WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18TH, 2009
Last evening I was watching TV with my wife and oldest child, Josh and my son started discussing the NCAA brackets and how one of the forms he had looked at didn’t have the ability to choose the play-in game winner as an option to win the next game. Of course I didn’t listen to him very well with the competition from the TV, and my wife explained to my son that I wasn’t listening and how did that feel since she frequently feels I don’t listen to her.
I’m embarrassed to reveal this to you, however I realize it is not an uncommon practice for many men, and frankly a good deal of society. There’s a lot of competition for our attention today, however that shouldn’t prevent us from being respectful and attentively listening to others when they are addressing us.
At the Rockefeller Habits 2-Day Workshop one of the areas we addressed was priorities and how the new currency for getting things done isn’t time management but energy management which is explained in the book The Power of Full Engagement by James Loehr and Tony Schwartz.
In a discussion with one of my clients today he explained the concept of “doors” to me that he had recently stumbled upon. His analogy that works quite well is that in our mind we are like a captive, sitting in a swivel chair in a circular room. Surrounding us are many doors, each of those doors demanding our attention and focus. The problem for many of us is that we allow all or several of these doors to remain open, robbing our attention from the person or project we are working on in that moment. Thus when my son asked me a question last evening the door to the TV was still open and while his door was slightly ajar I did not give it the attention it deserved and thus had to ask him to repeat his comments in order for me to fully digest it.
In The Power of Full Engagement the authors explain that it requires 25 minutes to get our minds fully up to speed on any work or project we are engaged in. Opposing that is the fact that on average we get interrupted every 11 minutes. In essence if you look at these numbers it is impossible to ever get up to speed on anything unless we shut the doors and fully concentrate wholly on one thing.
Prioritizing and determining your ONE THING is the probably the most significant thing you can learn to do for yourself and your business. In each workshop I begin and end these sessions with a story of a client or person who by focusing on ONE THING accomplished more in a quarter than they might have in a much longer time frame. The power of prioritizing and focused concentration is remarkable.
I’d like to explore with you the metaphor of doors and the power to close them, choose our priorities and put your full focus on just ONE THING can have on you and your business as I go forward with these blogs over the next couple of weeks. I will be on vacation for spring break with my family the week of the 23rd, and plan to have one additional blog this week before I depart.
Give some thought to this idea of doors and perhaps how many doors you keep open at one time and how this is impairing you and your company’s performance level due to lack of prioritization, focus and perhaps how that affects the people you deal with each day. Is your lack of attention to them and their needs constraining their performance and their commitment to your business? Consider, what is your ONE THING to focus your company on right now? Determine when you are at your best and plan to dedicate the first hour of each day focused on this ONE THING. Your performance will soar when you discover what your ONE THING is and then concentrate your attention on achieving it. We’ll discuss priorities and your ONE THING and examples in the blogs ahead.
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