Two Questions To Attain and Maintain Focus
Achieving and maintaining focus is a key skill in modern business.
In a time-poor environment in which more demands are being made of us it is more and more important that we focus on what we do. This is especially true as the business environment becomes increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex resulting in managers having to make decisions more quickly, with less information and greater risk.
Focusing allows you to concentrate your efforts, time and resources on what needs to be at the center of your attention and your activity. To do this you need to be able to ensure that you have prioritized what needs to be done and to avoid unnecessary procrastination.
There are two questions to ask yourself when you are about to start a piece of work or, as occurs more and more frequently, people interrupt you with a request for your assistance.
- Is this piece of work important to me?
- Is this piece of work urgent for me?
If the answer to both is then you might accept it – or guide it to the right person if it is not you. If the answer to either question is “No”, then you don’t need to focus on it now. You can either refuse it, accept it conditionally (you might do it later or delegate it to someone else, for example), or if you are not sure then you can ask for more information (often a good idea if it is your boss who is interrupting you!).
This is a simple technique by which to maintain focus on what is important and what is urgent, and by which you can consider tasks which you are only important or urgent, and to reject those that are neither important or urgent. Try it out for yourself, and find out how much time you free for yourself and how much easier it is to do the work that matters!
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