At the conclusion of my company’s community events, participants are asked to volunteer their feedback about what they’ve learned from the presentation. This takes the form of “Baby Steps” that they plan to take in their careers and personal lives. These concise “pearls of wisdom” serve not only as ideas to share with other attendees who may have overlooked them, but as a reminder to oneself to turn thought into action.
When putting into practice my 2015 Word of the Year— “Focus”, such baby steps are integral to my succeeding. Maintaining focus takes more discipline than I had ever anticipated, even for someone like myself who, by her very nature, is fairly focused. But with each phase in the process closely examined and committed to in the present tense, gradually a new “Me” is emerging….a smiling, confident, progressive Me. A Me who follows through and learns from each success and failure. A Me who is not permitted to “beat herself up” over minor stumbles and missed opportunities. A Me who I can get along with grandly!
Allow me to offer you a glimpse into some of my baby steps in motion. If it is focus that you desire, let this be your guide for finding it. The reward will be a smoother transition from idea to fulfillment, plus a healthy serving of self-compassion.
-I’ve become disciplined and meticulous about scheduling. When another project arises, I will NOT stop to do it. It needs to be put on the “to do” list and scheduled appropriately.
-I now block-in email time. My correspondence is dictated in time blocks rather than haphazardly, allowing me to work on specific projects without the temptation to get sidetracked.
-My email check-ins will now take the form of a check list, all at once, first thing in the morning while I’m making my coffee, and then once again in the mid-afternoon.
-To avoid being a newsletter/blog-reading junkie, I have elected to focus strictly on the material that will benefit my goals for the year, while eliminating all the rest. Additionally, when I find myself on people’s newsletter lists and I hadn’t opted in, I promptly unsubscribe.
Instead of trying to please everyone all the time, I’ve given myself permission to say “no” to activities that don’t align with my goals. It doesn’t mean I have to automatically shut out everyone’s ideas or requests; It’s simply a way to set proper boundaries. Better boundaries = better scheduling.
Speaking of scheduling, I’ve taken the steps to organize my daily blocks more efficiently. With so many people cancelling our appointments lately, I found myself wasting too much time running in circles. After spiraling into too many tailspins, I’ve become more conservative with my scheduling.
Looking at the horizon is a nifty way to stay committed to long-term goals. I’ve broken down and separated my quarterly goals, monthly goals, and weekly goals. This reverts to my eye-on-the-ball perspective on focus from my youth, and has ironically brought my outlook full-circle, organizing my adult life handsomely.
Link HERE to read about my initial commitment to “Focus”.