BUSYNESS V INTENTIONAL FOCUS – WHICH ONE IS WINNING?

BUSYNESS V INTENTIONAL FOCUS – WHICH ONE IS WINNING?

How busy are you?

 

I am constantly hearing from leaders how busy they are. Now, I prefer to use the term productive because I feel this has an implied level of control. Yet busyness is actually what I see. Busyness, which is about distraction, urgency, reacting to the noise around you, rather than proactive productivity which is intentional and focused specifically on the things that matter.

 

The consequence of busy means that often leaders are short-term focused, and this does not help them achieve strategic long-term goals and the progress to support them. The focus is immediate rather than horizon based.

 

If you find yourself falling into this trap, the question I have is, if you are focused on the immediate, on the distraction, on the urgent, how does that help you to create a difference that matters in six months’ time?

◾How will things be different?
◾What will have changed for you and your team in six months?
◾How much progress will you have made towards the strategically important, or in fact, the strategically imperative?

 

Leaders have a clear responsibility to balance the short-term needs with longer-term areas of focus, or they risk being on the urgency treadmill forever. What can you do to support yourself balancing this reactive and strategic set of demands on your time?

1. TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR TIME

Your calendar belongs to you. It is a representation of you. It does not belong to everyone else to put meetings in. So, it is important you take back control of this. Then you need to set time aside to plan how you will spend your time. To determine how you will invest yourself wisely.

 

2. BE RUTHLESSLY DISCIPLINED

Once you commit to something, you need to follow through with your commitment. If you set aside time to do a piece of work, then you need to do that piece of work. Of course, you can adjust your plans, but at the end of the day, whether something happens is up to you.

 

3. PLAN TO FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANT

All the research shows that when you are intentional and you focus specifically on the things that matter, that have impact, you will make a bigger difference in your role rather than your time being eaten up by highly reactive, unimportant things. But how do you respond to the things that are short-term and important?

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” ~ Stephen Covey

4. SET REACTIVE TIME ASIDE

In your calendar, recognise that every day there will be things that come up that do matter and are important. You just do not yet know what they are, because they happen in the moment. As a guide, I recommend starting with an allowance of two hours a day as your planned reactive time. Setting aside this time in your calendar allows you to focus on the short term important without impacting your planned focus on the long term strategically important.

 

5. TIME FOR YOUR PEOPLE

Also consider in your planning, spending time with your people. This is how you grow them. Coaching them, mentoring them, developing their capability and accountability so they can elevate in their roles. This allows you to elevate in your role, which means you get to spend more of your time focusing on the longer term important.

 

6. QUADRANT 2 – THE STRATEGICALLY IMPORTANT

In your plan also ensure that you have time to work on the strategic priorities and imperatives. If the time is not in your calendar, when are you going to get these important things done? I hear so often from people that their to-do list of strategic things is not making progress. And often this is because the time has not been allocated and committed. The intention to do the strategic work is not sufficiently present.

7. TIME FOR CREATION

I suggest allowing yourself time to think and create. Time when you are not being bombarded with meetings and tasks but, rather, that you have some freedom and flexibility. Maybe this is outside time, maybe it is time not in the office, that is all about your brain getting the opportunity to just think, flex, imagine, vision.

 

8. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

And the last one for now, is to plan for your own development. As leaders, you always need to be learning, so you always have something to offer. In a dynamically changing world, you need to develop simply to keep up. Making sure you are committed to your own development is another key to being proactively productive.

 

These ideas will help you to elevate your intentional productivity. Choose one or more to help you get more focus. To be deliberate, intentional, and to follow through with where you put your own attention, energy, and time so that you can make the bigger difference. Take back control so that, rather than being busy, you are productive and contributing to the right things.

 

I’d love to know your thoughts.

#thecoachingleader #leadershipcoach #executivecoach #leadership #leaderascoach #thenewleader #selfleadership #selfcoaching #firstleadyourself #linkedintopvoices #staceyashley #ashleycoaching #amazonbestseller #speaker #author #leadershipdevelopment #management #showup21 #powerup #youreonmute #professionalwomen #personaldevelopment

ENJOYED THIS ARTICLE?

HAVE THEM DELIVERED WEEKLY TO YOUR INBOX.



BOOK STACEY