Keeping our focus on the important is challenging.
Our jobs come with increasing opportunities to take our eye off of the ball.
It is primarily due to the speed of change and the constant distraction. Calls, e-mail, instant messages, and continual pop-ups on our devices don’t help our ability to focus.
All of these interruptions give us the excuse to hide (aka putting off the important). This catches us all sometimes, but this must be the exception; not the rule.
How do we keep the important front and center?
Below are a handful of practical suggestions that will get results. It is not knowing them that will help, but actually putting them into practice. Make a commit to practice at least one of them and feel the difference this week.
1) Know your anchor
We all have one, but is it continually in front of us? With all the distraction and good new ideas coming to us continually, if we don’t have our goals written down we will be washed away. Having what is most important in front of us will anchor and keep us on task when we feel like drifting.
Action: Write your anchor on your whiteboard, stickies, reminders on your phone or wherever you will see it all the time.
2) Block time
Block time to do what’s important. What are we paid for if not what’s important? We can’t let the urgent get in the way of us doing what only we can do.
Action: Start with 1 hour per day. No interruptions. Just do the work. See what happens.
3) Progress daily
Anything worthwhile doesn’t happen in a day. Instead it is happening daily. Have 3 things to accomplish in a day that contribute to your most important goals. Work on them during your blocked time or ensure your to do list has your top 3 on them and you do them first.
4)Take a break
Give yourself a break and turn off the device for a few hours every day. Especially during your blocked time. You will save hours of time if you can batch your e-mail responses during a couple of times a day.
Action: Start with turning off your phone 1 hour per day during your blocked time. Go further and turn-off the pop-ups on your e-mail and on your phone when your devices are on.
Please add your productivity suggestions below. Growing in leadership happens best when we are focused on what is most important.