d just done after three things, I could get three things done in three hours. Great. Let me ask you something. When’s the last time you got three things done in three hours? Probably never. And if you did, it’s a rare exception. So let me ask you this. Let’s say you have 15 things that you need to do this week, 15 of them. If you put all 15 on your plate for today, how likely are you to get those 15 things done? We all know the answer to this. I mean, come on. It’s not rocket science. You’re not gonna get them all done. Why? Because it’s distracting and overwhelming.

16:38          So you’re going to go down this rabbit hole. You’re not going to get things done. And how many times have you gotten to a Friday at the end of the week and gone, I had 15 projects to do this week and I got none of them done. I got them all partially done. I got all some of them done, but I only got one done or none done or two done. I still have 13 or 14 or 15 outstanding ever happen to you. Of course it has. It’s happened. All of us. Now, let me ask you something else. If you wake up on Monday morning, you start your day off by winning the morning. That is very, very important. You’ve just one, you’re ready to crush the day now because you’ve, you started on a win. Running wakes you up. It gives you energy, it gets you focused. You’re ready to crush the day.

17:20          Now you go start work. You do three things today and then you turn it off and you shut the computer and let’s say you finished those three things by three o’clock in the afternoon. Now you’ve got three o’clock in the afternoon till bedtime, eight, nine, 10 hours before or to do whatever you want. Next day comes wake up, go for a run. Do your three things. One, two, three. You get it done by five o’clock that day. Got The rest of your day. Wednesday comes around. What do your three things, one, two, three, get done at noon. Got The rest of your day. Thursday comes around. Do your three things you get done at six rest of your day. Friday comes around, do three things. Get done it to look at your calendar. What have you done? You’ve had most of your afternoons free. You’ve run every single day and guess how many projects you’ve got completed, 15 projects.

18:04          When is the last time you got 15 projects done in one week? I want you to really ask yourself that question. 15 projects probably never or a long time ago unless you have a boss that’s forcing you to do it, but if you’re an entrepreneur right now, when’s the last time you’ve got 15 projects done? If you did, you’re probably not struggling with what I’m talking about here in this episode’s probably not for you, but most of you probably haven’t. So how do you stay focused? How do you create focus? You do less and then you always make sure you win the first battle and then you don’t mistake business for productivity. Three things per day or whatever that number is for you. See, remember, focus does not happen overnight. Just like habits do not happen overnight. How are they built with repetition and consistency?

18:53          It is better for you to go and complete one thing every single day, one than it is to partially due 20 why? Because repetition matters and completing the project matters and consistency matters because that is how you create a habit of focus. If you literally cannot go and stay focused on your computer, there are apps you can go, there’s an app you can download called self control where you can literally go and lock websites and applications on your computer so you could type in, I don’t want to be able to access Facebook for three hours and it will not unlock Facebook for any reason, for three hours and you can’t get access to that website or to wherever it is. Whatever it is that you’re doing, do less. It is going to help you do way more. Focus is key. So going back to my story at the beginning, why did I have to run today?

19:47          Because here’s the thing. I know myself, I’ve done this experiment and it will be this exact same thing for every single one of you. I guarantee it. If I would not have run, I was going to go back to sleep and then it was going to be nine 30 10 30 before I got out of bed. I was going to shower and guess what? Because I didn’t run. I’m going to want to take a hot shower instead of a hot shower, ending in a cold shower. When I run, I got energy flowing. I’m okay with any of that cold shower. It’s gonna wake me up. So I go, I wake up, I don’t run, I mosey around. I checked social media. All of the sudden it’s noon now. That made your big project that I should have been doing all morning. What happened? None of it got done.

20:28          Now it’s noon or one o’clock I have lunch and I’ve got nothing done. Now I’ve got to work and now because I’ve started with emails and social media, I’ve had 15 or 20 other notifications pops up a pop up of things that I need to do now that I didn’t need to do before. And so now I’d never go and complete the three things that I needed to do. But if I plan tomorrow, today and I go, what’s the one thing in the morning that I have to do in order to have a good day for me, it’s go for a run, go for a run. What are the three things I need to do today? What’s the hardest one that I need to knock out right now? When my energy is high, boom, go and do that. The next one, the next one that I’m done, as soon as I’m done recording podcast episodes tonight, I’m done.

21:07          That’s all I have to do for today and then I get to go and do whatever I want. For me, it’s going to be reading for the rest of the night, but I don’t get that luxury until I finished my three projects and it’s pretty awesome because while you might be like, well, that sounds like what successful people do. I want you to think about it. 15 projects a week. If you get 15 projects a week done, you work 50 weeks out of the year. You know what that is? That’s 750 tasks every same 15 times 5,750 tasks every year. I think you did 750 complete projects from start to finish last year. Answer’s probably not. Think about that. Okay. All right guys, that is all I’ve got for you. I really hope this was beneficial. I really hope this helps. Now, if you’re listening to this in the morning, start right now.

21:54          Definitely tonight. Make out tomorrow today, so go right now. Make out your list of three things and yeah, it’s going to be hard at first. Yeah. You’re going to be like, oh my gosh, I can’t do more than three or I can only do three things by, by, by. Pick your top three important and get rocking and roll with it. I promise you it will change your life. It changed mine. It changed the lives of so many. I really hope this helps as always. Hustle, Hustle, God bless. Do not be afraid to think different because those of us that think different are going to be the ones that change the world. I mean it. If you liked this episode, hit me up on Instagram in the DM at Josh 40 follow me on there. I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to network with you.

22:28          I want to get to know you. A lot of influencers podcast are people that are out of reach. They don’t want to apply to your messages. I literally just spent the last 45 minutes to an hour replying to DM’s and answering questions in my story. Like these are things that I like doing. I like hearing from you, so let me build a relationship with you so that I can get to know you guys better and provide better content for you. I love you all and I will see you on the next episode. Take it easy, fam. Peace.

22:53          Yo, what’s up guys? You’ve been listening to The Think Different Theory with myself, Josh Forti, which I like to call, “A new paradigm of thinking”, and real quick, I got a question for you. Did you like this episode? If you did, I want to ask a huge favor. See, the biggest thing that helps this podcast grow, and that will spread this message of positivity and making the world a better place, is if you leave a review, a rating and subscribe to the podcast. What that does is, it basically tells the platforms that this is out on, that you like my stuff, and that I’m doing something right. So if you could take like three seconds out of your day and subscribe, leave a rating, and a review, I would be forever grateful for you. Also, I want to hear from you. I want to know your feedback, your ideas, and your questions for future episodes. So be sure to hit me up on Instagram in the DM @JoshForti or via email