A topical subject when it comes to leadership development. Lack of focus – meant I didn’t get any newsletters out following the very successful one earlier this year on Dialogue for, literally months. ‘Newsletters’ went on the bottom of the ‘to do’ list; not urgent; not enough time…… didn’t know where to start etc…… Sound familiar? Notice I’m not using ‘lack of time’ as an excuse. I am TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE for how I CHOOSE to spend my time. It happens to leaders everywhere and focus is a leadership skill we all need to consider.
So with the support of my Shooting Stars mentor group I committed to establishing some new habits. The first habit is to make FOCUS my default setting. This means changing some of the beliefs about what is possible for me, who I am and what I am capable of. It means letting go of old habits and behaviours and even clients….. (yes, really….)
So if you’re struggling with FOCUS , ask yourself these four questions:
- What habits or patterns of behaviour do I need to change to make focus my default setting?’
- What drains my energy/takes up my mental headspace (and therefore stops me from focusing?)
- If I were TOTALLY FOCUSED for the next 90 days – what would I achieve? Write this down.
- What’s my FIRST STEP? (It’s important to start with one thing)
Of course, you can use these same questions with any one of your team members, too.
See below for the Four Habits that will help you get off to a good start.
To your success and focus!
These are the Four Habits that have got me started….and they can work for you too:
Habit No 1
Start a master list – everything you need to do goes on that list. Home stuff, work stuff…… anything that’s in your head is taking up your mental energy. So write it down – even if it’s picking up frozen peas on your way home…..I use a small notebook which I keep with me at all times but there are Smartphone Apps that can help you do something similar.
Habit No 2
Make it a priority and schedule it – I’ve blocked out a full day to write 6 newsletters – total focus on that one task. No distractions, no email, no phone calls. I’m using an IMPLEMENTATION DAY to stay on track. During an implementation day the group meets by phone every hour and states what they will accomplish over the next 60 minutes. Then after an hour everyone reports back. These days are incredible for getting things done. I highly recommend them and I’m now including them in some of my coaching packages.
Want to be a better leader? Identify one thing you can do EVERY DAY to achieve that task. Could be as simple as having a coffee with a team member or colleague first thing rather than opening your emails…. (one of the worst ways to start the day as it takes your focus away from what is really important).
Habit No 3
De-clutter – cluttered house or office equals cluttered mind. It the amount of de-cluttering seems overwhelming and you never get round to it…… make it a priority and schedule it. Just ten minutes a day will do it. I even found a data shredding company that would come to my home office – so my accounts from 1997 – 2004 are in ten bags waiting to be destroyed. Oh Joy!
Habit No 4
Schedule in white space – stop running from meeting to meeting; from task to task. Schedule time each week to THINK, to reflect.. .. Two hours blocked out religiously each week is a start. Make it a priority and schedule it.
Till next time,