About focus & action

Welcome to focus & action, home of the productivity systems for entrepreneurs originally created by Shane Melaugh, founder of Thrive Themes, ActiveGrowth, ikario and many other businesses.

What is focus & action?

focus & action is a complete system for how to manage your time, your energy and your projects to make the most meaningful progress in the least amount of time.

The system was originally developed for my own purposes. I was juggling employment with work on my own business, a side hustle at the time.

I realized that I had no chance of getting my business off the ground if I wasn't very diligent about how I was using my time. There were just not enough hours in my day for me to be wasting any of them.

This was the origin of my journey into everything productivity.

Productivity as Entertainment?

As I started learning about productivity systems, I quickly realized that there are two big issues:

  1. Many best-selling productivity books address problems from a different era. They are not made for the current time of total information overwhelm, where the idea of getting "to the bottom of your inbox" is absurd at best.
  2. Many more current sources of information on productivity are captured by the wrong incentives. They create "productivity content" which is optimized for engagement, not actual productivity.

This is a problem I soon noticed many people face. There's always the allure of a new productivity app. A new system to implement. A new productivity video to watch!

You can end up spending all your time trying different apps, moving your system from one to the other, then seeing the next new shiny object... you can spend hours a day building and maintaining a "productivity" or "personal knowledge management" system. 

And come to think of it, that's not very productive, is it?

Hustle Culture

On the other side, there's hustle culture. There are indeed many people who will tell you to ignore the apps and systems and just get your head down and grind. The path to success is working harder than the next guy. And if you aren't working at least 16 hours a day, are you even trying? Who needs sleep, anyway?

Once again, this turns out to be content made for entertainment, not information.

There's a certain target consumer who likes the feeling they get from (often very burly men) talking about hard work and self sacrifice and toughing it out. And because they like that feeling, they keep consuming more of it - which creates demand, which content creators happily create supply for.

All of which leads to the question:

Where's the Real Stuff?

If you are an entrepreneur, and especially if you have reached an inflection point in your business' growth, you know that productivity matters in a very real way.

Productivity becomes the difference between:

  • Getting swamped in busywork, always being stressed and overwhelmed, never getting to the most important things.
  • OR: making strides and scaling your business to 6 figures, 7 figures and beyond.

And you also know that this kind of productivity is NOT about checking things off in a nicely designed to-do app interface.

It's about making meaningful progress towards your most important goals.

To make this possible, you have to remove obstacles and distractions - both external and internal.

This is the kind of productivity that I was always looking for and the kind I ultimately distilled into the focus & action system.

Why focus & action?

After years of experimentation, I had gotten to the point where I was pretty damn productive. And people started to take notice. A very common question I get is "how do you do all of this?!" - often when people who know me from one of my businesses realize that I am also involved in several others.

This led me to start teaching my system to other entrepreneurs who were struggling with the same problems of overwhelm and time pressure that I know well from my past.

I named the system focus & action because those are the 2 components real productivity really comes down to.


  • Remove external distractions like notification overwhelm
  • Remove internal obstacles like perfectionism, self doubt
  • Get crystal clear about your goals
  • Derive a simple set of priorities from those goals
  • Focus on nothing but what matters most


  • Remove inefficiencies from your workflow
  • Take deliberate, highly focused, consistent action
  • Ensure that the work you do during your peak performance times moves you towards your most important goals

If you take the above definitions of focus & action, you can see that applying both of them all but guarantees success.

What's between you and taking your business to the next level? Focused action. That's really it.

About Shane Melaugh

After successfully scaling several bootstrapped businesses, I've become most interested in helping other people grow.

There's nothing more satisfying that helping someone make progress that took me years to accomplish, in just a few months or even weeks! I hope I'll have the chance to do the same for you.

Shane Melaugh