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What's Your Word for the Year?

Now is the time of year where many people look to vision boards or words to describe their motivation/inspiration for the next several months. For my word of choice, I’m looking to “focus”.

How often are you distracted? I’ve written about active listening, and the hardest part of that for me is remaining focused. Do you take the time to hear the person? When you get to work, do emails take on a life of their own, pulling you back to your inbox throughout the day? It’s so easy to see those pop-ups announcing something coming in and, although it’s rare that they’re urgent or vital, they still drag me away and disrupt my train of thought enough that I lose a lot of time during the day “multitasking.”

I often think about how much I multitask, assuming that’s a good thing. But is it? If my mind is split, how much quality work am I really doing? If we truly focus on one thing at a time, isn’t that more conducive to superior outcomes? And isn’t that the best thing for our staff, that we truly concentrate when we’re considering issues they’re dealing with or simply gauging their contribution to the team or the importance of their work?

How much more can you accomplish for yourself and your team if you truly focus on each task at hand?

Think of the things that pull you away throughout the day. Emails, phone calls, text messages; whatever they are. Can you put them away for a specified time each day?

I’m going to start by closing out my emails at various times during the day. I read recently of someone who doesn’t look at their emails until after noon. I think that would throw me into a panic attack, so I’m going to start a little more slowly. If I turn them off for a few hours each day, what will happen? My guess is that my world won’t end, so I’m going to try!

What do you need to do to recharge your performance or encourage quality work? Is focus a good word for you or do you need to “focus” on something else? Give it some thought and try something new. Hopefully we’ll be surprised by a brighter and more productive future for us and our teams!

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