A New FOCUS for the New Year

FocusBy: Allison McCarthy, MBA

How much we can change our results is often a function of focus.  We live in a world of distractions with our computers and smart phones chirping at us with emails, phone calls or text messages.  We’ve become so used to working this way that it has become the norm.  But should it be?

A couple of weeks ago, I had a procedure done on my elbow to fix a bad case of tendinitis. When the physician told me that I couldn’t do anything repetitive for six weeks – including typing – I didn’t know how I would survive. But the amazing truth is that this experience has required me to really think about how I work.

Because I use a headset when talking on the phone – and now have a second headset for my voice recognition software, I actually have to think about what I plan to do and thus which headset I have to wear. Because I don’t want to be changing headsets by the moment, I’ve actually started to group my activities into computer work versus phone work. I can’t multitask between the two like I normally would – rather I have to be more disciplined in outlining what I need to get accomplished and which tool to use.  It turns out that my recovery protocol has actually made me more focused.

All of us could use a bit more slowing down – rethinking what we are doing and why we are doing it.  This week between Christmas and New Year’s is the ideal time to change up the pace and reflect on how we want our work lives to be in the coming year.  So ask yourselves…..

  • In what ways do I tend to be distracted and how is that impacting my results?
  • What might I say “no” to in the coming year to focus on those “yes” items?
  • What’s the one thing that I could do differently next year to improve my odds for success?

Use this week to change the pace and reflect on last year’s victories and challenges.  Take time to reflect, plan and create your focus for the year ahead. Certainly taking time to slow down and reconsider our work shouldn’t require a surgical intervention.

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