Where is your focus and attention in any given week or month?
I closed out the end of last year doing a dive into where I think I spend my time compared to how I actually spend not only my time but my mental attention.
I asked myself to focus on one goal (change initiative). Just. One.
I asked myself to trim anything non-essential, not taking me toward that one single goal.
And I encouraged myself to stop making things into projects that didn’t need to be projects.
In that process, I noticed how much of my doing was stirring up dust of doing-ness. Oh, so impressive, the whirling dust cloud of a busy person in motion doing all the things! Look at me! Oh, how does she do it all?!?
Can you relate?
Let me give a specific example that I hear about a lot.
Consider your to-do list.
Do you have any tasks that you move, delay, put off until another time?
I call this task snoozing.
In most cases, a task is snoozed because:
- It will be boring, hard, annoying to do and we don’t wanna today.
- It’s a task that doesn’t matter but we think we “should” do it for one reason or another.
I found that the tighter I constrained my goal and the more I asked myself,
“Does this action move me closer or further away?”…
Well, the more I realized that what I was left with was a tailored, dialed-in, and, yes, short list of action items.
It got quiet.
No more dust swirls around a busy woman.
It was kind of odd, no dust, short to-do list.
Just me and that disturbing quiet of a list of hard things that actually move the needle.
This is great news.
And it’s been pretty awful news.
I didn’t realize how much those whirling motions were distracting me and keeping my mind busy and making me feel productive and important.
The focus on one project has encouraged me to reckon with my behaviors of distraction and “busy-ness.”
I ask myself, “Does this action move me closer or further away?” It’s become my only decision criteria for project tasks.
I decide what to do. Then I do it.
My schedule and task list reflect the one goal.
There’s no place for me to hide from myself and, huh, what an adventure that has been for me.
Give it a try. See what it’s like to make your own life very quiet and focused. What might you be able to create?
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