Coach’s Corner – Focus on Focusing
“If you chase two rabbits, both will escape.” – unknown
A lot of folks these days are challenged with having too many opportunities and options. Think that’s overly optimistic? Well, from my coaching experience, I found that even those who describe themselves as being “stuck” or not knowing where next to go in their career eventually realize they have many options, and their challenge is choosing the best option. Some of these folks blame others for not giving them opportunities, while others conclude that their own fears and saboteurs hold them back.
Regardless of how we might view our future, I think we can all agree we prefer to have clarity – clarity about what direction our career should go, which projects and opportunity to accept and which to turn down, or what skills are most important for us to learn.
Many things in our modern life are unclear, because of vast volumes of information we receive, contradicting opinions coming through media channels, and ever changing landscapes in things we take for granted, including our work schedule. To find clarity, we must develop our ability to focus. I’m not talking about focusing on tasks by putting your phone on vibrate or moving your workspace out of the kitchen, but on bigger-picture focus on goal-setting that serves our life-purpose.
Clarity Provides Focus, and Focus Provides Clarity
The symbiotic relationship between these two elements is the key to fulfilment in our careers…let’s be bold – in our lives!
To help my clients find clarity, we start with a simple but transformational process of identifying components of what forms their purpose, including their vision, values, strengths, saboteurs and goals. Although basic, this is the most challenging, time-consuming and worthwhile exercise in this process. When done right, the result is a useful map that clearly identifies relevant landmarks and boundaries for guiding their career choices. This type of self-awareness and self-evaluation is the clarity that provides focus for the individual. In other words, knowing what you want to do and what you find important helps you focus on things that matter most to you.
When your goals are focused, you don’t worry as much about missing out on opportunities, because you can clearly evaluate the pros and cons, and return on investment to yourself. You understand and accept the opportunity costs. You don’t have to feel guilty about saying “No,” and your colleagues will not take offense when you choose not to participate or contribute to a project.
“Less is more”
Have you ever heard people say this and thought, “What does that even mean?!” (Okay, maybe it was just me.) Focus prevents you from being distracted by every bright shiny object that comes into view. Focus allows you to concentrate on things that matter to you – fewer things that will give you more in return. By concentrating your efforts on less things, you can generate more value.
What examples of “Less is more” have you seen or implemented by focusing? Please feel free to share you tips in the Comment section below.
Check out more blog posts in this series: Coach’s Corner.