Fine Tuning Your Focus – 16 MARCH 2017
There comes a time when all leaders, novice or masters, start to lose focus either by life becoming cumbersome or intentional. When leaders start to lose their focus is when they start to get sloppy and make mistakes.
While making mistakes is part of being a great leader, making preventable or avoidable mistakes is not the making of a great leader. It is carelessness. Being careless is something that while tolerated at first but is not something that is going to be good for follower retention or acquisition. However, as someone who seeks self-improvement and creating a solution to losing focus there are three things you can work on right now to make that happen.
By restoring your concentration, practicing patience and being consistent you can get your focus back to the level you had (if not better than) before you started noticing you were losing focus on not the little stuff but the big stuff as well. Remember, how you deal with the big and the small stuff contributes to shaping who you are as a leader.
Before I continue, I should explain that when I write leader I mean any leader at any level in any position in the organization. This includes those “recognized leaders” that are NOT in management positions but are individuals that others turn to for guidance or advice. “Recognized leaders” are those staff members that have been around the longest, the tenured staff. To be clear, I am referring to all leaders within the organization.
The individual’s ability to concentrate is key to remaining focused. When your concentration is on point, you are on point. However, with all the bells, whistles, and shiny objects in the modern age concentration is a commodity that is going the way of the Dodo. I know, I sound like I am over exaggerating but have you ever sat down and tried to write an 866 word article with Facebook, Twitter, and Email running in the background? Just three? Yes, as I am writing this after hours I do not have to deal with phone calls or text messages.
How we deal with maintaining concentration varies from person to person. No matter what works for you, remember to avoid what does not work. Of course, what works for me might not work for you. Personally, I prefer two things to help get my concentration back. Over the years, I have tried others but I have found that creating a quiet environment, my room/office, with the door closed is a starting point. Then when I am ready, the music comes on. It will either be classical music (Mozart, Chopin, etc.) or 80s music (Duran Duran, Talking Heads, The Police, etc.) and it is not at a low level. Actually, the level the volume is set is not important as the music acts like white noise. I listen to it, I like it and it works for me. Music as white noise did not always work for me.
I tried many things to help with my focus. Some worked, most did not. Those that worked for me did not work for very long. However, that did not stop me from trying again. To find your way to keep and maintain your focus with no matter what you do, patience is the only constant.
Patience in the sense that it will take time to master getting your focus. Keep working at it and keep trying until you find what works. Most of all do not give up but remain patient. Patient, especially when interruptions occur. When they do happen, address them. Depending on the scope or size of the issue you can either address the issue immediately or request to talk about it later. This decision must be made immediately otherwise why bother attempting to remain focused. The sooner you can get back to work the better off you will be in completing your assigned task.
Through all of this and along with patience you must be consistence. Consistency is key when it comes to making you attempts at finding what works for you a success. You remain consistent by scheduling quiet time daily, schedule open door time daily. Do this every day. Avoid the occasional observance of the quiet time. Remember you have work to do that is non-negotiable, aside from leading people or reporting to managers or directors you have to do work that involves you. Usually this involves paperwork and other administrative activities. That is why it is imperative you stick to finding what works for you to get you focus but to also get that focus fine-tuned.
Finding your focus is not something that only you can do but by encouraging others to do the same, you are creating an environment of focused individuals that are not above doing the impossible but doing the impossible on a consistent basis. However, it will take time so be patient. Most of all, remember that finding what works for you will not be what will work for others. That is why it is important for everyone to remember that all good things take time to achieve but once achieved, the success behind having fine-tuned focus is awesome.