Guest post by Bobb Biehl – Executive Mentor
Every leader I’ve dealt with has struggled, at times, with focus. Every president loses focus. The difference between great leaders and the ones that struggle to lead is that great leaders have a way to re-focus. The top leaders never get out of focus for more than a day or two. Focus always precedes success – without focus, there is no success. There are three steps needed to stay focused.
AN EXTENDED TIME AWAY TO REST
One very profound pivotal concept in keeping a crystal clear focus is time away. At least once a year, you need to take two or three days away from the pace of life to be able to clarify your thoughts. You have to say, “I’m not going to do anything else – I’m just going to rest. When I’m well rested, I’ll decide what is really important.” I recommend that you take a little time today to schedule time to get away and rest.
SCHEDULE 2 l/2% OF YOUR TIME TO FOCUS YOUR PRIORITIES
The second thing that is needed is to schedule 2 ½% of your time to focus your priorities. Many times I have asked people, “Does it make sense to you that if you take 2 ½% of your time to focus, the remaining 97 ½% will be more productive than 100% of your time would be without focus?” Everyone says, “Yes.”
I encourage you to schedule half a day each month for the next twelve months – right now! Don’t allow your schedule to become so full that you don’t set aside this “focus” time – say to yourself, “Today I’m going to think about my priorities to make sure I’m accomplishing my goals.”
When you are taking time to focus, it’s important to say to yourself, “There are a thousand things I could do, but what are the few things I cannot not do? What are the things I have to focus on?” Ask yourself, “What is really important and how can I make sure I get that done?”
SPEND 60% OF YOUR TIME DOING ONE THING
Executives are often asked to do fifteen different things at a time. It rarely works. You have to concentrate your ability on getting one thing done at least 60% of your time for the project to launch properly. Ask yourself, “What is worthy of 60% of my time?” Then get it done, leaving 40% of your time to finish the rest of your “to do” list.
The difference between great leaders and the ones that struggle to lead is that great leaders have a way to focus / re-focus. The top leaders never get out of focus for more than a day or two. Focus always precedes success – without focus, there is no success.
Note: Adapted from a CD titled: Focusing by Asking! Available at www.BobbBiehl.com