In today’s ultra busy world, there are so many things that capture our attention. We are being pulled from every direction and somehow we must cater and adopt them all. None us can walk down a street without something or someone calling for our attention. In the workplace, we are faced with multitude of priorities and goals from every point of contact. Managers will give employees goals, the organisation will have top down strategies and goals, peers will have individual goals and each of us will have our own. When we are at home, there are also expectations to be met. How can anyone manage with all that is demanded.
There are many methods to achieve a balance in our approach to handle the demands. We have prioritisation methods, mindfulness techniques, roles models and sage advice from people who have achieved success. The key question is what would work for you? We can learn from every tips and tricks in the book. The real test is when the rubber hits the road. How are we living it out? How are we balancing all the different demands and priorities?
In my coaching experience, there are few simple questions to get the process going.
1. The starting block is to ask yourself, “What are the most important things in your life?”.
2. List them all down and I mean all.
3. Rank them in terms of importance from 1 to n.
4. Ask yourself, “Is that how I am spending my time and focus?”.
5. Based on how your spending your time and focus, what is the ranking on that list?
6. What would you like to change ?
In most cases, the list that we first come up with is the “ideal” list. The wish list in our minds based on preconceived desired outcome. Reality however will show that there is gap. The biggest gap usually centers around people that we love and the demands of work. How can we bridge that gap? How can we focus on the things that we should ?
There are 3 common traits :
1. Focus on the non-negotiable. Hone into the areas of your life that no matter what cannot be set aside. My take is that there should not more than 3 non-negotiables. It is hard to truly focus if we have more than that.
2. Protect that turf. Set aside time and energy to do them. Protect that time and unless it’s life and death, it should not be interrupted.
3. Be present for each activity and contact point. It is how we spend the time that matters. When you are engaging in a conversation, be present and attentive. We have all seen people around the same dinner table but no one is talking to one another. Being present takes focus, attention and it is intentional.
I have witness a number of people who are extremely focus and intentional in how they live out their lives. They have figured out how to focus on the 3 biggest aspects of life : work, family and service. It is not by luck or chance that differentiates them. It is solely by them asking the hard questions, resolving to live out intentionally and focusing on the heart of the matter daily.
Are you living a life that is focus and intentional? Our significance in this life is not measured by how busy we are but by the impact we have. The only sure way of making an impact is to be focus and intentional with our time, energy and people.