He may not have the kind of extreme fame Steve Jobs was getting in the wake of Apple’s iPhone success, but current Apple CEO Tim Cook is still full of inspiring wisdom – particularly in the area of focus. Although some of his quotes might be about his company and making sure to “keep their main thing, their main thing,” but they definitely apply to personal work as well. Here they are – 7 quotes from Apple CEO Tim Cook that will inspire you to focus:
“Life is fragile. We’re not guaranteed a tomorrow so give it everything you’ve got.”
“Let your joy be in your journey – not in some distant goal.”
“You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem.”
“We have to make sure, at Apple, that we stay true to focus, laser focus – we know we can only do great things a few times, only on a few products.”
“You can only do so many things great, and you should cast aside everything else.”
“Companies that get confused, that think their goal is revenue or stock price or something. You have to focus on the things that lead to those.”
“Apple doesn’t do hobbies as a general rule.”
What about Tim Cook’s Apple makes it different from Steve Jobs Apple?
Tim Cook is calm and composed, while Steve Jobs was determined, dominant, and visionary – while Tim Cook likely couldn’t have sky-rocketed Apple’s success the way Jobs did, Jobs constant re-invention would have been likely very hard for a company to keep a firm foundation on.
A couple tips for staying focused in day to day life
It’s not just Apple CEO’s that understand the benefits of true focus, Gary Keller’s book “The One Thing” gives one of the best questions I can think of for focusing on the right things today or right now: “What’s the ONE Thing you can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” I’ve found that it’s very easy to get distracted because so much of mine and other people’s jobs involves being on the internet all day. Doing Minneapolis web design I’m at the mercy of notifications from things like Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail are either tempting us or bombarding me – but I’ve found this formula to be helpful.
- I create a list of my 3 MIT’s or – Most Important Tasks for the day
- I then create 3 ‘push tasks’ or things that I’d like to finish if I’m able to
- I try to complete the push tasks before noon, (this could be 10 a.m. if you’re an early riser.)
Some other amazing books on focus are:
- Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy: Brian talks in depth about how getting the hardest things done first will make everything after that in the day go smoother.
- The 80/20 Principle – Richard Koch: This principle to me is extremely important, and demonstrates how 20% of the things we do are responsible for 80% of our results. Once again, helping us focus on the right things, not just on being productive.
- Do The Work – Steven Pressfield: This book is a great reminder of how taking big actions in the right areas is key to our success. Big action, applied consistently requires focus.
Some final thoughts on focus
So many exquisite works of art, gigantic achievements in business, and powerful gestures of humanity have required sustained attention over time. Learning more about how to focus is extremely important should be a high priority for people that feel it doesn’t come naturally to them. The good news is, everyone could be better at this and you’re not alone if you have issues with it.