By Kevin Eikenberry, co-founder of the Remote Leadership Institute.
Shiny object syndrome. Most of us have at least a touch of it. The moment your team has mastered one technology, you read about a new one that you just have to give a try. Just about the time you are making some progress on a task, your “eye” catches something else that you just have to do “right this minute.” And just about the time you experience real milestones toward a goal, you decide to pivot.
While sometimes a shift is required, when you’re constantly shifting focus, you usually cause problems, especially on virtual teams when it is often more time-consuming to get everyone on the same page. You have to start over and go through the growing pains of a new technology. You delay finishing important tasks because you can’t stay focused. You disrupt your entire team with new goals, ideas and plans. When you let shiny objects consistently distract you, productivity suffers and progress all but stalls.
So pick and path and focus. Give it time rather than constantly looking around for the “next big thing.” Will a new app come out next month that will work for you? Yes, but so will 30 others already on the market. You could research and go buy one more new book on time management, or you could read (and implement) the one already on your shelf, desk or nightstand. Most important: Stay the course and meet your current goals before you set new ones.
Am I suggesting that you shouldn’t be flexible and open to new opportunities? Not at all. What I am saying is that once you are on a path toward a goal, focus (razor sharp focus) is essential to meeting it. Especially now as you and your team look to finish the year strong, you can’t afford to let shiny objects get in your way.
It’s nearly October, and that means you have just over three months to finish 2017 on a high note, so take time this week to find your focus.
- Don’t jump on anything new right now. If it’s not necessary or beneficial to you or the team right now, why start something new just because you can? When you have wrapped that major project or hit your goals, you and your employees will have the energy, time and enthusiasm to pursue new ideas, technologies, objectives and plans.
- Write down and prioritize your most important goals at this moment. What is critical for you to achieve today, this week, this month and before 2017 comes to an end? The most critical thing you can do is fully understand what matters. Keeps the goals in front of you every day.
- List what things you are allowing to divert your attention. Are you spending too much time hunting down cold leads? Being annoyed by coworkers? Surfing the web? Figure out what’s holding you back. It’s possible that you are your own worst enemy, and acknowledging your bad habits is the first step toward breaking them.
- Outline core tasks everyday. When you get to work, write down the two to three tasks you will do that will move you closer to your goals. Do nothing else until those tasks are completed each day.
- Maintain your focus. Keep your eyes and brain firmly fixed on the goal. That means, doing whatever it takes for you to concentrate on the tasks at hand. Turn off your phone, go offline, hunker down in a quiet room, blare music in your headphones. The key is to find an environment that works for you and allows you to home in on your priorities.
What are you doing to keep you and your employees hyper-focused on your 2017 or Q4 goals? Share your ideas with us in the comments section.
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