Management Training Tip 5 – keeping a productive focus

We can all spend a lot of time and energy worrying about things at work that our outside our control. They nag away at us and can distract us from the many tasks we really should be doing. We know we shouldn’t but we do it anyway!

Stephen Covey came up with a way to help keep our focus on the important. Drawing on his concept, here are some simple yet effective tips:

Jot down all the work-related things that typically occupy your mind.

Now, looking at each one, identify any over which you have control. Then similarly, ones over which you have some influence. Finally, pinpoint those which you can neither influence nor control, but have some concerns about nonetheless.

It might be useful to ‘map’ these onto a diagram such as this:

11.1.13 bulls eye graphic

Rather than spending that time and energy worrying about the outer circle, focus instead on what you can control and what you can influence. Invest your time and energy on expanding both of these circles, and, as you do, so the outer circle of concern will begin to shrink.  It’s rather like that old saying, “Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”

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