How’s Your Focus Today?

As you read this post, take a moment to assess how well you are focusing today. Are you tackling your top priorities? Are you instead focusing on lesser priorities or allowing yourself to be distracted?

Focus is a present-moment pursuit. It requires your attention and awareness – first, to identify your priorities and then, to stick to them. Keep your focus strong each day and you’ll find yourself moving forward.

 

photo: pixel2013, pixabay.com

Intentional Distraction

Sometimes, you can be your own worst enemy. One example is when you consciously and intentionally distract yourself from situations and tasks that need to get handled. You can do this when you really do not want to do something, you can’t get yourself to focus or stress or overwhelm is getting the better of you. Intentional distraction does not serve you. It only delays the inevitable and can create complications that you can do without.

Be aware of when you are distracting yourself by learning to recognize when you are being distracted and what is causing your distraction. When you are the cause, find a way to bring yourself back to center and remind yourself of why what you have to do must get done. Intentional distraction is a fool’s errand. It may keep you from something for a while, but ultimately slows you down and the situation and task is still there waiting for your attention.

 

photo: sdmacdonaldmiller, pixabay.com

The Mind’s Chatter

mindjohnhainpixabayWho is in charge – your mind or you? Often, your mind is a master in taking the lead. There are definite positives in that. However, staying centered among the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual aspects of your life has many more advantages. Allowing your mind to be a runaway train does not serve you.

What’s the nature of your mind’s chatter? Does it distract you? Cause worry or anxiety? Tell you false truths? Have you found ways to balance your mind’s chatter and maintain your center? In my next post, I’ll identify ten ways to balance your mind’s unproductive chatter.

 

photo: john hain, pixabay.com

10 Ways To Stay Fully Present To What You Are Doing

ID-100282431You’ll work better, faster and more effectively when you are fully present to what you are doing. Here are 10 ways to help you do it.

1. Work on one thing at a time, for a part of each day, to get accustomed to how it feels.

2. Schedule one task or meeting at a time. Don’t let people double-book you on your calendar. If they do, make a choice as soon as you see it, regarding what you will do during that time.

3. Work on your focus. When you are working on a task, honestly assess how focused you are on it.

4. If something distracts you, make a judgment either to allow the distraction and stop what you are doing or say no to it and resume what you are doing.

5. Be honest with yourself about time. Don’t try to do two days of work in one day.

6. Start recognizing what happens to you when you move out of the present moment (e.g. your stress starts rising, your mind wanders, you look for other things to do). Be aware of when these things happen.

7. Find a good book or video on mindfulness.

8. Give people your full attention when interacting with them (phone, in-person, e mail, text).

9. Complete your priority tasks first and know the time of day that you are at your best.

10. Find an exercise to practice that helps you bring yourself back to the present moment.

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How Often Are You Fully Present To What You Are Doing?

ID-100249700Stop laughing. ☺ It’s worth paying attention to. Why? When you are fully present to what you are doing, your work gets the benefit of your intelligence, attention, time and skill. Distraction or inattention diminishes the quality of your work and often increases the time you spend, for lesser results.

Being fully present brings all of you to your tasks. You’ll work better, faster and more effectively. For my next blog post, I’ll create a list of 10 ways to stay fully present to what you are doing.

 

photo: Photokanok, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ten Ways To Quickly Reenergize When You Are In A Slump

1. Stop what you are doing and walk away for a few minutes

2. Daydream

3. Draw something whimsical with colors

4. Look at a few photos or a short video that makes you happy

5. Take a walk outside

6. Close your eyes and shut the world out

7. Breathe 20 times in and out, focusing only on your breaths

8. Tell yourself a joke, or recall something that really made you laugh

9. Smile

10. Eliminate distractions

 

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Distraction

There is a lot going on as we approach the end of the year. Sometimes, the pace and pressure can be too much. One thing to watch out for, is allowing yourself to sidetrack into distraction. It’s a natural impulse. You don’t want to deal with a situation, so you find away to get away from it. The problems come when you stay there. Many times, distraction is unproductive and doesn’t give you anything back.

Say, you start browsing randomly on the Internet and you get caught up in something meaningless. How have you helped yourself relating to the things that were going on? Distraction can be destructive. The world moves on and you are sidetracked. At some point when you get back, you are behind and have not been a participant during your distraction.

Instead of sidetracking into distraction, you can handle the desire to escape by creating a temporary diversion that allows you to regroup and get yourself to a better place. You do it consciously, knowing you have to return to what you were doing and using the diversion to make you stronger and better able to handle the pressure. When I start feeling overwhelm, sometimes I’ll take a walk and other times, take just a few minutes to read the paper, knowing it will be a short time and I will return to my work in a better place.

What kinds of distractions are you capable of creating between now and the end of the year? How will you deal with them?

photo: marin, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Untether

Untethering is about freeing yourself from limitations. What ties you down in your role as a manager? There are various ways to untether from these things. You can:

• create efficiencies in the way you work
• stop putting energy into worrying or fretting about things that are out of your control
• eliminate unproductive distractions and energy drains
• minimize the time you spend with people who limit you in some way, spending only the time that is absolutely necessary
• detach a bit , even if just mentally, to sharpen your perspective regarding your work

Your balance, fulfillment and sanity at work depend on your having the freedom you need to perform. Untethering is one way to create that freedom.

photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Productive Movement In Managing

A train can be going at good speed but get nowhere if the tracks are laid out in a small circle. A train can get much further, even going at a slower speed, if the tracks are laid out to reach the train’s destination. How are your tracks laid out? Is your measure of a good day just that you and your team were busy and worked long hours? Or is your measure that your work that day was productive and moved you forward? Productive movement is more powerful in managing than just activity.

Productive movement requires a vision, goals and focus. Your destination must be clear. You also need a timeline to assure you get where you want to be, when you want to be there. Take a look at your day tomorrow, as you go through it. How much of your day is leading you to a goal and how much is activity that may need doing at some point, but does not directly move you forward to your goals? It may be that there is a lot of activity that needs to be done, but it lies on the periphery of moving you and your team forward. For example, management reports that have questionable value but have to be done, dealing with customers, clients or co-workers that drain time and energy, working on “b” priority items when critical “a” items are not done or straight – out distractions that do not serve your goals .

You may not be able to eliminate unproductive activity altogether, but you can limit it and put most of your day towards productive movement. How to limit unproductive activity? You can make only a certain amount of  time available for these activities in a day. Discipline yourself to avoid distraction. Block out your calendar for the time you need to get things done. Productivity is about the rate of output per unit of labor. Make sure your output is productive and that your tracks are heading to the right destination.

 

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Do You Rest?

Our speeding world does not preclude rest, it demands it. Someone said to me that the world          is speeding up to such an extent, that it forces us to find the still point at the center of the storm. How do you rest? Do you crash when you can go no further? Do you schedule time to rest? Have you created a flow between rest and activity? As a manager, rest is an asset, not a distraction. Rest refuels you to go out there again. Rest creates space for creativity and fun and rejuvenation. You are not a machine. Rest, and you will be a better manager.

 

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net