When You Need to Focus…Fast!

Do you know what to do when you need to focus fast?

…when you have 100 things coming at you all at the same time?

…when they ALL feel completely important and  intensely urgent?

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Here are some simple steps to take when life is coming at you at full speed and you need to act with both speed and accuracy.

  1. Cast a clear vision. What is the end result that you are seeking?  Do your best to gain clarity on this and you will recognize more quickly what action items are coming at you that align with your end goals.
  2. Write it all down. Quickly list or mind map everything that is on your mind. Big or little, it is weighing you down. Sometimes just looking at it all at the same time can bring an unexpected sort of clarity as you instantly realize all of it is not going to get done, and you must prioritize.
  3. Inventory what is yours…and let go of what is not yours. At times people push responsibilities on to others, and in times of chaos we may unwittingly accept them. Take a quick moment to consider if this is something that you actually need to do, or is it someone else’s responsibility?
  4. Be results oriented.  Don’t confuse activity with productivity.  All actions do not generate the same results; not everything moves the needle. Sift your items according which ones give you the most return on your investment (ROI).  Usually, about 20% of your actions produce about 80% of your results. Can you identify which 20% deserves your focus?
  5. Purge one more time.  Once you have clarified what your most important items are, ask yourself these four questions that fit the acronym REDD. What can I Reduce? What can I Eliminate? What can I Delegate? And what can I Defer 
  6. Get it on the calendar!  Last but not least, timeslot your top tasks on your calendar. The most productive people live off of their calendar, and not their to do lists.
When you apply these easy steps, please tell us about your experience!

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

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Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.

Let’s Talk About Organizing!

Let’s talk about organizing! 

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Actually…let’s not.

Let’s face it. 

Many of us go through seasons of organization and disorganization.  Sometimes we are on top of it.  Other times we are not.  At all times, however, we are ourselves, and we have a unique and important purpose to live.

Life brings seasons of change and seasons of depth.  These may be personal seasons, or they may be seasons we choose to walk alongside others.  They may be temporary seasons such as the birth of a child, a move, or a job change.  They may be seasons which will prove to be our new normal–like a changes in health, welcoming a new family member, experiencing a marriage or a divorce, or forging a new career path. 

Sometimes, we are serving those who otherwise would not be served. Sometimes, we are on mission for a unique calling.  

We may be caring for those who cannot care for themselves -infants, toddlers, young children, elderly, those with physical or mental disabilities, the sick, the dying, the poor…  

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Sometimes we seek to be present with those who are grieving.

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At other times we are throwing our self – heart, soul, and body – into a transcendent goal.

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When we do these things, we are living on purpose–whether or not we would self-identify as “organized.”

One of my favorite paintings is a portrait of Norman Rockwell painting a famous American scene.  In it, he is pictured amongst half-used messy paints spilling all over the floor and the room.

But, his artwork…

                                           IT was spectacular!

For the moment, all of his focus was on this painting.  Everything else was on hold–and sometimes a little messy.

At times, there is a piece of art that is meant to be lived to the full in our lives.  We may spill paint on the floor, but our focus is not there.  It is on something much more grand–on the end result which we have so clearly envisioned.

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Have you recently thrown all of your time, energy, and focus into achieving something bigger than yourself?

Were you driven by an important relationship?  A transcendent task?

Please comment below and share how being driven by your purpose impacted you.

Was it worth it?

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC, Co-Founder of Think Time
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Empowering people to fulfill their purpose by living their dreams.

Increasing Employee Engagement

Do you own or manage a company?  How do you feel about your team members’ engagement in their work?  Are you satisfied with your team’s ability to be self-starters with a clear vision, to stay focused on activities that generate the most results, and to arrive to work ready for the day?

 

Employee engagement is an issue that impacts you and your company directly every day.  Research is showing that 52% of employees are disengaged from their work.  Even more daunting is the fact that 18% of employees are actively working against their companies.  Statistics like these can be felt throughout the company…and even in the tension of your own shoulders.

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We have recently had the opportunity to listen to several employers discuss their team’s lack of engagement.  Sometimes, it is related to cell phone use.  Other times, it is due to a lack of clarity.  No matter the cause, these stats leave a lot of room for some practical tips and tools.

Following are three simple tips to increase the likelihood that your employees will become team members:

Cast a clear vision.  Rather than giving instructions or step-by-step things to do, begin your conversations with a clear description of what the end goal looks like.  Paint a picture.  Make it rich in color using as many senses as you can so that your team members will know clearly when they have arrived. This clarity of vision will motivate your people more than outward reinforcements.

Empower your team members.  With the end clearly in mind, you are more free to empower your people to get there in the ways that suit their unique design instead of step-by-step instructions given from above. You may find that power struggles are reduced when the end goal remains the focus instead of the means.  Try to keep your focus on the end goals and try not to squabble about the methods used—as long as they reach the end goal you have so clearly set before them.

Ask, “How can this be even better?”  You have cast the vision.  Now, ask your team members how they think it can be even better. Don’t edit the responses.  Keep them coming.  This is an excellent way to engage your people in your vision.   Remember this is a brainstorming question.  Everything does not have to actually be implemented, but every idea is best answered with something like “That’s a great idea! “Oh wow!” or “Ha, I hadn’t thought of that!”  Make sure someone is writing all of those down while you’re in the meeting.

(Don’t tell anyone, but all of the above also work great with toddlers and teenagers!)

 

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There are certainly many ways to encourage engagement at work.  What are some ways that have worked for you in the past?  You can leave a comment by clicking “Comments”.

These are my thoughts…  What are yours?

Please share in the comments below!

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Christine M. Wilson, LPC

Co-Founder, Think Time

2016-5-6-tt-logo-gray-cropped

Think Time Life Leadership System

Use your whole brain to plan your whole life.

Shop now at think-time.com.