How many times have we all used the word focus? With ourselves, with our children, with our co-workers.
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”- Ferris Bueller
Classic, but I digress. Life does move really fast these days and if you do not look around you will certainly miss the most important things in your life. If you are like me, we are all juggling so many things that many days are just a blur. Husbands and wives running in different directions: children trying to grow up and face the everyday challenges of school, social, sports etc. (I think it was easier when we were growing up but that was a while ago so my memory may not be accurate). Keeping up with changes in technology, news, work, play, friends, acquaintances, neighbors, banking, working out, eating healthy, facebook, twitter, linked-in, business meetings, networking events, even a party or two now and then, sports…….I am exhausted just listing these things.
What we are most challenged by everyday is our ability to focus on what is important and to not worry about the small stuff. Much easier said than done, I know. We make lists, we prioritize, we get handed honey-do lists – we have lists at home, lists at work, lists of projects, lists of people to call – we have handwritten lists on paper, post it notes, on the refrigerator and if you live in my home, small little lists and reminders on post-it notes all over the house as subtle reminders of the daily to-dos. So many things to do, so little time.
In order to be more successful in everything that we do it is critical to remain focused on the items that move the needle. At work, what are the items that you work on that truly make a difference to the business and to you? Here is a technique that I learned many years ago that has worked for me and one that I have used on many occasions in business. It is called the Start, Stop and Continue technique. Make a list of the things you do everyday (Separate business, life, goals, home etc.) and ask yourself the questions. What should I stop doing? What should I start doing? What should I continue doing? Do this regularly as priorities, goals and impact changes constantly, just like life.
Additionally think about the things that are really important. I found this today and wanted to share – 10 questions that create success. I know I am giving you another task but this one is worth it. I am asking myself these questions starting today:
- Have I made certain that those I love feel loved?
- Have I done something today that improved the world?
- Have I conditioned my body to be more strong flexible and resilient?
- Have I reviewed and honed my plans for the future?
- Have I acted in private with the same integrity I exhibit in public?
- Have I avoided unkind words and deeds?
- Have I accomplished something worthwhile?
- Have I helped someone less fortunate?
- Have I collected some wonderful memories?
- Have I felt grateful for the incredible gift of being alive?
So slow down, take a breadth, enjoy that cup of coffee or tea in the morning and think differently. Has worked for Apple, so why not you?
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