Are You Able to Focus on Your Goals?

“Concentration is the ability to think of absolutely nothing when it is absolutely necessary. “– Ray Knight

Today, focus your energy, clear your head, and achieve!

Now is the time for just one thing–Focus on your goal. Calm your mind. Quiet all of the distractions surrounding you. Concentrate on the one task at hand.

What in your life distracts you? In the moment of need, silence your brain and allow yourself to stay focused. Save your worries about tomorrow and guilt over yesterday’s failures for another time. Maybe you need to meditate, pray, or simply spend a few moments quietly gathering yourself before tackling the project at hand. Now is the time for just one thing–reaching your goal.

It is amazing what a little bit of focus can achieve when you need to get something done. Make today the day that you can achieve something you have been working on for a long time.

What’s Important Now?

Are you busy and driven by what needs to be done right now? Is your list of projects long? Do you feel you always run out of time to get the best result?

If this describes the way you work, it is time for a little reflection. Pausing occasionally and thinking about the future outcomes you want to achieve can help you reach those goals. Having a clear picture of your destination makes getting there easier. Without taking the time to create that vision, you might find yourself drifting from your main journey.

If there was one best practice to help in this regards, everyone would learn it, and everyone would use it. Unfortunately, one solution does not work for everyone. Only through practice will you find what works for you.

There are a few things I do to help me. Maybe some of this will also help you.

1. For longer term projects spend 10 or 15 minutes every day to make some progress. It is easy to procrastinate when a deadline is six months away, but for me, the result is better if I spend just a bit of time working towards that deadline.

2. Before you spend too much time towards your goal, clarify it. Sit back and think about what success looks like. Develop a plan to achieve the specifics of that vision.

3. Know what is important today, tomorrow, next week, and next month. Keeping the deadlines for your responsibilities starts with knowing the expectations. If you are given a task, make sure you ask about the deadlines.

4. Minimize distractions and trivial tasks. Delegate, eliminate, and delete what you can. Then sharpen your focus on the few and important things that will matter.

Some days, it is easier to list this than to actually do them. But with practice, it does get easier. What methods do you use to stay on track?

Strategic or Tactical

Great leaders are always working on strategy, but concurrently managing the tactical actions aligned to their strategy. It is a delicate balance. Too far in one direction or the other and you can find yourself off course.

One approach that has served me well is knowing the difference in each conversation. In fact, I think it is best accomplished if you can separate the two into separate conversations.

You can approach one of your employees or team members and let them know you want to talk strategy. Or you can let them know you need to review tactics, and then proceed to be very clear on actions and expectations.

If you are forced to speak to both in a single conversation, preface your comments to identify your thoughts. You could say, “strategically thinking…” or “tactically, we need to…”

Sometimes team members can be confused if we expect action but talk strategy. They may not feel empowered, or strategic concepts may not have the clarity they expect. If they cannot tell the difference, the team will struggle.

How do you balance strategy and tactics in your conversations? Is it clear to your team members which is which? Are expectations clearly defined?

Being Diligent

Diligence is careful and persistent work or effort. It is such an elegant word. When striving for excellence or reaching for success. We should consider our diligence.

Synonyms for diligence include¬†conscientiousness, assiduousness, assiduity, hard work, concentration, care, industriousness, rigor, meticulousness, and thoroughness. Don’t those words represent how you would want your effort to be described?

I want to keep that list of words in my wallet. When I get stuck I can pull it out and find inspiration in those words.

Samuel Johnson once said, What we hope ever to do with ease, we must first learn to do with diligence.” Success follows diligence!