You are driven, dedicated and smart but aren’t getting the results you want. The problem might be you are not focused on the Right Drivers (key priorities) and are diminishing your effectiveness and success.
Successful professionals have this one common trait – they know what to focus on and what to eliminate. They don’t try to do it all, instead daily they determine their top priorities and then narrow their focus to achieve these goals.
As an Executive Coach, I work with high performing, ambitious leaders who are known for getting it done. To help them stay on track, I ask them to consider: “Are you focused on the right drivers – the activities that are aligned with your strategic objectives?” And if not, “What do you need to do to eliminate the distractors that are holding you back from success?”
The problem is these Key Drivers tend to get buried in a laundry list of other things that must be done, or we think they must be done immediately. Often, we are on autopilot as we plow through our work instead of considering what really needs our attention. As a result, we are not focused on what is critically important to driving our success.
By stopping to reflect before we react, we shift from firefighting and move to powerful strategic thinking and planning focused on: “What is the outcome I want to achieve?”, then, “What are the two or three priorities I need to focus on to get the results I want?”
In Peter Bregman’s book, 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, he recommends you move from doing and reacting to: Pausing + Breathing then Reacting. He challenges us to clarify our Key Drivers: What is the “most important outcome you want to achieve?”, whether in your business or your job search, and then “focus only on the specific behaviours that will support that objective”. 95% of your effort should be directed toward these key drivers in order to get the outcome you want.
But instead of applying this dedication, we tend to postpone, put off and delay because the work is hard, we are afraid we will fail, or maybe even succeed. So we LET distractions get in the way and that five minutes of checking our emails morphs into 3 hours.
To keep your Big Drivers top of mind, Bregman in his TEDTalk, The Work Buffet recommends:
- Start with 5 minutes in the morning to plan and ask: “What can I realistically accomplish today?”
- Transfer these top drivers/tasks to your calendar.
- Take 1 minute every hour to ask two questions: “Am I doing what I most need to be doing right now?” and “Am I being who I most want to be right now?”
- “Take a moment to breathe, calm the mind, just one minute every hour will make a difference.”
- Wrap the day with 5 minutes to reflect: What were my successes today, and my challenges? If I got distracted, what caused that distraction? What can I do to eliminate that in the future?
Taking time to strategically think and plan takes incredible discipline but the results are well worth this focused commitment. Start each day with a clear intention to focus on what is of critical importance today to help you achieve the results you want. Then decide what you need to eliminate, delegate or delay in order to support your success.
Author: Joanne Loberg of JL Careers Inc. is a Certified Executive Coach and Internationally Certified Career Management Professional. She has a reputation as a highly sought after Career Consultant and she has been referred to as “an absolute expert at navigating the complex territory of career advancement.” Copyright JL Careers Inc. All rights reserved.
Wishing you much career success!
Certified Executive Coach & Internationally Certified Career Management Professional
JL Careers Inc.