“Don’t dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer.” —Dennis Waitley
We’ve all experienced it; we need to focus on an important, time sensitive task when suddenly we feel as if we had been tossed into a tornado. Fires needing our immediate attention start right and left. So, how can you keep your focus when all hell is breaking loose?
Get clear on the objective
The first step is to get clear on the objective. What specifically must be accomplished? Unless you have a clear view of the target, you will continue to wander, ever so slightly, off track until you eventually find yourself facing the entirely wrong direction.
Trim the fat
Once you get clear on what you need to do, the second step is to trim the fat. To trim the fat is to minimize the excess noise you are exposed to. This includes people, data, communication, paperwork, etc. Excess noise can distract us even when we aren’t in a crunch; when the stress is on, the distraction is amplified.
Don’t forget about you
We can only keep our nose to the grindstone for so long before we start to become inefficient and ineffective. So, step three is to not forget about you. You need to recharge. It may be a short walk or a quick cup of coffee at the corner shop but, you can’t focus in the mist of chaos without taking a moment here and there to get your thoughts together.
As Dennis Waitley stated, in order to move forward you must focus your energy on what to do next. So, get clear on the objective. Then trim the fat. And, last but not least, don’t forget about you. The more focused energy you can give to the task at hand, the sooner you will be available to attend to the fires burning around you.
© 2017 Elizabeth Stincelli
Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations change attitudes, change communication dynamics, improve collaboration and problem-solving, engage employees, and strengthen organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.
Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.